Despite the many significant drivers for applying industrial biotechnology to tackle the major challenges facing our global society today, including climate change, dwindling fossil fuel resources and the need to develop a more sustainable and resource-efficient industry, many hurdles continue to hamper the full exploitation of its potential. This is where BIO-TIC, a SusChem-inspired FP7 project that launched last week, comes in and the project is looking for your input.
The BIO-TIC project is “a solutions approach” centered on an extensive roadmap development process that will comprehensively examine the many barriers to innovation in industrial biotechnology across Europe and formulate action plans and recommendations to overcome them. The project’s kick-off meeting took place in Brussels on 6 September 2012.
Hurdles BIO-TIC aims to establish an overview of the barriers to biotech innovation and design a clear action plan. This solid roadmapping exercise requires the involvement of stakeholders from industry as well as from knowledge organisations and other stakeholders including governments and NGOs.
The final aim of the project will be to draw up a set of recommendations for overcoming the identified innovation hurdles within a selection of European business and societal opportunities. The process used to develop the roadmap and recommendations will engage with all the relevant value-chain partners, promoting and facilitating active discussion groups across all industrial biotechnology sectors and leaving a partnering platform that will make a major contribution to continuing accelerated take-up of industrial biotechnology once the project is completed.
In addition, the project will develop and market test a set of shared indicators and a methodology to measure the growth of biomass use and industrial biotechnology in the market as metric to evaluate the impact of the project.
Examples of the hurdles facing the deployment of biotechnology include:
- Lack of awareness among industrial stakeholders about the potential benefits of industrial biotechnology,
- The high level of investment required for proof-of-concept and piloting of new biotechnological technologies,
- Lack of knowledge regarding migration paths from established manufacturing bases to alternatives based on industrial biotechnology,
- Insufficient insights into Life Cycle Impacts of industrial biotechnology,
- Lack of standards and agreed certification schemes in industrial biotechnology
- Lack of private finance for new business developments and demonstration plants in the area.
Some of these hurdles are connected to technological bottlenecks; others are related to funding, policy regimes or societal acceptance. To overcome these hurdles requires a clear perception of their nature and the way they interrelate.
Link into BIO-TIC BIO-TIC wants to take into account visions and interests from all relevant stakeholders to form a coherent plan. A number of communication tools are being developing, including a project website to be launched later in the year, but if you want to get involved with BIO-TIC right now then you can join its BIO-TIC LinkedIn group or visit its website.
This new Linked-in group will establish a virtual discussion forum to debate BIO-TIC issues and is open to anyone interested in the transformative potential of industrial biotechnology. Visit the BIO-TIC linked-in group now!
The BIO-TIC project is funded via the European Commission’s FP7 research programme and its full title is ‘The Industrial Biotech Research and Innovation Platforms Centre – towards Technological Innovation and solid foundations for a growing industrial biotech sector in Europe’. The project is coordinated by EuropaBio.