One of the reasons the individual regions should be more involved in developing demo’s and flagship projects, is funding. Carrez: ‘At the moment, there are more project proposals than there is funding, for example via BBI JU. Among these projects are very promising demo- and flagship projects that are likely to succeed and therefore to make direct contributions to national/regional economies. Therefore, BIC wants to get as many regional clusters on board as possible. Previously, we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Vanguard Initiative to establish a better interregional cooperation in the bioeconomy.’
Besides funding – possible via RIS-funding/Smart Specialisations – regions are also needed to establish (regional) value chains. ‘The availability of feedstocks is an issue. It is no longer only about the primary sector or forestry. Increasingly, projects are centered around (municipal) waste or side streams from the food industry. The individual regions are best situated to identify these feedstocks which ultimately power the biobased economy.’
The same insight more or less accounts for regional companies that are active in the up- and/or downstream of value chains in the chemical/materials sector. ‘We need the big flagship projects but equally important are – local – biobased/circular value chains that go deep into the capillary system of the EU-economy.’
Dirk Carrez will be involved in a panel discussion at the symposium Biobased Industry 2017, which will take April 6th in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.