“The Bio-based industry grows really strong in confidence. In just a few years, it moved mountains by creating new value chains. This means new partnerships between sectors that never worked together before”. Dirk Carrez, executive director of BIC, which represents the private sector in a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with the European Commission, also known as the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), talks to Il Bioeconomista. In this long interview with us he talks about the main achievements of the bio-based industry in Europe and its new vision 2050. “Only with a renewed BBI JU will we be able to effectively work towards realising the Circular Bio-Society”, he says.
An Open-innovation Platform to strengthen cooperation and joint development of bio-based industries and downstream sectors. This is BIOPEN, the European open-innovation platform that will support bioeconomy stakeholders to succeed, offering them new ways to accelerate the production of their sustainable and competitive bio-based products.
“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”.
“GRowing Advanced industrial Crops on marginal lands for biorEfineries” (GRACE): this is the name of the BBI demonstration project under the coordination of the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart (Germany) and with a unique consortium made up of universities, agricultural companies and industry. The aims will be achieved by knowledge exchange between these groups, together with new crop varieties and cultivation experiments on areas that have been polluted by heavy metals, for example, or are unattractive for food production due to lower yields.
Regional stakeholders from Central and Eastern Europe must intensify cooperation. This is the strong message coming from the European Bioeconomy Congress, organised 6-7 October 2016 in Łódź, Poland. Alongside the publication of the Łódź Declaration of Bioregions, the Bio-Based Industry Consortium (BIC), the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) and eight Polish regions signed a Letter of Intent to develop new bioeconomy partnerships.