BIC General Assembly: Growing Membership Deepens Bioeconomy Cooperation
At 2017 General Assembly, on February 15th, the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) welcomed 16* new Full members and 22 new Associate members, signalling strong European cooperation on the bioeconomy. They join a unique cross-section of experts, including technology providers and representatives from the agriculture, agro-food, forestry, pulp and paper, chemicals, energy and other manufacturing sectors, all working together to develop innovative bio-based value chains.
BIC Executive Director, Dirk Carrez said, “The addition of 38 new members demonstrates confidence in BIC’s ability to drive the European bioeconomy forward by bringing the bio-based industries together. We are excited about our growth, which shows strong industry commitment and support for the BBI JU (Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking).”
The BIC General Assembly was followed by an Open Session where Philippe Mengal, BBI JU Executive Director, reviewed the organisation’s activities. He said, “The BBI JU programme is the catalyst in shifting to a sustainable European bio-based economy. In supporting research and innovation actions, its contribution for the initial three completed Calls is €419 million funding for 36 ongoing projects. As a joint venture between the European Commission and BIC, the BBI JU is helping to create the right conditions for a competitive bio-based industrial sector in Europe.”
Key to BBI JU project success is interregional cooperation, which fosters bio-based technology scale up. The role of regions was the main focus of the General Assembly Open Session, which provided 13 regions with the opportunity to pitch BIC Full and Associate members to explain regional strengths, available biomass and potential financial incentives. Bart Verschoor, from the Zuid-Holland (South Holland) region in the Netherlands, also presented the Vanguard Initiative Bioeconomy Pilot, which is aimed at facilitating the creation of cross-regional demonstration projects using smart specialisation strategies.
BIC is highly committed to working with regional authorities. BIC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Vanguard Initiative in June 2016 and with ERRIN (the European Regions Research and Innovation Network) in November 2014. In October 2016, BIC signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with eight Polish bioregions to develop new bioeconomy partnerships. BIC also collaborates with six European sustainable chemistry ‘model demonstrator regions’ to attract new investments in sustainable chemical production.
*AB InBev, Bedrijfsnetwerk Groene Chemie Drenthe, Cellucomp Ltd., Celtic Renewables, Corbion, Exergy Ltd., Fater, Innoven Srl, Lygos, Micro Algae Solutions, Particula Group, Port of Rotterdam, Spanish BioCluster, TIPA Corp, Transfurans Chemicals, Vertech.
About the Bio-based Industries Consortium
The Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) is a non-profit organisation based in Brussels. It represents the private sector in a public-private partnership (PPP) with the EU on Bio-based Industries (BBI). Worth €3.7 billion, the partnership mobilises investment in innovative facilities and processes that manufacture high-quality bio-based products as well as in biorefining research and demonstration projects.
BIC is host to a unique mix of sectors that currently covers agriculture, agro-food, forestry, pulp and paper, chemicals, energy and other manufacturing sectors. With over 200 members including large companies, SMEs, SME Clusters, RTOs, universities, technology platforms and associations spread across Europe, BIC brings together an authoritative pool of cross-sector and multi-disciplinary expertise in the field of bio-based industries.
The Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) is a Public-Private Partnership between the European Commission and the Bio-based Industries Consortium. Part of the EU’s plan to move to a post-petroleum era, the BBI JU aims to make the EU economy more resource- efficient and sustainable, while supporting growth and employment.
Between 2014 and 2024, the BBI JU will have a total budget of €3.7 billion, with €975 million coming from the European Commission and €2.7 billion from its private partner, BIC. The BBI JU initiative focuses on using Europe’s biomass and wastes to make high-value products and bring them to market. Advanced biorefineries and innovative technologies are at the heart of this process, converting renewable resources into sustainable bio-based chemicals, materials and fuels, allowing the EU to reduce its dependence on finite fossil resources.