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EU & Industry Partners Aim to Boost Bio-based Economy by Investing in BBI

Published on 2014-07-10. Author : SpecialChem

Brussels -- EU and industry leaders have launched a new European Joint Undertaking on Bio-based Industries (BBI). The aim is to trigger investments and create a competitive market for bio-based products and materials sourced locally and "Made in Europe", tackling some of Europe’s biggest societal challenges.

€3.7 billion will be injected into the European economy between 2014 and 2024 - €975 million from the European Commission and €2.7 billion from the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) - to develop an emerging bioeconomy sector. Through financing of research and innovation projects, the BBI will create new and novel partnerships across sectors, such as agriculture, agro-food, technology providers, forestry/pulp and paper, chemicals and energy.

The aim of the BBI is to use Europe's untapped biomass and wastes as feedstock to make fossil-free and greener everyday products. At the heart of it are advanced biorefineries and innovative technologies that will convert renewable resources into sustainable bio-based chemicals, materials and fuels.

Organized in five value chains – that range from primary production to consumer markets – the BBI will help fill the innovation gap between technology development and commercialization, sustainably realizing the potential of bio-based industries in Europe.

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, said: "The bioeconomy has huge potential that is attracting investments all around the world. With this new partnership, we want to harness innovative technologies to convert Europe’s untapped renewable resources and waste into greener everyday products such as food, feed, chemicals, materials and fuels, all sourced and made in Europe."

Peder Holk Nielsen, CEO of Novozymes, added on behalf of industry partner, the Bio-based Industries Consortium: “The BBI is an unprecedented public-private commitment because of its focus on bringing bio-based solutions to the market. It is an opportunity to deliver sustainable growth in European regions and to reverse the investment trend currently going to other regions of the world.”

he BBI is a shift from a fossil- and imports-based society to increase Europe’s share of sustainable economic growth, and is expected to create tens of thousands of jobs (80% in rural areas), revitalize industries, diversify farmers’ incomes, and reduce GHG emissions by at least 50% in comparison to fossil-based applications.

The BBI will manage the investments in the form of research and innovation projects that are defined in annual Calls for Proposals and implemented across European regions. In line with Horizon 2020 rules, all stakeholders are invited to submit innovative proposals and demonstrate progress beyond state-of-the-art.

 First BBI Call for Proposals focuses on high potential / high impact investments

Also launched is the BBI’s first Call for Proposals. It is a €50 million Call (not including industry contributions, which are expected to reach up to €150 million) that is a first step in a long-term strategy that will deliver tangible social, economic and environmental results. The Call contains a total of 16 topics:

  • 10 Research and Innovation Actions with a total budget of €15 million;
  • 6 Innovation Actions (5 Demo and 1 Flagship) with a total budget of €35 million.

About the BBI

BBI stands for Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking. It is a €3.7 billion Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC). The BBI is dedicated to realizing the European bioeconomy potential, turning biological residues and wastes into greener everyday products through innovative technologies and biorefineries, which are at the heart of the bioeconomy.

The BBI is about connecting key sectors, creating new value chains and producing a range of innovative bio-based products to ultimately form a new bio-based community and economy.

The partners

The European Commission is the public partner in the PPP. It will support the BBI with a contribution of € 975 million from Horizon 2020, the Framework Program for Research and Innovation from 2014 to 2020. The activities of the BBI will complement the activities funded under Horizon 2020 and seek to establish synergies where relevant. The Bio-based Industries Consortium - the industrial partner in the PPP - is constituted by a unique mix of sectors including agriculture, agro-food, technology providers, forestry/pulp and paper, chemicals and energy. It is an association that was established in 2012 to collectively represent the private sector in the BBI. To date, BIC has 70 full industrial members (large, SMEs, clusters) and over 100 associate members (RTOs, universities, associations, technology platforms). And it is still growing. BIC will support the BBI with a contribution of € 2.7 billion, of which € 975 million will be used to support research and innovation activities, and another € 1.7 will be provided in the form of additional activities.

Funding projects

The BBI will fund projects aimed at:

  • Building new value chains based on the development of sustainable biomass collection and supply systems with increased productivity and improved utilization of biomass feedstock (incl. co- and by-products);
  • Unlocking the utilization and valorization of waste and lignocellulosic biomass;
  • Bringing existing value chains to new levels, through optimized uses of feedstock and industrial side-streams while 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, by upgrading and building demonstration and flagship biorefineries that will process the biomass into a range of innovative bio-based products.

Source: BBI


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