We heard different approaches and challenges experienced in the development of bioeconomy strategies and business opportunities. Important messages towards EU policy makers were also expressed and gathered. The third session featured in an interactive discussion about how to unlock bioeconomy markets and investments. The discussion involved the BIG-Cluster – cooperation between Flanders, the Netherlands and North Rhine-Westphalia (Dr. Manfred Kircher), the Province of Drenthe (Roel Haverkate), Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant (Tanja Meyer) presenting the Interreg NWE BioBase4SME project and, BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH (Dominik Patzelt); and was moderated by Marco Rupp from the Bio-based Industries Consortium.
The panellists also addressed the issue of new business models and concepts of the bioeconomy:
- They all shared a common opinion, indicating that a competitive price for most bio-products would lead to new business concepts based on sustainability and better quality.
In this context, as highlighted by Tanja Meyer, new bio-based products could also disrupt the linear value chain. However, their appearance on the market may not necessarily match some users’ needs, for example, of the composting industry dealing with biodegradable plastics. Therefore bio-based material producers should keep in mind to consider who would be the beneficiary of this new circular bio-based value chain.
- Recognising that EU and regional policy can foster the potential of the bioeconomy speakers discussed necessary policy and regulatory changes.
Tanja Meyer emphasized that “regional funding borders need to break down” and called for the opportunity for SMEs to receive regional grants for projects to be implemented abroad. For Dominik Patzelt, new certification and standardization systems that are recognised across national borders should be created.
You can find the full report of the thematic event, together with pictures and all the presentations on ECRN website. The report contains detailed summary of each panel and a short conclusion of the outcomes.
The final Agenda on ECRN can be found here.