The Industrial Biotech Research and Innovation Platforms Centre – towards Technological Innovation and solid foundations for a growing industrial biotech sector in Europe (BIO-TIC) has launched its ‘final roadmap for tackling barriers to industrial biotechnology in Europe’.
The roadmap, ‘A roadmap to a thriving industrial biotechnology sector in Europe’ was introduced at the organisation’s policy conference ‘From bugs to business: Unlocking the Bioeconomy in Europe’ held at the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts in Brussels in June.
According to BIO-TIC, the EU market for biotechnology-derived products is predicted to rise from €28 billion (£20.1 billion) in 2013 to €50 billion (£36 billion) in 2050, driven predominantly by the replacement of hydrocarbon-based materials.
Despite the potential growth of the market, the centre argues that ‘significant hurdles’ remain that hamper the development of industrial biotechnology in Europe. Primarily, products are not cost-effective in Europe compared to fossil alternatives, or equivalent products from elsewhere in the world.
To tackle this and other issues, BIO-TIC has identified 10 actions that could help realise the potential of the European industrial biotechnology market. They are:
- improve opportunities for feedstock producers within the bioeconomy;
- investigate the scope for using novel biomass;
- develop a workforce that can maintain Europe’s competitiveness in industrial biotechnology;
- introduce a long-term, stable and transparent policy and incentive framework to promote the bioeconomy;
- improve public perception and awareness of industrial biotechnology and biobased products;
- identify, leverage and build upon EU capabilities for pilot and demonstration facilities;
- promote the use of co-products;
- improve the bioconversion and downstream processing steps;
- improve access to financing for large scale biorefinery projects; and
- develop stronger relationships between conventional and non-conventional players in the value chain.
Roadmap highlights ‘huge potential’ of circular EU bioeconomy
Speaking of the recommendations, Nathalie Moll, Secretary General of EuropaBio, the project’s coordinator said: “We are thrilled to see BIO-TIC come to fruition. The roadmap represents a comprehensive summary of expertise and insight from across the member states.
“In 10 recommendations, it highlights ways of capturing the huge potential for environmental, societal and economic solutions that this cutting-edge technology offers in the development of a more competitive, circular EU bioeconomy.”
Find out more about BIO-TIC’s roadmap.