Novozymes, the world leader in biological solutions headquartered in Denmark, is entering the biocontrol segment of agriculture with promising enzyme-based technology – expanding beyond its current base of microbial products and innovation. The new technology – the company claims – has broad potential to control major pests that impact the agricultural industry and are responsible for billions of dollars of damages each year.
Versalis enters the market for bio-based products in the agriculture sector for the protection of crops. Thanks to an agreement with AlphaBio Control, a research and development company with offices in the United Kingdom and Italy specialised in the production of natural formulations for the protection of crops with its products already known in the pesticides market, Eni’s chemical company will develop bio-based and biodegradable herbicides and also biocides for the disinfection of surfaces, using as active ingredient productions from the bio-chemical platform in Porto Torres, Sardinia.
Syngenta and Novozymes are entering the commercialization phase of the biofungicide Taegro. The two companies originally joined forces in 2012 to develop and market the product, and have now received the first wave of product approvals in Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, and United Kingdom. Several other approvals are expected across the EU and Latin America during the next 12 months, which will enable multiple product launches in 2020.
The bioeconomy in the United States of America takes another relevant step forward, investing not only in the development of bioproducts but also in education and training. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) yesterday announced the availability of $21 million to support the development of regional systems in sustainable bioenergy and biobased products, as well as education and training for the next generation of scientists that will expand availability of renewable, sustainable goods and energy. This funding is available through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released a list of its 2015 top achievements. According to the department, these achievements demonstrate efforts to help farmers and ranchers build the American bioeconomy.
“Building on a strong and competitive agricultural and forest sector as well as on its technological expertise, the strategy should fully engage France on the bioeconomy road and position the country as a global leader in this field”. Boris Dumange, Director General of IAR Pole (French Cluster Industries and Agro Resources), talks to Il Bioeconomista about the bioeconomy in France, where the government announced its own strategy by the end of this year, the role played by IAR Pole, the goals of the intercluster 3BI and the measures the European Union needs to be more competitive. “We believe – Dumange says – actions such as a European preferred public procurement programme or temporary tax incentives for bio-based products could help to bridge the gap between innovation and market uptake and allow sufficient economies of scale to make bio-based products a competing alternative to fossil-based equivalents.”
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released a comprehensive report synthesizing current literature that explores opportunities in the emerging bioeconomy. The report, entitled “Why Biobased?”, was created as a precursor for a more comprehensive economic study to be released in the coming months by the USDA BioPreferred program on the economic impacts of the biobased products industry.