The bioeconomy encompasses the production of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food, feed, bio-based products and bioenergy via innovative and efficient technologies provided by Industrial Biotechnology. It is already a reality and one that offers great opportunities and solutions to a growing number of major societal, environmental and economic challenges, including climate change mitigation, energy and food security and resource efficiency.
The Bioeconomy vision
The ultimate aim of the bioeconomy is to help keep Europe competitive, innovative and prosperous by providing sustainable, smart and inclusive economic growth and jobs, and by meeting the needs of a growing population whilst protecting our environment and resources.
This means an economy based, besides food and feed, increasingly on biomass derived fuel, chemicals, and materials, sustainably sourced and produced, as an alternative to our heavy reliance on finite fossil fuel resources.
Today, the European bioeconomy is already worth more than €2 trillion annually and employs over 22 million people, often in rural or coastal areas and in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)1.
The bioeconomy alone is not a silver bullet for all of society's needs, but it is an important piece of the puzzle in creating a more sustainable future where resources are used in the most efficient way.
How to get there?
At EuropaBio, as leaders in industrial biotechnology we are part of the solution. Through these bio-based industries, EuropaBio's members represent a sector that is a key enabler of the wider bioeconomy. Indeed, the bioeconomy brings together many people, from a broad range of professions and sectors, to create a strong and diverse value chain across Europe including farmers, technology providers, consumer brands, retailers and consumers themselves.
Europe is a leader in the development of the bioeconomy, but competition and interest in this field continues to grow around the globe. We need to act now to develop the skills and infrastructure necessary to ensure that Europe not only retains, but also grows its jobs and scientific excellence in the bioeconomy and that it does not fall behind other competing economies like the US, Brazil or Asia. Biorefineries will be at the centre of the bioeconomy and will contribute to the principles of a «zero waste» society. The concept of biorefineries is analogous to that of petrochemical refinery processes, which produce a wide range of products and fuels from fossil resources. Biorefineries also aim to produce multiple bio-based products and fuels instead using biomass as a carbon source and bio-based processes. The biorefinery concept can be integrated in a wide range of environments, ranging from small-scale plants using agricultural residues in remote rural areas to large plants using waste from surrounding industries and municipalities in a symbiotic manner.
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How can EFIB help?
Industrial Biotechnology is in a rapid development phase, driven by strategic alliances between technology providers, research institutes and raw material suppliers.
The Future of Alliances and Partnerships in Industrial Biotechnology to 2023 is major new report that maps the competitive landscape for industrial biotech, identifies key alliances shaping the industry, and forecasts developments to 2023. It looks at how chemical and raw material giants are linking with boutique technology providers and research/technical institutes, and analyses how this will work, and what will be the business models of the future.