Bio-Innovation Support for Entrepreneurs throughout NWE Regions

Project Summary

The BioBase4SME network, representing many leading bio-based economy experts, will advise SMEs from across North-West Europe on how to develop new ideas into marketable products. The BioBase4SME project intends to help Start-ups and SME to overcome technological and non-technological barriers to bring their innovation to market. The project offers:

  • Professional Training
  • Innovation bootcamps
  • Innovation vouchers worth up to €100.000.

The support offered through the voucher system can consist of:

  • Technical assistance such as scale-up to pilot scale
  • Life Cycle Assessment
  • Techno-economic evaluation
  • Market research
  • Feedstock analysis
  • Social acceptance
  • Business planning and business plan support
  • ...

or a combination thereof.

Partners involved are AC3A (France), Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant (Belgium), CLIB2021 (Germany), Ghent Bio-Economy Valley (Belgium), Materia Nova (Belgium), NNFCC (UK), REWIN (NL), TCBB Resource (Ireland). 

In the biobased economy lays a big opportunity for Europe. Locally produced biobased feedstocks rather than imported fossil resources are used to produce materials, chemicals, energy… creating a new knowledge and technology intensive economy with high employment potential and with reduced environmental impact.

“BioBase4SME" expects to bring at least 20 promising innovations closer to the market, resulting in new investments and job creation, and provide training to about 200 entrepreneurs active in the biobased economy, thus boosting their innovation capacity. Other main outputs are a strong, interregional network to guide entrepreneurs towards successful innovation, improved regional support for the biobased economy in terms of innovation and investment climate, legal framework and public approval.”

Project Partners

Lead partner

Organisation Contact name Address Email Website
Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant vzw Lieve Hoflack 1 Rodenhuizekaai
Name Contact Name Email Country
CLIB2021 Cluster Industrielle Biotechnologie e.V. Carolin Lange Germany
Flanders Biobased Valley Sofie Dobbelaere Belgium
REWIN Projecten BV Roel Koevoets Netherlands
Materia Nova Guillaume Wegria Belgium
The National Non-Food Crop Centre Adrian Higson United Kingdom
TCBB RESOURCE Pádraic Ó hUiginn Ireland
Association des Chambres d'Agriculture de l'Arc Atlantique Pascal Dagron France
University of York Margaret Smallwood United Kingdom


Success story: BioBase4SME proudly announces the successful pitches of Flemish SMEs Avecom and Millibeter at the EFIBPitchFest 2016!

Posted on

BioBase4SME offers Bio-Innovation Support for Entrepreneurs throughout North-West Europe. One of the main pillars of this support is coaching, mentoring and training of young and ambitious start-ups and SMEs with the aim to bring their bio-innovations closer to the market. BioBase4SME proudly announces the successful pitches of Flemish SMEs Avecom and Millibeter at the EFIBPitchFest 2016! Read More

Press Release 26.09.2016

Posted on

The European Commission has launched through its INTERREG NWE Programme a three-year project “BioBase4SME” to further support the development of the biobased economy in North West Europe (NWE). The €5.83 million project will help start-ups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to overcome technological and non-technological barriers on their path to turn biobased research into commercial innovation. BioBase4SME offers training, innovation biocamps, workshops and innovation coupons worth up to €100.000. The BioBase4SME partnership includes eight organisations from six different countries. Read More


Meet BioBase4SME @ the 3rd edition of the international Greenwin conference "Green chemistry and White biotechnology: Industry of the future"

, Université de Mons (Grand amphithéâtre : Auditoire Van Gogh); 23, Avenue du Champs de Mars; 7000 Mons

The purpose of the conferences is to take stock of the innovative technology used to boost activities in the fields of green chemistry and white biotechnology around the world, to share knowledge and encourage the creation of new R&D projects involving the academic world, research centres and industrial players in the sector.
Read More

BioBase4SME Workshop: Technology transfer in bioeconomy

, RWI4-Building, Völklinger Str. 4, 40219 Düsseldorf, Germany

This forum event aims to introduce innovative approaches in technology transfer for the bioeconomy, taking into account the specific requirements of life sciences. Therefore the forum will compare diff erent approaches in Germany and the Netherlands and will not only focus on the transfer from lab to industry, but will also take a broader view on open innovation approaches to create favorable conditions to stimulate collaboration between companies.
Read More

BioBase4SME Workshop: New solutions for biobased painting

, UniLaSalle Rouen, 3 Rue du Tronquet, 76130 Mont-Saint-Aignan, France

Pulled by the marketing request, the paint sector is more and more interested in the agro-resources and in "natural" products. The paint market does now offer some products which are partially biobased, but very few 100% biobased paints are available. This workshop will be an opportunity to have a look at what is new in biobased paint.
Read More

Watch the video below (BioBase4SME Pitch, 2.30 minutes) explaining the SERVICES BioBase4SME provides to SMEs. 

Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant (Ghent, Belgium)

is an open innovation pilot and demonstration facility fro process development, scale-up and custom manufacturing of bio-based products and processes from lab to multi ton scale. A wide and flexible spectrum of modular unit operations combined with a team of highly trained and experienced engineers and operators facilitates the translation of lab processes into viable industrial processes.

SERVICES: Technological scale-up and industrial proof-of-concept: Development and scale up of biobased processes i.e. biomass pretreatment, fermentation, biocatalysis, product recovery and purification, if needed under ATEX conditions. The coupon corresponds to a technical feasibility study at pilot scale and can comprise a desktop study, lab work and/or pilot tests performed at Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant. 

Materia Nova (Mons, Belgium)

Research teams in this Material Research and Development Centre are mainly involved in activities linked to biobased products: bioplastics, white biotechnology... It has a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) team that has developed a vast expertise in using LCA tools for evaluating the environmental performance of innovations with the aim to assess at R&D stage the final environmental impacts associated with final product's life of the project.

SERVICES: Life-cycle assessment (LCA) of of biobased processes. Assessment of  environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product's life from cradle to grave (i.e., from raw material extraction through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, and disposal or recycling). LCAs can help SMEs to avoid a narrow outlook on environmental concerns even at R&D or scaling-up stages (e.g. selection of the best environementally friendly pathway to produce).

NNFCC, the bioeconomy consultants (York, UK) 

NNFCC offers a range of market research SERVICES which can be accessed through the BioBase4SME project. NNFCC undertakes market landscape reviews providing information on market size, geographical breakdown, product value, key stakeholders and industry trends. Stakeholder mapping exercises are performed to provide insight into key actors with value chains, supply chains or innovation chains. Stakeholder mapping includes competitor and potential collaborator analysis. NNFCC also offer strategic market reviews covering political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental (PESTLE) considerations, as a basis for trend impact analysis. Strategic reviews are completed with strengths, opportunities, threats and weaknesses (SWOT) analysis and recommendations for next steps. For longer term market research NNFCC are also able to offer horizon scan and scenario planning. 

Association des Chambres d’Agriculture de l’Arc Atlantique, AC3A (Poitiers, France)

AC3A is an expert in Social Acceptance studies and training. Creating new bio products and integrating them in SME’s catalogue has necessary marketing needs. Circular economy thinking new and many people are unfamiliar with. Creating social acceptances can be defined as avoiding neighbourhood opposition against new production lines in their vicinity.

SERVICES: AC3A offers 'social acceptance' training to SMEs and provides them with a complete panel of technologies and marketing tools to obtain social acceptance and thus to inform and consult local stakeholders. Social acceptance is to avoid investments that will be protested against by the neighbourhood thus decreases SME development risks. Moreover it interests the neighbourhood (local customers) in the new products.

REWIN West-Brabant (Breda, The Netherlands)

REWIN West-Brabant is a regional development agency. It will not perform the services itself, but will source ‘Application testing’ from a limited number of sourced partners. In total REWIN intends to make available 100.000 Euro of vouchers with a ‘face value’ of 4.000 Euro each (thus, 25 vouchers in total).

The SERVICES REWIN is looking to offer will be linked to the following innovation capacities (analysis, tests, …):

  • Biopolymers
  • Natural Fibres
  • Natural colors
  • Agricultural breeds / crops
  • Green Chemistry

More details as soon as the public procurement procedure has been finalized.

CLIB2021 (Düsseldorf, Germany)

CLIB2021 is an international open innovation cluster of large companies from the chemical and bio-based industry, SMEs, academic institutes and universities as well as other stakeholders active in industrial biotechnology and the bioeconomy. The membership of the cluster comprises an international share of about 30%. CLIB aims to network its members across value chains within and beyond the cluster to initiate new research and business projects. Another task is to inform policy makers about chances the bioeconomy offers and to signal challenges to overcome. The cluster’s goal is to establish the bioeconomy in industrial application.

SERVICES: In the BioBase4SME project CLIB will be the NWE German contact point and will organise workshops as well as trainings on specific topics (see our events page).

Flanders Biobased Valley (Ghent, Belgium)

is a non-profit organisation supporting the development of sustainable biobased activities and resulting economic growth in the region of Ghent, Belgium. Ghent Bio-Economy Valley promotes the development of the biobased economy of the future through collaborative programs, joint initiatives and synergy creation between the partners in the fields of Research & Development, structural measures and policy, industrial integration and communication towards the general public.

SERVICES: Within BioBase4SME, GBEV will the Flemish contact point (Bio-Innovation Agent) and will organise workshops as well as trainings on specific topics (see our events page).


TCBB RESOURCE will operate two central pre-pilot test lines at an integrated pre-pilot facility to provide advanced anaerobic digestion and pyrolysis tests. These test lines will be available in a co-located facility allowing for integrated pre-pilot testing, using both advanced anaerobic digestion and pyrolysis to assist innovators with preliminary process development, scale-up and validation (TRL4) prior to engaging sophisticated pilot plant resources for final process optimisation. TCBBB RESOUCE will provide industrial proof of concept tests bringing biobased developments from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4 (validated in lab) up to TRL 6 (demonstrated in a relevant environment). Basic research and commercialisation are thus excluded.

The SERVICES at the integrated pre-pilot will be of benefit to the following SME sectors across all of the North-West Europe region: e.g. dairy processing facilities for low-temperature, high-rate AD wastewater treatment; cheese producers for whey by-products for functional foods and nutraceuticals; apple and other fruit processors (fruit pulp); brewers; marine and sea fisheries sector; forestry wastes and by-products.

DOWNLOAD here the folder on the Irish Pre-Pilot Facility.  

The University of York (UK)

The University of York is a world leader in research on novel agricultural products and green chemistry with a particular focus on second generation fuels & chemicals, high value chemicals from from plants and microbes and adding value to biowaste. Its subsiduary, the Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC) bridges the gap between the science base at the University of York and the needs of industry to develop and scale-up new greener processes and products. The University and the BDC are both founding members of the the innovation cluster, BioVale, which helps regional enterprise profit from the valuable business opportunities in the knowledge-based bioeconomy. 

The University of York is responsible for design and delivery of Innovation Biocamps. These are aimed at young, innovative companies with high growth potential which are operating in the knowledge based bioeconomy. The Biocamps comprise a week of intensive training, mentoring and peer to peer learning, culminating in a pitch to a panel of specialist investors. 


BioBase4SME offers professional innovation support services to SMEs and start-ups, active in the bio-economy.

These support services also include a number of specific TrainingsInnovation Bio-camps and Workshops. The exact topic, date and location for these events still needs to be determined, so keep a close eye on our events calendar.


1. Diverse 'free' training events on e.g.

  • Market research and legal framework
  • Best practices in social acceptance
  • Life Cycle Analysis
  • Business plan development

2. Specific training via the Innovation Coupon system: For more information, take a look at our INNOVATION COUPON webpage.


INNOVATION BIO-CAMPS: one week events that submerge the participant in successful innovating. Topics, dates and locations tba, keep a close eye on our events calendar.


WORKSHOPS on specific topics (tbd): During these workshops, success stories are shown and participants will have the opportunity to meet potential partners, clients and service providers. Topics, dates and locations tba, keep a close eye on our events calendar.


To find out more about our events, consult the event page on our website or contact your regional Bio-Innovation Agent.

Within BioBase4SME, innovation coupons are offered to SME’s and start-ups. These coupons provide access to innovation services for obtaining proof-of-concept of a promising biobased technology, and for developing a strong business strategy. The offered services can be summarized as follows:

Service provider   Short service description

Service value (€)

% of support 

Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant (BE) Technological scale-up and industrial proof-of-concept in a multipurpose pilot plant. For lab to kilo or ton scale.

Max of 100.000€

50% supported by the project

Materia Nova (BE)  Life Cycle Analysis

Max of 25.000€

50% supported by the project

NNFCC, the bioeconomy consultants (UK) Market research, Value chain assessment, Business plan coaching

Max. of 10.000€

50% supported by the project

Association des Chambres d'Agriculture de l'Arc Atlantique (FR) Creating social acceptance for innovative investments

Max of 25.000€

50% supported by the project

REWIN projecten BV (NL) Testing of new biomass as feedstock, application testing for fibers, colorants and coatings

Max. 4000€

100% supported by the project

TCBB RESOURCE (IE) Anaerobic digestion tests and pyrolysis tests in dedicated pilot lines 50% supported by the project

1. Who can apply for an Innovation Coupon?

All small and medium enterprises (SME’s), and potential start-ups from North West Europe can apply. An SME is an enterprise with less than 250 employees and a revenue of at most €50 million. Potential start-ups are defined as 'almost SMEs with a promising technology and a concrete spin-out plan.

Please, carefully read the 'Terms of reference' for all information on criteria, conditions, application and selection procedure.


2. How to apply for an Innovation Coupon?

The call is continuously open from 1/9/2016 until 1/10/2018 (while coupons for the specific service lasts; first come first served)

Contact the BIO-INNOVATION AGENT in your region. He/she will guide you through the process and can assist you in completing the short application form. 


3. Important documents:

You can download all important documents by clicking on the links below:


"BioBase4SME expects to bring at least 20 promising innovations closer to the market, resulting in new investments and job creation, and provide training to about 200 entrepreneurs active in the biobased economy, thus boosting their innovation capacity. Other main outputs are a strong, interregional network to guide entrepreneurs towards successful innovation, improved regional support for the biobased economy in terms of innovation and investment climate, legal framework and public approval.”


BioBase4SME is a follow-up of the highly successful Bio Base NWE project. This three-year (2013-2015) project mentored 755 companies in total and granted 30 Innovation Coupons worth €10-30.000 for technological assistance to SMEs and Start-ups. The work done within the innovation coupons scheme created a substantial leverage effect: up to €71million of investments and the creation of 320 new jobs in the biobased economy in the coming years.

Click here to watch the Bio Base NWE video.



Bio-Innovation Agents and other relevant contacts:
Our network of Bio-Innovations Agents acts as your access point to the BioBase4SME project. You can contact them regarding anything related to the BioBase4SME project: training, bio-camps, workshops, innovation vouchers...



Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant

  • BioBase4SME Project Manager: Lieve Hoflack – +32 (0)494 47 68 68
  • BioBase4SME Communication Manager: Katrien Molders – +32 (0)486 951 109
  • Services: Process development and scale-up incl. techno-economic evaluation, networking

Flanders Biobased Valley

  • BIO-INNOVATION AGENT for Flanders: Sofie Dobbelaere – +32 (0)9 264 59 05
  • Services: Networking, Trainings, Workshops

Materia Nova

  • BIO-INNOVATION AGENT for Wallonia: Guillaume Wégria – +32 (0)484 13 90 07
  • Services: Life-Cycle Assessment, Trainings, Workshops




  • BIO-INNOVATION AGENT for France: Pascal Dagron  – +33 (0)253 466 257
  • Services: Social acceptance, Trainings, Workshops




  • BIO-INNOVATION AGENT for Germany: Carolin Lange – +49 (0)211 679 31 34
  • Services: Networking, Trainings, Workshops



TCBB Resource 

  • BIO-INNOVATION AGENT for Ireland: Bart Bonsall – +353 (0)86  241 3081
  • Services: pilot equipment for anaerobic digestion and pyrolysis, trainings, workshops




  • BIO-INNOVATION AGENT for The Netherlands: Roel Koevoets – +31 (0)6 226 639 34
  • Services: Application testing, trainings, workshops, networking




  • BIO-INNOVATION AGENT for UK: Lucie Montgomery – +44 (0)1904 435182
  • Services: Market research, feedstock analysis, business plan support, trainings, workshops, innovation bootcamps, networking

Share this

Tweet Share