Now that more companies and industrial sectors are becoming involved, now that new collaborations and partnerships between companies have emerged, now that a concept such as the circular economy is creating more awareness of the positive role of the bioeconomy, and now we started to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change … it is time to update the Vision for the Bioeconomy.
Although BIC and its members just started the development of this long-term Vision, it is obvious that by 2050 food, feed, chemicals, materials and fuel should be co-produced from European feedstock, this means the full utilisation of all components of the biomass, without waste. By 2050, the bioeconomy should be realised through value chains including all actors – from feedstock cultivation through the market, including primary sectors’ actors such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, municipalities, etc. and market actors or consumers. Symbiosis, an efficient collaboration between industrial sectors, geographies and disciplines, will be a key characteristic of the European bioeconomy. In 2050, the bioeconomy should be acknowledged to be fully sustainable by its contribution to the reduction of climate change, and by its important role in the circular economy by reducing waste production, valorising residuals, lowering energy consumption in production processes, etc. And finally the contribution of the Bioeconomy to the Societal Development Goals (SDGs) should be clear and measurable, with a positive impact on the economy, jobs, welfare and wellbeing.
Horizon 2020 laid the foundation for the BBI JU, bringing together different sectors and entire value chains. But the work is not over yet if we want the bioeconomy to fully emerge and reach economic self-sufficiency. Bio-based industries need to be placed at the heart of the next European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (Horizon Europe), including a continuation of a public-private partnership stimulating private investment. By supporting the bio-based industries, the EU will lead our continent towards an innovative, sustainable future.