This 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.
Danish toys giant LEGO goes green. The botanical elements such as leaves, bushes and trees will be made from plant-based plastic sourced from sugarcane in the future and will appear in LEGO boxes already in 2018.
“Europe is becoming a very attractive area to invest in bio-based Industries: where BIC members were announcing a portfolio of 2bn euros investment in 2014 the same survey announced 5 bn euros investments in 2017”. To say it – in this long, exclusive interview with Il Bioeconomista – is Philippe Mengal, executive director of the BBI JU. The Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking is a €3.7 billion Public-Private Partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium. Operating under Horizon 2020, it is driven by the Vision and Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA) developed by the industry
According to Mengal, “The next decade is a critical period for the EU. We need to reinvent our economy to face the challenges of climate change and resource constraints. Europe is committed to excelling in smart, sustainable growth and mobilizing investment to create new products and new markets is key”.
Last December Tony Duncan, CEO of Circa Group, was nominated by our readers the Most Innovative Bioeconomy CEO 2017. In this long interview with Il Bioeconomista, he talks about this recognition, what is innovation, the bioeconomy and the next steps of his company.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
First of all, congratulations for the recognition as The Most Innovative Bioeconomy CEO 2017. What is innovation in the bioeconomy, from your point of view?
Thank you – it was certainly a surprise to be nominated, and the result is very much a confirmation of Circa’s approach and the efforts of the team over the past 9 plus years – staff, shareholders, researchers and partners!
The master BioCirce received yesterday at the Parliament, from the President of the Italian Republic, the Italiadecide (Italy decides) prize for teaching innovation. BioCirce is the first European Master in Bioeconomy in the Circular economy. To organise it are four Italian universities from North to South (University of Turin, University of Milan Bicocca, University of Bologna and University of Naples Federico II), with the support of three of the main Italian bioeconomy players (Novamont, GFBiochemicals and Science Park of Lodi) and the Italian leading banking Group Intesa Sanpaolo, which is the only financial global partner of the Ellen McArthur Foudation.
New York City announced first-in-the-nation goal to divest from fossil fuels. Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and other trustees of the City’s $189 Billion pension funds announced a goal to divest City funds from fossil fuel reserve owners within five years, which would make New York City the first major US pension plan to do so. In a first-in-the-nation step towards the goal of divestment, the Mayor and Comptroller will submit a joint resolution to pension fund trustees to begin analyzing ways to divest from fossil fuel owners in a responsible way that is fully consistent with fiduciary obligations. In total, the City’s five pension funds hold roughly $5 billion in the securities of over 190 fossil fuel companies. The City’s move is among the most significant divestment efforts in the world to date.
In this early 2018 it seems the main problem for Italians is the price of biodegradable bags for fruit and vegetables. Many Italians complain about the cents to buy the biodegradable bags but say nothing about toxic clouds that devastate the territory from North to South. What are we talking about for the benefit of our non-Italian readers?
“Our goal is to reduce carbon and to do this we must adopt new approaches by using alternative feedstocks, including existing wastes and residues instead of fossil. Today we have an abundance of carbon in all the wrong places. We can turn it from a liability to an opportunity by using it again and again”. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech, on of the most dynamic and growing bioeconomy companies at world level, talks to Il Bioeconomista, in an interview released after the Bioeconomy Investment Summit, which was held on December 14 in Helsinki.
Italian oil giant Eni signed an agreement with Utilitalia (the federation of public owned energy, water and environmental companies) and CONOE (the Italian consortium for the collection and treatment of oil and used vegetable and animal and fat) to boost the collection of used vegetable oil produced in the homes of Eni’s employees. The collection will be made from Eni sites across the country, including operational headquarters and production plants.
“We need an ambitious and long-term bioeconomy policy framework to enable the creation of a Bioeconomy Single Market. The framework needs to ensure predictability to investors and companies, enhance risk-taking capacity and define priority pathways to move towards a low carbon economy, where a circular bioeconomy becomes a growth engine”. Marc Palahí, director of the European Forest Institute, talks to Il Bioeconomista. In this long and exclusive interview, released after the Second edition of the European Bioeconomy Summit, he talks about the next steps which are needed to place the bioeconomy at the core of the EU industrial, climate and sustainability agenda.