Sunday, 16 March 2014

Bio Base Europe selected as Demo Pilot Line

The Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant, a pilot plant for biobased products and processes located in the port of Ghent in Belgium, has been selected by the European Commission as a demonstrator multi-KETs pilot line. Supporting Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) is a key part of Europe’s industrial strategy to stimulate competitiveness and growth.

Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant has been selected as one of the four European demonstrator multi-KETs Pilot Lines. The Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant is a flexible and diversified pilot plant for the development, scale-up and custom manufacturing of biobased processes and products. It is an independent and open innovation pilot plant, accessible for companies and research institutions throughout the world. Bio Base Europe is one of a suite of projects across Europe that are working to realise the concepts outlined in SusChem’s original visionary project on ‘The Integrated Biorefinery’.

Six KETs - Industrial Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Nano- and Microelectronics, Photonics, Advanced Materials, and Advanced Manufacturing - have been were defined by the European Commission. Europe invests in these technologies, in part, to enable the shift to a low carbon, knowledge-based economy ensuring the competitiveness of European industries and the creation of jobs.

To support this policy, the European Commission has launched the multi-KETs Pilot Lines project that seeks to combine several KETs under one roof. In the frame of this project, four promising European pilot facilities will be scrutinized, resulting in a tentative implementation roadmap that can be used for the further development of a systematic EU policy to support pilot and other KETs activities.

The Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant is one of the selected demonstrator projects. During the coming months, its entire ecosystem will be mapped out including best practices, barriers to be overcome, technological and organizational aspects, financing mechanisms etc.

Bio Base Europe will organize monthly guided tours for interested parties, such as SME’s, large companies, policy makers etc, and host workshops to give participants insight into its daily operations. The first guided tour is scheduled for 25 March 2014. More information on the guided tours and workshops can be found here.

This accolade strengthens the position of Bio Base Europe in its mission to support SMEs and large companies with biotechnological innovations. Prof. Wim Soetaert, founder and managing director of Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant is very pleased with this international recognition. “Through the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant, Flanders has obtained a pole position in the field of industrial biotechnology,’ he commented. Prof Stoetaert was a SusChem board member.

A recent video (see below) on the initiative was made for Euronews.

More information
Bio Base Europe was Europe’s first open innovation and education centre for the biobased economy. The project is a joint venture between founding partners Ghent Bio-energy Valley in Belgium and Biopark Terneuzen from the Netherlands and is supported by the European Commission through its European Regional Development Fund programme INTERREG IV.

The aim of the project is to facilitate scale up and optimisation of bioprocesses at pilot plant scale and run test production quantities of new bio-based products for testing, and provide a facility for education and training for process operators for the bio-based industries. At the heart of the project are a pilot plant facility and a dedicated training centre.

The Bio Base Europe pilot plant is located in Ghent and was officially opened in June 2012. It is a flexible and diversified facility that can operate at the tonne level. Its mission is to provide a bridge over a critical innovation gap from scientific feasibility to industrial application for new biotechnological processes and products. It is a one-stop shop focusing on second generation biotechnologies to convert agricultural waste and non-food crops to useful bio-products. The facility is open to all and operations are supported by its own professional staff.

The Bio Base Training Centre is based in Terneuzen and is an education, networking and exhibition facility promoting the development of a sustainable, bio-based economy. It offers general and company-specific training connecting closely with current market demand. The centre is addressing a clear industry-wide skill shortage for process operators and technical specialists with experience in bio-based production and sustainable energy processes.

For more information contact Katrien Molders, Communication Manager for the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant project.

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