Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Bio Based Industries JTI: A Major Advance towards the Bioeconomy

Today (July 9) the European Technology Platform (ETP) for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem) welcomes the launch of the Bio Based Industries Joint Technology Initiative (BBI JTI). This major Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) represents a significant step forward to the realisation of a European bioeconomy.

SusChem has actively supported the development of the BBI JTI and looks forward to working with the initiative to deliver a sustainable, competitive economy for Europe able to tackle some of our biggest societal challenges and bioeconomy opportunities.

The BBI JTI is being launched with six other JTIs (including JTI on ‘Fuel Cells and Hydrogen’ and ‘Innovative Medicines’) at an event with European Commission President Barroso, Vice Presidents Neelie Kroes and Siim Kallas, and Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science (all pictured below at the BBI JTI stand). Together, the JTIs represent a significant joint public-private investment in research and innovation for Europe’s future.


Bio Based Innovation
The BBI JTI will enable a €3.7 billion injection into the European economy between 2014 and 2024, with €975 million provided by the European Commission and €2.7 billion from the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC), to develop the emerging bioeconomy. The JTI will finance research and innovation projects and create new and novel partnerships across industry sectors (including agriculture, 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 greener, sustainable everyday products and renewable feedstock.

“At the heart of this initiative are advanced biorefineries and innovative technologies that use sustainable chemistry to convert renewable resources into sustainable chemicals, materials and fuels,” says Dr Gernot Klotz, Executive Director Research at Cefic and SusChem board member.

“The BBI JTI can help develop the building blocks needed to shift from a fossil- and imports-based society to increase the EU’s rate of economic growth, boost jobs – especially in rural areas, rejuvenate industries and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” he continues. “New bio-based industries can increase the competitiveness of the European economy through re-industrialisation and sustainable growth along with other Key Enabling Technologies.”

Four of the six main Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) identified to be critical to strengthening Europe’s industrial and innovation capacity are from the chemical sector: advanced materials, industrial biotechnology, nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing.

BBI launch


Opening the launch of the JTIs this afternoon José Manuel Barroso (above), President of the European Commission, said: "Only if the best brains from academia, industry, SMEs, research institutes and other organisations come together can we successfully tackle the huge challenges that we are facing. This is what public-private partnerships are about, the joining of forces to make the lives of Europeans better, create jobs and boost our competitiveness. We are committed to prioritising the impact of the European budget on the recovery, and these partnerships are doing just that, with first calls for proposals for € 1.1 billion to be matched by industry, within a package representing an overall € 22 billion boost to growth and jobs creation over seven years. They will continue delivering results that no single country, company or even the European Union as such would achieve alone."

The launch of first calls comes almost exactly one year after the European Commission put forward the Innovation Investment Package, a set of proposals to establish seven public-private and four public-public partnerships (including SPIRE, see below).

Commenting on the BBI launch today 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 the industry partner, the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC): “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.”


Concluding the launch event Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn (above) said: "As we heard earlier today, only through joint investments in developing our research and innovation capacity can we create the new jobs and growth to overcome the current economic crisis. The challenge is, of course, to make sure that such investments deliver tangible impacts: to help accelerate the development of new technologies and innovations, to generate new markets for innovative products and services; and to deliver good jobs and major benefits to society. I am confident that the JTIs presented here will live up to this challenge. The first calls for proposals illustrate the kind of activities that JTIs will support in our goal of accelerating the deployment of great ideas from the lab into the market – for example large scale demonstrators, testing and prototyping."

BBI and SPIRE together
The BBI JTI builds on ‘SusChem inspired’ projects such as EUROBIOREF: one of three large FP7 projects in a joint call on advanced biorefineries that responded to SusChem’s visionary project: ‘The Integrated Biorefinery’. Innovations from other SusChem FP7 projects such as the F3 Factory will also contribute to the integration of bio based processes into the economy.

“The BBI JTI is one of two major PPPs that SusChem is proud to have inspired: the other being the Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency (SPIRE) PPP,” says Dr Klotz. “SPIRE and the BBI JTI will work closely together along defined areas of common interest and will use their synergies to help deliver high resource and energy efficiency that can lay the foundation of the circular economy in Europe, alongside the materials programme of SusChem.”

BBI explained 
The BBI JTI is a €3.7 billion Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC). The BBI is dedicated to realising 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 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. A short video  explaining what the BBI JTI is all ablout has also been published (see below).


A fact sheet on the BBI and its activities is available and more information can be found at the BBI website.

An Info Day on the BBI will take place on 2 September 2014 in Brussels and will be a 'must-attend' event for all stakeholders interested in understanding the BBI rules for participation.

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

The 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), revitalise industries, diversify farmers’ incomes, and reduce GHG emissions by at least 50% in comparison to fossil-based applications.

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.

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.

The BBI is dedicated to realising 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.

Bio-based Industries: using renewable natural resources and innovative technologies for greener everyday products developing new value chains for bio-based industries, from primary production to consumer markets;
  • Using innovative technologies to turn biological residues and wastes into greener everyday products;
  • Moving from fossil-based to biobased products: planting the seeds for the European circular economy;
  • Supporting regional development by diversifying the local economy;
  • Promoting the opening of new markets for bio-based products and applications “Made in Europe”.
The BBI JTI will help create new jobs, especially in rural regions, and offer Europeans new and sustainable products sourced and produced locally. New bio-based industries can increase the
competitiveness of the European economy through re-industrialisation and sustainable growth.

The development of new bio-based products and markets based on smart and efficient use of resources will diversify industries’ revenue streams.

The BBI is expected to bridge European research knowledge with commercial scale bio-based products, making full use of European scientific and technological knowledge. The BBI should benefit all Member States where regions can play an important role through their Smart Specialisation Strategies.

Seven JTIs
The BBI was one of seven JTIs launched at a special event in Brussels on 9 July. Fact sheets on all seven JTI are available via the links below:
For more information, please visit the SusChem website or contact Esther Agyeman-Budu, Cefic communication manager for research and innovation.

An extended SusChem 10th Anniversary video describing the platform, its achievements and its contribution to BBI has also been published on YouTube.

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