EU Events

The Success of First2Run and A New Era for the European Bio-based Industry

The final event of the "First2Run" project took place in Brussels on the 20th of June. "First2Run" was the first flagship project funded for €17 Mln by The Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertakings (BBI JU) under Horizon 2020. Here are the conclusions.

First 2 Run was started in 2015 by 6 organisations from 4 countries: Novamont S.p.A., Matrìca S.p.A., SoliQz BV, SIP Ltd, Roelmi HPC Srl, Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna

The purpose of the project was to demonstrate the industrial scaleability of a sustainable bio-based value chain. In other words, it was to demonstrate that industry and farmers could build a value chain together that produces real and tangible products.

There were several objectives to the project:

  • Agronomic objectives: Large scale cultivation
    • Implementation of innovative mechanical oil extraction techniques
  • Industrial ObjectivesApplication of sustainable, cost-effective and innovative catalytic and biocatalytic processes
    • Demonstration of biobased azelaic and pelargonic acid production
    • Integration of chemical and biotech processes
    • Valorization of downstream process by- and co- products
  • Energetic ObjectivesProduction of bioenergy from lignocellulosic biomass
    • Reduction of thermal and electric energy consumption of chemical processes
  • Environmental objectivesDevelop products with reduced GHG emission
    • Asses environmental and economic impact (LCA, LCC) and define adequate strategies for sustainable improvements
    • Standardization and certification
  • Social ObjectivesCreation of new employment opportunities
    • Adopt models of collaboration

Final Event

The Final event was divided in two sessions. The first session covered the results and the impacts of the First2Run project while the second session was a roundtable to discuss the future perspectives of the Bio-economy.

The speakers of the 1st session were:

  • John Bell, Director of Healthy Planet DG Research and Innovation.
  • Catia Bastioli, CEO of Novamont
  • Luigi Capuzzi, R&D Director at Novamont and First2Run Project Manager

The second session Roundtable included following speakers:

  • Philippe Mengal, Executive Director of the Biobased Industries Joint Undertakings spoke about what the BBI JU’s position is on the strategies for boosting the Bio-based industry in Europe.
  • Paolo Di Stefano, Head of Coldiretti Brussels Office. Coldiretti is the largest Farmer Association in Italy. Mr. Di Stefano spoke about the strategic role of agriculture and farmers in the bio-economy.
  • Claire Couet, Pubic Affairs & Communications Director  at CEPI. CEPI is the Confederation of European Paper Industries. She spoke about how paper industries can contribute to and work with other key actors of the European Bio-economy.
  • Professor Kevin O’Connor from the Unversity College Dublin spoke about how the collaboration between industry, research and academia increased the competitiveness of the European bio-based industries.
  • Professor Fabio Fava, States Representatives Group of the Public Private Partnership Bio-Based Industries spoke about how flagship projects can contribute to the growth of the European and national bio-economy.
  • Dirk Carrez, Executive Director of Bio-Based industries Consortium (BIC)  spoke about how these flagship projects can help companies who want to invest in the bio-economy.


The main conclusion was that all different actors should work together to ensure the success of the European Bioeconomy. First2Run succeeded in demonstrating the importance of collaboration between all the actors of the bio-economy.

The Bio-transition, the transition from a fossil-based to a bio-based economy is inevitable. Europe cannot miss this wave and should become a leader in this bio-transition. To achieve this, we need industry, the agricultural sector, research and public-private partnership to work together more closely.

We’ll need examples in this bio-journey and it is companies like Novamont who have lead by example that will drive that bio-transition.

The Final event of the First2run project should not only be the celebration of a success, it should be the first step towards the success of the European bio-economy…it should become the beginning of a new era .



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