John Bell is the Healthy Planet Director in DG Research and Innovation (R&I). He leads R&I transitions on climate change, bioeconomy, food systems, environment, biodiversity, oceans, Arctic, circular economy, water and bio-based innovations. This includes harnessing investments for Horizon Europe, the Circular Bioeconomy and the EU Bioeconomy Strategy. In this exclusive interview with IlBioeconomista, he talks about the bioeconomy strategy 10 years after its first launch and the ecological transition at EU level.
Chris Patermann is considered as the father of the European bioeconomy and is still a central figure in the world bioeconomy community. In this exclusive interview with IlBioeconomista, he talks – 10 years after the first Bioeconomy strategy launched by the European Commission – about the new challenges we are facing to make the new economy based on biological resources happen.
Over the last seven years, the BBI JU has established itself as a game-changer in the European bio-based economy. By replacing fossil-based materials and products with bio-based ones, using local, sustainably sourced feedstock and developing circular production processes, the BBI JU-funded projects have given an important contribution to the green transition in Europe. A new publication takes stock of BBI JU’s achievements and impacts in the 2014-2020 period.
The EU bio-based industry is quickly evolving but clear data on the development of this emerging sector are still missing. A new JRC report illustrates the work of the JRC in building an extensive database of EU facilities producing different categories of bio-based products:
“Europe needs an ambitious ‘Green Innovation Deal’ to accelerate towards our 2030 goals and to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Our 2030 and 2050 goals require decarbonisation at a speed at least six times faster than anything globally achieved so far.” John Bell, Director Healthy Planet at the DG Research & Innovation of EU Commission, talks to Il Bioeconomista. In this long and exclusive interview, he talks about the EU Updated Bioeconomy Strategy one year later its presentation in Brussels. “The main task for us in the next years – he says – will be the implementation of the updated European Bioeconomy Strategy. However, to fully deploy the bioeconomy across all of Europe, we need the help and engagement of the Member States and regions”.
The second edition of the Bioeconomy Investment Summit will take place on 14-15 December in Helsinki, Finland, organized by the European Commission and the European Forest Institute. Over 30 speakers from across the globe will share their views on how we can bring together the economy and the environment. “New advances in technology – the organizers say – mean that everything that can be made out of oil can be made from renewable, biological resources. There are huge environmental and business opportunities for a wide range of industries: construction, chemicals, textiles, energy, plastics”.
Another brick towards the European Bioeconomy, starting from regions. The European Commission together with the Slovak Presidency, and under the auspices of Standing Committee of Agricultural Research (SCAR), organised today in Bratislava a conference on the role of EU regions in developing a sustainable European Bioeconomy. The aim of the conference was “to discuss with national and regional stakeholders the new bioeconomy context for the agriculture, forestry and fisheries, the role of research and innovation to overcome the big societal challenges ahead of us and also to identify the barriers in the regions in adapting the bioeconomy strategy”.
During my ten years at Accenture in Rome my boss always made a point of checking that in our bids for client work we were making them offers they couldn’t refuse. He’d been inspired by Marlon Brando in the Godfather, without the gun parts clearly. Our business grew from 300 to 3000 people.
The guys and gals at the European Commission in Brussels are right now putting the finishing touches to a Communication on Transport Decarbonisation, due out this summer. A Commission Communication is the closest thing there is to an EU law without actually being a law. If it’s any good it will set direction on transport decarbonisation for the next twenty years and go a long way to saving the planet from catastrophic climate change.