USA: The introduction of the COMPOST Act is a major step forward for an activity that restores depleted soils

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Without soil there is not agriculture and without agriculture there is not bioeconomy. The USA celebrates the introduction of the Cultivating Organic Matter through the Promotion of Sustainable Techniques (COMPOST) Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. This far reaching new federal bill aims to proactively advance composting infrastructure and support across the country. Specifically, the proposed legislation would amend the Food Security Act of 1985 to officially define and designate composting as a conservation practice and activity. The US Composting Infrastructure Coalition (USCIC), of which the Institute for Local Self-Reliance is a founding member, played a pivotal role in the development of the bill.   

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Reuters: Biden considers giving refiners relief from U.S. biofuel laws

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Joe Biden with former US President Barack Obama

According to the International Press Agency Reuters, President Joe Biden’s administration, under pressure from labor unions and U.S. senators including from his home state of Delaware, is considering ways to provide relief to U.S. oil refiners from biofuel blending mandates, three sources familiar with the matter said.

The issue pits two of the administration’s important political constituencies against each other: blue-collar refinery workers and farmers who depend on biofuel mandates to prop up a massive market for corn.

It could prompt an about-face for the administration, which had been rolling back former President Donald Trump’s dramatic expansion of waivers for U.S. refiners from the Renewable Fuel Standard.

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The bioeconomy in the space: UPM Plywood, Arctic Astronautics and Huld to launch the first ever wooden satellite

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UPM Plywood, Arctic Astronautics and Huld are ready to launch the first ever wooden satellite, WISA WOODSATTM, into Earth’s orbit by the end of 2021.

WISA Woodsat will go where no wood has gone before. With a mission to gather data on the behavior and durability of plywood over an extended period in the harsh temperatures, vacuum and radiation of space in order to assess the use of wood materials in space structures.

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An exclusive interview with Philippe Mengal, executive director BBI JU

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Philippe Mengal, Director BBI JU

“I think the overall policy framework is clear about the strategic role of bio-based industries in achieving the EU sustainability objectives. There is also clarity about the direction of EU support in the coming decade.” Philippe Mengal, executive director of the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking talks to Il Bioeconomista.

Interview by Mario Bonaccorso

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International Women’s day. The bioeconomy revolution is led by women

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), around the world finding a job is much tougher for women than it is for men. When women are employed, they tend to work in low-quality jobs in vulnerable conditions and there is little improvement forecast in the near future. The current global labour force participation rate for women is close to 49% (for men it is 75%). The freedom to work – by choice, in conditions of dignity, safety and fairness – is integral to human welfare.

The Bioeconomy is led by women. This year, as every year, for the International Women’s Day, we dedicate a tribute to all women who are making the bioeconomy happen all around the world. With their huge competences and their infinite passion, they are the stars of the world bioeconomy. Our best and warmest wishes to all women.

This is just a partial list.

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An interview with Giulia Gregori, Strategic Planning Manager at Novamont

“The paradigm of the circular bioeconomy for Novamont means renerating territories, focusing on soil health and on the decarbonisation of the atmosphere”. To say it – in this interview with Il Bioeconomista – is Giulia Gregori, Strategic Planning and Corporate Communications Manager at Novamont, the company based in Novara, Italy, which is a leader in the world market of bioplastics. Gregori talks about the circular bioeconomy in the frame of the EU Green Deal and the circular economy action plan and talks also about Grace, the BBI JU demo project focused on hemp and miscanthus.

Interview by Mario Bonaccorso

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New European Partnerships and nearly €10 billion for the green and digital transition

Berlaymont, European Commission’s Headquarter in Brussels

The European Commission proposed yesterday to set up 10 new European Partnerships between the European Union, Member States and/or the industry. The goal is to speed up the transition towards a green, climate neutral and digital Europe, and to make European industry more resilient and competitive. The EU will provide nearly €10 billion of funding that the partners will match with at least an equivalent amount of investment. This combined contribution is expected to mobilise additional investments in support of the transitions, and create long-term positive impacts on employment, the environment and society.

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Welcome 2021: we want you to be the year of the real turning point

2020 has been a terrible year. And there is certainly no need to say why. The pandemic has clearly shown how urgent it is to solve the climate crisis and move towards a more sustainable economic and social model. Our liberal democracies and our community spirit have also been severely tested.

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Canada goes green with Enerkem in the Greater Montréal area

Enerkem Varenne

Canadian Enerkem, with a group of strategic partners, that include major investor Shell, along with Suncor and Proman and Hydro-Québec supplying green hydrogen and oxygen, and with the support of the Québec and Canadian governments, will build a biofuel and renewable chemicals plant in Varennes, in the Greater Montréal area.

Varennes Carbon Recycling (VCR) will produce biofuels and renewable chemicals made from non-recyclable residual materials as well as wood waste. The plant will leverage green hydrogen and oxygen produced through electrolysis, transforming Quebec’s excess hydroelectricity capacity into value-added biofuels and renewable chemicals. VCR will be a major creator of quality local direct and indirect jobs during its construction and operation.

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Simão Soares, CEO of SilicoLife, is the Most Innovative Bioeconomy CEO 2020

Our readers have voted. The most innovative bioeconomy CEO 2020 is Simão Soares, CEO of SilicoLife, the Portuguese company founded in 2010 which designs optimized microorganisms and novel pathways for industrial biotechnology applications. “Based on metabolic engineering and synthetic biology approaches, the company shortens the development time and costs of new highly effective processes for the production of specific target compounds such as chemicals, food ingredients or biopolymers.” Soares succeeds to Ken Richards (Leaf Resources), Tony Duncan (Circa Group), Jürgen Eck (BRAIN AG) and Alex Michine (MetGen), respectively most innovative CEO 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

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