The European bioeconomy seeks a compass. Yesterday ended the Bioeconomy Investment Summit organised by the European Commission in Brussels, which has had starring the main players of the bioeconomy made in Europe. The event, which had as its clever director John Bell – director of Bioeconomy Directorate – leaves many open questions, but mainly provides the framework of a Europe divided between countries, between sectors, between large and small companies, including those who require a system of public procurement as the Biopreferred Programme in the US (with standards and labels) and those who say it is up to the market, those who say the bioeconomy is integral part of circular economy and those who say that it is better to run on two parallel planes. In short, adelante con juicio.
From Thursday to Sunday we European Union citizens will be called to elect a new parliament. These elections are important, not only because for the first time will decide who will lead the European Commission. But mostly because the next 5 years represent a crucial point to understand whether the European Union will remain nothing more than a geographical expression (as Metternich called Italy in the Nineteenth century, before its Unification), or will be able to achieve a common economic and monetary policy, and with it a tax policy, a labor policy, etc. In one word: Policies.
New proposals which aim to limit the percentage of biofuels that can be used in transport fuels continue to divide opinion among European policymakers and stakeholders.
The fuel quality directive and renewable energy directive proposal, adopted by parliament’s environment committee, include new rules that take into consideration the impacts of producing biofuel crops.
The Biobased Industries Consortium (BIC), a cross sector group of 48 large and small companies, has joined forces with the European Commission to set up an unprecedented Public Private Partnership worth 3.8 billion euros to accelerate the deployment of biobased products in Europe by 2020.
The Biobased Industries PPP is part of the European Commission’s Innovation and Investment Package that was released today in Brussels. The package is intended to stimulate the European economy, create jobs and tackle major societal challenges through research, innovation and deployment. Continue reading
The European Commission has selected and appointed the 30 members of the Bioeconomy Panel, a new platform for informed discussions on the Bioeconomy.
These experts represent a wide variety of interests – scientific community and researchers, primary producers, industry, policy-makers, and civil society – and they are nominated for an initial mandate of 2 years.
Their role is to closely assist the Commission in the implementation of the Bioeconomy Strategy in Europe.
“Europe and the rest of the world must cope with an expected 70 per cent increase in food demand, and a 100 per cent increase in energy demand, by 2050. Under these circumstances, we must prepare ourselves for a ‘post-petroleum’ society, one in which we use our natural resources more sustainably”. In this exclusive interview European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Màire Geoghegan-Quinn, talks about bioeconomy and European policies to support it. And tells us that “The Italian government is aware of the benefits of a coordinated bioeconomy strategy and expressed interest in possibly hosting the annual Bioeconomy Stakeholders Conference in Italy in 2014”.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso