Lodz, 7 October 2016 – At the European Bioeconomy Congress, organised 6-7 October 2016 in Lodz, Poland, efforts to intensify cooperation between regional stakeholders from Central and Eastern Europe were top of the agenda. Alongside the publication of the Lodz 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.
Signed by the Lodzkie Region, the Lubelskie Region, the Małopolska Region, the Mazowieckie Region, the Opole Region, the Pomeranian Region, the Wielkopolska Region, the West Pomeranian Region, the BBI JU and BIC, the Lodz Letter of Intent paves the way for regional actors to identify synergies between financial instruments and political frameworks to set up local bioeconomy value chains. All eight of the Polish signatories have selected the bioeconomy as a smart specialisation strategy (RIS3), ensuring limited resources are channelled into the sector they believe will provide the best opportunity for regional development.
At the signing of the Letter of Intent, Philippe Mengal, BBI JU Executive Director said, “The Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking wants to be the catalyst for helping regions realise their potential for sustainable regeneration and growth, through concrete bioeconomy strategies and through synergies between national and regional funding and the BBI JU programme.”
Witold Stępień, Marshal of the Lodzkie Region said, “Many of the regions in Central and Eastern Europe have a strong agricultural tradition and have selected the bioeconomy as a smart specialisation strategy. The Letter of Intent shows our joint determination to integrate regional efforts to build local biocommunities by focusing on common priorities and strategies.”
Suzy Renckens, BIC Public Affairs and Communications said, “Harmonising the implementation of EU and national polices to further develop the bioeconomy involves finding synergies between different financial instruments. The Letter of Intent means that where synergies exist, signatories will be able to spend a significant part of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) budget on bioeconomy development.”
About the Bio-based Industries Consortium
The Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) is a non-profit organisation based in Brussels. It represents the private sector in a public-private partnership (PPP) with the EU known as the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU). Within the BBI JU, BIC defines the Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA).
BIC is host to a unique mix of sectors which currently covers agriculture, agri-food, forestry, pulp and paper, chemicals, energy and other manufacturing sectors. With over 200 members including large companies, SMEs, SME Clusters, RTOs, universities, technology platforms and associations spread across Europe, BIC brings together an authoritative pool of cross-sector and multi-disciplinary expertise in the field of bio-based industries.
About the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking
The Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) is a Public-Private Partnership between the European Commission and the Bio-based Industries Consortium. Part of the EU’s plan to move to a post-petroleum era, the BBI JU aims to make the EU economy more resource-efficient and sustainable, while supporting growth and employment.
Between 2014 and 2024, the BBI JU will have a total budget of €3.7 billion, with €975 million coming from the European Commission and €2.7 billion from its private partner, BIC. The BBI JU initiative focuses on using Europe’s biomass and wastes to make high-value products and bring them to market. Advanced biorefineries and innovative technologies are at the heart of this process, converting renewable resources into sustainable bio-based chemicals, materials and fuels, allowing the EU to reduce its dependence on finite fossil resources.