The name change reflects the ambitions of this cluster organization to become the reference for all biobased economy related matters in Flanders and thus also become the point of contact for the Flemish biobased economy abroad. Flanders wants to develop into one of the most competitive regions in Europe in 2030 and Flanders Valley Biobased wants to play a leading role.
GBEV was founded in 2005 as Ghent Bio-Energy Valley to fulfill the request of the government to produce biofuels in Belgium. This led to the realization of the Rodenhuize biorefinery cluster, one of Europe’s largest integrated bio-energy production sites in Europe. Today, the Ghent region is responsible for 90% of the total Flemish biofuel production.
After the start-up of biofuel production, Ghent Bio-Energy Valley soon expanded its field of activity to all biobased economy domains. In 2013, the name was changed to Ghent Bio-Economy Valley. The organisation initiated the establishment of Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant in the port of Ghent, a flexible and polyvalent pilot facility to scale up biobased processes. Today, about ten per cent of Flemish industry production is already biobased and this share is expected to increase in the future.
Currently, a gas fermentation cluster is under development. Here, waste gas is microbially converted into fuels or sustainable chemicals. Moreover, Flanders Biobased Valley wants to implement a number of potentially valuable production routes identified in the roadmap Industrial Biotechnology. Among them the the conversion of sugars, fibrous feedstocks or waste gases into biobased products and chemicals. SMEs can get specific support to bring these innovations closer to the market, through EU funded projects SuperBIO and BioBase4SME.
See also: GBEV becomes Flanders Biobased Valley (website Flanders Biobased Valley)