The Biobased Industries PPP also known as ‘BRIDGE’ (Biobased and Renewables Industries for Development and Growth in Europe) is set to boost growth and jobs, especially in rural areas, as it invests in new and sustainable ways to organise the economy.
‘Biorefineries’ are at the heart of the biobased economy. Unlike conventional fossil refineries, biorefineries use various sources of sustainable biomass and waste to produce everyday products such as food, feed, chemicals and fuels.
These biorefineries allow not only the replacement of petroleum-based products by their biobased equivalents but also the development of novel products with entirely new and innovative functionalities and potential for new and existing markets.
To realise this potential, the PPP will capitalise on Europe’s innovation and technological leadership to bring biobased solutions to commercial scale. Sectors will be brought together to optimise and create new value chains, connecting farmers and foresters directly to consumers. Demonstration and deployment projects will be rolled out across EU Member States that will benefit from the new growth and jobs opportunities.
The Biobased Industries PPP is part of the European Commission’s Innovation and Investment Package of thirteen new and existing PPPs that was released today. The package is intended to stimulate the European economy, create jobs and tackle major societal challenges through research, innovation and deployment.
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science commented on the launch of the PPP: “The emerging bio-based industry sector is set to be the game-changer for stimulating smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe. By finding commercially viable ways of generating fuel and other products from plants and waste, it will significantly reduce our dependency on oil, help us meet climate change targets, and lead to greener and more environmentally friendly growth. Europe must develop technology leadership in this sector, which is why the EU and industry are backing this new Joint Technology Initiative.”
Prior to the launch of the Innovation and Investment Package, José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Digital Agenda, and Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Member of the EC in charge of Research, Innovation and Science, received a delegation of CEOs from the sectors involved in the proposed JTIs (above). Berry Wiersum, CEO of Sappi, Peder Holk Nielsen, CEO of Novozymes and Guy Talbourdet, CEO of Roquette Frères represented the Biobased Industries Consortium.
Berry Wiersum, CEO of Sappi said: “This is a unique partnership that places sustainability at the heart of all economic, social and industrial activities. It is about realising the untapped potential of biomass and waste, to deliver sustainable growth in Europe.”
Peder Holk Nielsen, CEO of Novozymes commented: “The Biobased Industries PPP is important for Europe to remain competitive in the global bioeconomy race. It is an opportunity for reindustrialisation and for reversing the investment trend currently going to other regions of the world.”
Guy Talbourdet, CEO of Roquette Frères said: “The Biobased Industries Initiative comes at a critical time for European development of the bioeconomy. Such a PPP will accelerate the market entry of new biobased products “made in Europe” in the so-called biorefineries. The use of locally grown biomass will not only enable growth and jobs in rural areas across European regions, but it will also reduce the EU’s reliance on fossil or proteins imports.”
Feike Sijbesma, CEO of Royal DSM stated: “This is the start of a promising future for Europe. The development of biobased industries at the crossroads of agriculture, chemistry and energy will enable new value chains and translate the R&D potential into new, innovative and sustainable biobased products and markets serving society."
BRIDGE is the Biobased Industries Public Private Partnership and stands for ‘Biobased and Renewable Industries for Development and Growth in Europe’. It is the joint entity that to be established between the European Union and the Biobased Industries Consortium (BIC) to realise the biobased economy vision.
BRIDGE is a major public and private effort involving:
- €3.8 billion investments in biobased innovation from 2014-2020 (Horizon 2020)
- €1 billion of EU funds leveraging €2.8 billion of private investments
- Leverage Europe’s biobased research and technology
- Develop the under-utilised potential of agriculture and forestry residues
- Replace oil-based chemicals and materials with biodegradable and biobased ones
- Generate new industries, revitalise others, and create thousands of jobs
- Diversify and grow farmers’ income.
- Feedstock: Fostering a sustainable biomass supply and building new value chains
- Biorefineries: Optimising efficient processing through R&D and upscaling in large-scale demo/flagship biorefineries
- Markets, products and policies: Developing markets for biobased products and optimising policy frameworks
- Building new value chains based on the development of sustainable biomass collection and supply systems with increased productivity, and improved utilisation of biomass feedstock (including co- and by-products), while unlocking utilisation and valorisation of waste and lignocellulosic biomass
- Bringing existing value chains to new levels, through optimised uses of feedstock and industrial side-streams, and 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, and through upgrading and building demonstration and flagship biorefineries that will process the biomass into a range of innovative biobased products
BIC is an association that was established in 2012 to collectively represent the private sector partners in the Public-Private Partnership with the European Union. The Consortium started with 40 European member companies (large and small) and has grown since then. It also includes associate members comprising research and technology organisations (RTOs), universities and European trade associations. It is host to a unique mix of sectors including agriculture, agro-food, technology providers, forest-based sector, chemicals and energy.
You can read the Biobased Industries Vision paper here and access the Biobased Industries Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda here. For more information on BRIDGE visit the website or contact the BIC secretariat.