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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Time for action in Biobased Economy: takeaways from BIOECONFIN 2017: innovation & funding in bioeconomy

The past few years have seen appealing successes in demonstrating and rolling out new biobased value chains, among which a number of large investment projects. These successes are first of all the result of vision and leadership, but usually cannot do without legislation and funding instruments that support these often high-risk projects. Therefore it is essential to maintain the momentum that has been created in the past five years for biobased economy, in order to ensure that promising innovations of the past few years will actually reach the market. That was the conclusion from the BIOECONFIN event we organised on 22 November.

In Brussels, innovators from the whole of Europe gathered for the very first PNO conference on bioeconomy innovation & funding. Kevin O’Connor, among others, spoke of how Ireland uses its strong agricultural position by investing in new processes for valorisation of waste streams.

The importance of aligning legislation, project development and cooperation within the value chain

The BIOECONFIN programme took us through the latest legislative developments in biobased economy, seen through among others the perspective of Starch Europe (Juliette Jacques). The potential that the starch industry has for new biobased value chains was illustrated, and the importance of support in both technology development and market creation was underlined. Other sessions reacted to project development and value chain creation, and presented the Open Innovation approach in BIOLINX and BIOPEN, along with the stakeholder centred approach in demonstration projects ROBOX and VALUEMAG.

Kevin O’Connor (UCD) then explained the strategy for developing a new biobased cluster in Ireland, and Marijn Rijkers (Innosyn/Chemelot Inscite) did the same for inscite, along with his quantitative business case centred approach for value chain creation. Finally, Dása Marmillová sketched the challenges of large-scale investment projects in second-generation ethanol, followed by an analysis by PNO of optimal locations for large-scale bio refineries within the BIOSKOH project. Important lessons were the importance of support of these projects by (European) legislation, and that the need for support is moving more and more toward market creation.

BIOECONFIN: the first of its kind

This was the first year that PNO Consultants organised BIOECONFIN, an event for innovators in bioeconomy who are looking to drive, scale and fund their innovation. During the event, we discussed the latest developments and most important steps in bioeconomy innovation through keynote speakers and real-life examples. Missed the event this year? Keep an eye on the newsletter for the next interesting bio event.

Want to know more about the bioeconomy?

Our experts assembled an online booklet for attendees of BIOECONFIN 2017, that contains articles about all steps in bioeconomy innovation, along with views on important challenges within bioeconomy. Read the BIOECONFIN booklet online.