Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking will invest 120 Mln Eur to boost EU bio-economy

The Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking, a public-private partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC), has approved the funding of 10 projects for a total of €120 million to boost the EU capacity to stimulate growth and jobs via a more circular, low carbon and sustainable bioeconomy.

The BBI is a €3.7 billion innovative partnership that was officially launched in July 2014. Driven by a unique cross sector industry grouping, the BBI focuses on using Europe’s biomass and wastes to make high value products and bring them to market. Advanced bio-refineries and innovative technologies are at the heart of this process, converting renewable resources into sustainable bio-based chemicals, bio based materials (such as bio-surfactants and bioplastics) and second generation bio-fuels, allowing the EU to reduce its dependence on finite fossil resources. The European Commission is the public partner in the BBI. It supports it with a contribution of €975 million from Horizon 2020, the Framework Program for Research and Innovation from 2014 to 2020. The

Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) is the industrial partner in the PPP. It is made of a unique mix of sectors including agriculture, agro-food, biotechnology / technology providers, forestry/pulp and paper, chemicals and energy. BIC was established in 2012 to collectively represent the private sector in the BBI. To date, BIC has close to 80 full industrial members (large, SMEs, clusters) and about 150 associate members (RTOs, universities, associations, technology platforms). BIC supports the BBI with a contribution of €2.7 billion, of which €975 million is used to support research and innovation activities, and another €1.7 is provided in the form of additional activities.BIC supports the BBI with a contribution of €2.7 billion, of which €975 million is used to support research and innovation activities, and another €1.7 is provided in the form of additional activities.

In the midst of political discussions on developing an ambitious circular economy for Europe, Marcel Wubbolts, Chairman of the Bio-based Industries Consortium and Chief Technology Officer of Royal DSM said: “Today we celebrate the translation of the vision of the Bio-based Industries Consortium into concrete projects that will help Europe develop a future economic model that is fully sustainable. The bioeconomy is global and these investments ensure that Europe remains a sustainable, competitive and innovative region.”

The 7 funded research projects will tackle specific value chain challenges such as sustainability, technology and competitiveness.

The 2 demonstration projects will demonstrate the technological and economic viability of biorefinery systems and processes for making chemicals from wood, and for making high value products for detergents, personal care, paints and coatings and composites from sugar beet pulp.

The industrial scale flagship project will make use of cardoon, an under-utilized oil crop grown on arid and marginal lands, to extract vegetable oils to be further converted into bio-based products (bio-lubricants, cosmetics, bio-plastics). By- and co-products from the process will also be valorized for energy, feed for animals and added value chemical production.

Dirk Carrez, Executive Director of the Bio-based Industries Consortium said: “Today we see the first leverage effect of the BBI JU: €50 million of EU public money have raised €70 million in private investments. And this is only the beginning. No doubt that the BBI, and the bioeconomy in general, will play an important role in the Juncker investment plan and in enabling the European circular economy.”

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