Chairman’s Introduction to BBIA

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Chairman, Andy Sweetman

Our exploitation of the planet’s resources has and continues to fuel economic growth and, overall, a general improvement in the human condition. However, these activities bring responsibilities, which perhaps have been neglected, or ignored, until relatively recently.

The Earth’s resources are finite; its ability to buffer rapid perturbations in the cycling of elements, such as carbon, is being tested to the limit; and so to continue to improve the quality of life for all, a more sustainable economy that is less reliant on fossil resources is essential.

The great promise of the industrial bioeconomy is that it offers a realistic opportunity to make a major contribution to creating a sustainable circular economy, where waste is closer to zero.

It is imperative that the UK leads in leveraging the breadth of possibilities that the bioeconomy offers, not just for the future well-being of the UK population, but for the future of the planet and all its inhabitants.

We believe that bio-based and biodegradable materials have the potential to transform the way we produce and consume goods. By using these materials, we can reduce our reliance on fossil resources and create a more sustainable and circular industrial bioeconomy. At BBIA, we are committed to promoting the use of these materials and to supporting the growth of thew sector.

However, this will not happen spontaneously. We need supportive long-term government policies, investments to nurture academic-industrial partnerships and rapid commercialisation, enhanced access to pilot facilities, and simplified but rigorous regulatory frameworks, to make the UK a world leader.

We cannot afford to be left behind.