10 Juli 2013

3.8 billion investment in biobased industries to boost growth and jobs in Europe

Public Private Partnership (PPP) on Bio-based Industries (BBI) being established in cooperation between the European Commission and the Biobased Industries Consortium (BIC)

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 to accelerate the deployment of biobased products in Europe by 2020.

The Biobased Industries PPP is set to boost growth and jobs, especially in rural areas, as it invests in new and sustainable ways to organize the economy.

“Biorefineries” are at the heart of the biobased economy. Unlike conventional fossil refineries that use finite fossil sources, biorefineries use various sources of sustainable biomass and waste to produce everyday products such as food, feed, chemicals and fuels.

These biorefineries allow not only the replacement of petroleum-based products by their biobased equivalents but also the development of novel products with entirely new and innovative functionalities and potential for new and existing markets.

To realise this potential, the PPP will capitalise on Europe’s innovation and technological leadership to bring biobased solutions to commercial scale. Sectors will be brought together to optimise and create new value chains, connecting farmers and foresters directly to consumers. Demonstration and deployment projects will be rolled out across EU member states that will benefit from the new growth and jobs opportunities.

The Biobased Industries PPP is part of the European Commission’s Innovation and Investment Package that was released today. The package is intended to stimulate the European economy, create jobs and tackle major societal challenges through research, innovation and deployment.

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science commented: “The emerging bio-based industry sector is set be the game-changer for stimulating smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe. By finding commercially viable ways of generating fuel and other products from plants and waste, it will significantly reduce our dependency on oil, help us meet climate change targets, and lead to greener and more environmentally friendly growth. Europe must develop technology leadership in this sector, which is why the EU and industry are backing this new Joint Technology Initiative.”

Representing the Biobased Industries Consortium:

Berry Wiersum, CEO of Sappi said: “This is a unique partnership that places sustainability at the heart of all economic, social and industrial activities. It is about realising the untapped potential of biomass and waste, to deliver sustainable growth in Europe.”

Peder Holk Nielsen, CEO of Novozymes added: “The Biobased Industries PPP is important for Europe to remain competitive in the global bioeconomy race. It is an opportunity for re-industrialisation and for reversing the investment trend currently going to other regions of the world.”

Guy Talbourdet, CEO of Roquette Frères commented: “The Biobased Industries Initiative comes at a critical time for European development of the bioeconomy. Such a PPP will accelerate the market entry of new biobased products “made in Europe” in the so-called biorefineries. The use of locally grown biomass will not only enable growth and jobs in rural areas across European regions, but it will also reduce the EU’s reliance on fossil or proteins imports.”

Feike Sijbesma, CEO of Royal DSM stated: “This is the start of a promising future for Europe. The development of biobased industries at the crossroads of agriculture, chemistry and energy will enable new value chains and translate the R&D potential into new, innovative and sustainable biobased products and markets serving society.

About the Biobased Industries PPP (BBI)
The BBI is a new Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) or Public-Private Partnership between the EU and the Biobased Industries Consortium (BIC) to realise the biobased economy vision.

A major public and private effort

  • 3.8 billion investments in biobased innovation from 2014-2020 (Horizon 2020)
    • 1 billion of EU funds leveraging 2.8 billion of private investments Key objectives
  • Leverage Europe’s biobased research and technology
  • Develop the under-utilised potential of agriculture and forestry residues
  • Replace oil-based chemicals and materials with biodegradable and biobased ones
  • Generate new industries, revitalise others, and create thousands of jobs
  • Diversify and grow farmers’ incomes.

Focus
1. Feedstock: Fostering a sustainable biomass supply and building new value chains

2. Biorefineries: Optimising efficient processing through R&D and upscaling in large-scale demo/flagship biorefineries

3. Markets, products and policies: Developing markets for biobased products and optimising policy frameworks.

The BBI will connect the feedstock to products by:

  • Building new value chains based on the development of sustainable biomass collection and supply systems with increased productivity, and improved utilisation of biomass feedstock (incl. co- and by-products), while unlocking utilisation and valorisation of waste and lignocellulosic biomass;

  • Bringing existing value chains to new levels, through optimised uses of feedstock and industrial side- streams, and offering innovative added value products to the market, thus creating a market pull and reinforcing the competitiveness of EU agriculture and forest based industries;
  • Bringing technology to maturity through research and innovation, and through upgrading and building demonstration and flagship biorefineries that will process the biomass into a range of innovative biobased products.

About the Biobased Industries Consortium (BIC)
BIC is an association that was established in 2012 to collectively represent the private sector partners in the Public- Private Partnership with the EU. The Consortium started with 40 European member companies (large and small) and is set to grow over time. It also includes associate memberships comprising RTOs, universities and European trade associations. It is host to a unique mix of sectors including agriculture, agro-food, technology providers, forest-based sector, chemicals and energy.

Contact
Patrick van Leeuwen
BIC Coordinator Public Affairs & Communications
E-Mail: patrick.vanleeuwen@bridge2020.eu
Mobile: +32 475 964 772

Source: bridge2020, press release, 2013-07-10.

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