£86 million invested in bioeconomy projects

£86 million invested in bioeconomy projects

The Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), a public-private partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC), announced today (25 June) that it has approved the funding of 10 projects totaling €120 million (£86 million) to ‘boost the EU capacity to stimulate growth and jobs via a more circular, low carbon and sustainable bioeconomy’.

The BBI is a €3.7 billion (£2.6 billion) partnership launched in July 2014, which focuses on ‘using Europe’s biomass and wastes to make high value products and bring them to market’. The BIC contributes €2.7 billion (£1.9 billion) to the BBI; the remaining €975 million (£694 million) is provided by the European Commission.

The 10 projects will comprise:

  • Seven funded research projects to ‘tackle specific value chain challenges such as sustainability, technology and competitiveness’.
  • Two projects that will ‘demonstrate the technological and economic viability of biorefinery systems and processes for making chemicals from wood, and for making high value products for detergents, personal care, paints and coatings and composites from sugar beet pulp’.
  • One industrial-scale flagship project that will ‘make use of cardoon, an under-utilised oil crop grown on arid and marginal lands, to extract vegetable oils to be further converted into bio-based products’. Byproducts and co-products of the process will reportedly be used for ‘energy, animal feed and value chemical production’.

Investments ‘only the beginning’

Speaking of the investments, Dirk Carrez, Executive Director of the BIC, said: “Today we see the first leverage effect of the BBI JU: €50 million [£36 million] of EU public money have raised €70 million [£50 million] in private investments. And this is only the beginning. No doubt that the BBI, and the bioeconomy in general, will play an important role in the Juncker investment plan and in enabling the European circular economy.”

Tomorrow (26 June), the BBI JU is expected to officially announce a call for 2015 proposals for a €200-million (£142-million) fund. This follows the €100 million (£71 million) allocated on 19 May to ‘first-of-a-kind’ biorefineries.

Find out more about the Bio-based Industries Consortium.  

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