26 Mar 2018

Greenovate! Europe brings innovation to the bio-based economy

The project Greenovate! Europe provides support services to innovative research laboratories, technology developers and investors in the bio-based economy sector.

Bio-based economy is not the only field Greenovate! Europe possess expertise in, they support many other technologies and services that have a positive effect on the environment in transport, water, electricity and sustainable buildings.

They currently offer the experience of over 500 innovation advisors and 2,000 technical experts from 14 European countries.

Their involvement in the bio-based economy sees them support the development of bio-based materials, processes and products throughout their life-cycle whilst their expertise also covers life-cycle assessments, market analysis, business development and dissemination and communication.

Innovation in the bioeconomy conference 2018

Greenovate! Europe and will be hosting, Innovation in the bioeconomy conference alongside ButaNexT.

Having supported and worked with many bioeconomy projects, Greenovate! Europe has organised a conference to overcome the barriers for sustainable bio-based products and biofuels.

The event will be taking place in Brussels on the 12th April 2018 and will be focused on the sustainable use and widespread uptake of biomass. The one-day event will include talks from some leading industry experts on topics including: Market uptake of agricultural biomass, and European regulatory framework for the future of the bio-economy and the biofuels. There will also be a poster session hosting several other EU-funded projects in the same field before closing the day with a fruitful panel discussion which will address market barriers.

Greenovate! Europe invite you all to attend, share your views and discuss how to help the future bio-based solutions.

For more information on the event and how to register, click here!

22 Mar 2018

New biotechnology equipment receives huge support

On 19th February 2018, Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant (BBEPP) in Ghent, Belgium hosted an event to celebrate their new state-of-the-art infrastructure and equipment for companies that want to scale up bio-based processes at an industrial scale.

An investment of €9,36 million was made to BBEPP inaugurated by Europe, Flanders, Province of East-Flanders and the City of Ghent. The money was to go towards the new research infrastructure for gas fermentation and downstream processing that will make Flanders the worldwide testbed for innovative and sustainable technologies.

Gas fermentation is an innovative technology for converting waste gases such as CO2 and syngas into a wide range of chemicals using micro-organisms. It is a sustainable technology with great potential to stop global warming.

The event saw an outstanding 700 participants attend, confirming the need for such facilities that help industry to develop more environmentally friendly and efficient processes.

The task force at BBEPP also plays a huge role in the Rehap project as they are responsible for upscaling the extraction of tannin and lignin from bark residues for the evaluation of bio-based resins in the Rehap project. The new, larger equipment will increase the capacity two-fold. (A more detailed description of BBEPP's involvement with Rehap can be found on the Rehap website)

Flemish Minister for Economy and Innovation Philippe Muyters:

The need for this new scale-up infrastructure was clear: companies are anxious to work with the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant. Understandably, as this pilot plant lowers barriers for companies in two ways. They are a key factor for developing innovative processes at an industrial scale, helping companies to avoid risky investments. Even better is that they are also an ideal promoter of cooperation: companies, research centres and other partners meet in the pilot plant and are encouraged to think together about sustainable solutions for the bio-based economy.

Christophe Peeters, Schepen voor Innovatie van de Stad Gent:

The Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant is an important link in the bio-based ecosystem of Ghent and is crucial for the further development of Ghent as a knowledge region and the expansion of our very strong cleantech and biotech cluster. The conversion of waste materials into raw materials and the closing of production loops are cornerstones for a sustainable innovation policy: in view of the importance of this pilot facility, the City of Ghent is happy to co-invest in its expansion.

Martine Verhoeve, Gedeputeerde van de Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen:

From the very beginning in 2009, the provincial government strongly supported the construction of the pilot plant. We strongly believed in the potential of pilot infrastructure for the bio-based economy. Today, it is fantastic to see how the pilot plant is supported by many partners and realises unique collaborations. We have every reason to be proud of such a state-of-the-art research infrastructure in our region.

(Source: www.bbeu.org/pilotplant/press-release-19-02-2018-europe-flanders-province-of-east-flanders-and-the-city-of-ghent-inaugurate-an-investment-of-e9-36-million-at-the-bio-base-europe-pilot-plant/)

16 Mar 2018

Parliament vote on biomass future

On 17th January 2018 the European Parliament voted to continue backing bioenergy throwing a significant lifeline to the biomass industry.

The biomass and bionenergy industries saw the vote as a positive step with the European biomass association AEBIOM secretary general, Jean-Marc Jossart adding, “This approach will allow solid biomass to keep playing a key role in the European Energy transition.”

The importance of biomass was continued to be recognised as the biggest form of renewable energy in Europe as the vote significantly backed the biomass-to-energy sector. The favour won a 35% renewable energy target by 2030 for the second Renewable Energy Directive (RED II).

A ‘risk-based’ approach, which was supported in the vote, takes into account existing legislation and tools on sustainable forest management and highlights the EU’s determination to use the potential of biomass materials for future sustainability. Woody biomass is a readily available alternative to fossil fuels and this step recognises the how important forests are in tackling climate.

At Rehap, the project is aimed at turning agricultural and forestry waste into novel materials for the green building sector and has the potential to have a big impact on the fossil fuel emissions of the construction industry. The project is looking to reduce CO2 emissions by 54 per cent using agroforestry waste as a petroleum-based alternative.

Although the decision is not yet legally binding as Parliament will need to negotiate the plan with national governments, for Rehap and for the many other projects in the bioenergy and biomass sectors, the recent policy update offers a clearer future on sustaining forest biomass sourcing as a way of reaching the EU’s energy efficiency targets.