The European Commission has announced the formation of a public-private partnership worth almost $5 billion (€3.8 billion) over seven years to boost growth and jobs in the European bio-based industrial sector.
The partnership, dubbed BRIDGE for Biobased and Renewable Industries for Development and Growth in Europe, is one of five Joint Technology Initiatives just announced by the European Commission.
The effort, which includes Innovative Medicines 2 as one of the joint technology initiatives, is aimed at maintaining European Union leadership in strategic global technology sectors and increasing the growth of high quality jobs.
BRIDGE brings together the European Commission and the Biobased Industries Consortium, comprising almost 50 European large and small companies, clusters, and organizations across a range of industrial sectors, including agriculture, agro-food, biotech, forestry, pulp and paper, chemicals, and energy. The European Union will commit $1.3 billion (€1 billion) in funding and will leverage $3.7 billion (€2.8 billion) in matching investments from industry to accelerate the deployment of bio-based products in Europe by 2020.
“The emerging bio-based industry sector is set be the game-changer for stimulating smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe,” says Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation, and Science. “By finding commercially viable ways of generating fuel and other products from plants and waste, it will significantly reduce our dependency on oil, help us meet climate change targets, and lead to greener and more environmentally friendly growth.”
BRIDGE targets three key areas for development of a bio-based economy: fostering a sustainable biomass supply and building new feedstock value chains; improving biorefinery processes and building large-scale biorefineries; and developing markets for bio-based products and optimizing policy frameworks. The goal is to to bring the technology to commercial scale and to roll out demonstration and deployment projects across EU member states that will benefit from the new growth and jobs opportunities, especially in rural areas.
“This is the start of a promising future for Europe,” says Feike Sijbesma, CEO of Royal DSM. “The development of biobased industries at the crossroads of agriculture, chemistry ,and energy will enable new value chains and translate the R&D potential into new, innovative, and sustainable bio-based products and markets serving society.”
July 12, 2013