IB is an increasingly important area in Europe for building a sustainable bioeconomy.

The European Commission’s Maria Fernandez Gutierrez (Research Programme Officer, DG Research and Innovation, E2 Biotechnologies) and EuropaBio’s Joanna Dupont-Inglis gave presentations on policy and funding for IB respectively, providing delegates with the latest developments.

Biotechnology Policy Update from the European Commission

The event began with welcome remarks from Maria Fernandez Gutierrez, who is the Project Officer for many of the FP7 projects in the IB field, including KYROBIO and BIONEXGEN. Maria provided an insightful update from a biotechnology policy perspective and echoed that building a sustainable bioeconomy for Europe was an EU priority and the key enabling technologies (KET’s) within the EU policy agenda were highlighted.

Maria’s presentation can be downloaded here and provided a summary of Biotechnology in Europe:

• The potential contribution of IB to Gross Value Added to date is in the €50-60 billion range globally and is estimated to total €300 billion by 2030

• Europe is the world leading producer of enzymes

• Europe is heading the implementation of Industrial Biotechnology (IB) for fine chemicals

• Nearly 70% of the IB R&D expenditure by leading companies worldwide is spent by European firms Maria shared some highlights of IB financing in FP7 under the KBBE programme. With a total EU contribution of approximately €600m over 137 projects, of which IB has a share of €118m over 28 projects, the following chart illustrates how the EU contributions are segmented.

Joanna Dupont-Inglis (EuropaBio) set the scene by introducing the national and regional funding schemes in H2020 totalling €1,000b. Of this, Horizon 2020 constitutes €70b and cascaded down from that is the Bio-based industry initiative.  Some of the key changes of H2020 c.f. FP7 is a shift from knowledge oriented, academic centred research to an impact oriented, business centred focus coupled with a simplified administrative and rule framework process.

Joanna’s presentation can be downloaded here and highlighted a 3 pillar structure with specific areas where IB could play an important role:

Joanna provided an introduction and update to the Public Private Partnership on Bio-based Industries (BBI), which aims to realise the bio-based economy potential in Europe. The main EU challenge:

  • Overcoming the innovation and deployment gap
  • Europe’s ability to commercialise / produce high value products lies in its ability to reach demonstration scale of advanced biorefineries to mature technologies

The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) is between the Bio-based Industries Consortium and the EU with a joint commitment of €3.8 billion over 2014-2020, spent through multi-annual funding programmes for bio-based projects.

The PPP will focus on:

  • Building new interconnections between different sectors
  • Building new bio-based value chains (from feedstock to products)
  • Establishing new co-operations throughout industry clusters
  • Developing innovative and sustainable bio-based chemicals and materials with locally sourced biomass and validated at demonstration scale
  • At least 5 flagships resulting from the PPP producing new bio-based materials, chemicals and fuels which have proven to become cost-competitive to the alternatives based on fossil resources
More information on the Bio-based Industries PPP can be found here http://www.bbi-europe.eu/