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The Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) together with 4 of its projects, introduced participants to the products and production methods of the future during the Bratislava Bioeconomy conference (BBEC2016) organised under the Slovakian Presidency of the Council.
Editorial office / Brussels

The BBI JU presented the potential for the bio-based industries in a range of everyday biobased products. From dandelion tyres to dresses made from milk fibres, bio-degradable compostable shopping bags to high performance bio-ethanol, BBI JU proved that greener production methods and processes offer real progress towards the reality of a bio-based economy.

Novel products

During the event, BBI JU showcased some novel products which demonstrate advances being made in Europe in developing and scaling up the technologies needed to transform Europe’s bio-based sector. Philippe Mengal, Executive Director of the BBI JU, stated: ‘We have already now with us and hopefully even more in the future everyday life products, ‘greener’ products that all EU citizens can use in their daily life! In BBI JU we are proud to work towards building a strong and competitive bio-based sector in Europe.’

BBI JU was accompanied at the event by four of its projects which are a great example of putting new technologies into practice for the first time in Europe. Flagship projects like BIOSKOH (biofuel from lignocellulose), EXILVA (an integrated plant for microfibrillated cellulose) and FIRST2RUN (integrated biorefinery for dry crops), together with demonstration project PULP2VALUE (Processing Underutilized Low value sugar beet Pulp into VALUE added roducts) exhibited their products and explained their specific added-value to all the participants.

Catalyst for development

With a total of 36 ongoing projects since its first Call in 2014, the BBI JU has established itself as the catalyst for the development of bio-based industries. Reaching out to industry innovators in an inclusive way, the new projects do not only improve cooperation between different economic sectors but also pave the way for additional benefits to both EU public and industrial sectors.

Contributing to the topic of the conference, “The role of regions in the European Bioeconomy”, the BBI JU and its projects show the bioeconomy strategy in action, and demonstrates how sustainable regional development can be combined with industry smart regional bioeconomy strategies.

Shift to a strong European bioeconomy

With innovation and education at the heart of its ‘walking exhibition’, the projects are a clear example of the novel ideas and processes BBI JU aspires to establish in Europe. Having recently added 23 new projects to its portfolio over the summer, BBI JU is helping to bring about the shift to a strong European bioeconomy. Public-private funding through the BBI JU is made available to projects developing innovative research methods and importantly on disseminating them. 3 out of the 23 new projects fall under Coordination and Support Actions (CSAs) and will elaborate ‘didactic’ and awareness-raising actions.

John Bell, Director for Bioeconomy with the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission, commented: ‘We are excited to see the launch of projects that support Coordination and Support Actions. This means that their research activities and industrial processes will be communicated and explained, bringing the potential of the sector closer to the end users, the EU citizens. The EU does not only innovate but makes sure that our citizens are at the centre of it.’

Step changes

With strong industry commitment and support for the BBI JU, represented by the Bio-Based Industries Consortium (BIC), the growing BBI JU project portfolio represents the step changes being made in the way large industry invests in the European bioeconomy.

Dirk Carrez, Executive Director of the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC), the private partner in the BBI Joint Undertaking, stated: ‘The start of the 23 additional projects signals an important step for the development of the bio-based industries. It is the first time that we witness the creation of projects operating across different value chains which proves the great potential of the European bio-based industries working successfully across vastly different and mostly unconnected different sectors including agriculture, forestry, chemical industry and waste management.’

See also: website of Bio-Based Industries Consortium