Europe’s $4.7 billion biobased industries Initiative: The 5-Minute Guide

July 10, 2013 |

BRIDGE-Partners-smIt’s the biggest, boldest and most sophisticated biobased initiative ever launched.

Curious how European governments and industrial partners plan to invest $4.7 billion in a comprehensive biobased initiative between now and 2020 — but lack the stomach for hundreds of pages of details?

Try our 5-Minute Guide, with the follow-up links and the “news you can use” — goals, financing, partners, deliverables, project examples — and reaction from the players.

In Belgium, the European Commission proposed a $4.87 billion (€3.8 billion) Public Private Partnership on Biobased Industries, in order to accelerate the commercialization of biobased products in Europe.

The European Commission will invest $1.28 billion (€1 billion) and industry $3.59 billion (€2.8 billion), from 2014 to 2020, to boost market uptake of new biobased products that are “made in Europe”.

According to the group’s strategic vision document, BRIDGE (“Biobased and Renewable Industries for Development and Growth in Europe”): “New biomass supply chains will be developed to feed new integrated biorefineries while existing biorefineries will be brought to a new level: to secure feedstock availability and flexibility throughout the year, with multiple inputs and multiple outputs. These developments will gradually complement and replace product streams from fossil oil and provide
innovative new products and solutions and markets.

“However, critical technological, political and market challenges remain before full-scale commercialization of the innovations can succeed and innovative solutions are brought to the market. Another fundamental challenge is the innovation “Valley of Death”, from research to market. These challenges cannot be overcome by individual companies or the industry alone.”

Food and feed, chemicals, materials and energy

“BRIDGE recognizes that biomass is not an unlimited resource. It must be utilized intelligently, to ensure that additional uses of biomass do not compromise the ability to produce food in sufficient quality and quantity. By doing so, the PPP will ensure availability of a sustainable and secure supply of biomass both for food and feed applications as well as for chemicals, materials, fuels and energy.


The partnership promotes the use of various sources of sustainable biomass and waste to produce everyday products such as food, feed, chemicals and fuels. The use of local biomass and waste will generate growth and jobs in rural areas across European regions, while reducing the EU’s reliance on fossil fuels, thereby offering sustainable alternatives to oil-based products and enhancing energy and food security.

The PPP is part of the European Commission’s Innovation Investment Package that was released today. The PPP is expected to start its activities in early 2014 following approval from EU Member States.

10 Key Goals of the initiative

1. BRIDGE aims to contribute to put 15% of this underutilized land back into production or at least be better utilized in 2020 (35% by 2030);
2. Current EU biomass utilisation for food, feed and materials is 1100 Mton. The amount of biomass used in the EU for energy and material uses is estimated to amount to 500 Mton.
The PPP results will contribute to achieve 10% increase in biomass supply in Europe by 2020 (20% by 2030)
3. Current unused by-products and wastes from various biobased sources (agriculture, forestry, waste water treatment, sludge, organic household waste, yard waste, food processing waste, debarking waste) amount to a total of 2.8 bn tons/year in the EU. BRIDGE activities will stimulate the mobilisation and utilisation of these potential resources to be increased to 15% of the total amount in 2020 (25% in 2030).
4. Up to 400.000 new skilled jobs in 2020 (700.000 by 2030), of which more than 80% will be in rural and today underdeveloped areas
5. 15% reduced import of protein (e.g. soy) for feedin Europe in 2020 (50% by 2030).

6. Optimisation of soil fertility programmes including recovery and use of phosphate and potash,
as triggered by the PPP activities, will lead to a 10% reduced import of those components for fertilizers applied to
feedstock production (25% by 2030);
7. 20% of the chemicals and materials production in Europe will be biobased by 2020 (30% to 2030) – up from 10 percent today.
8. By 2020 at least 2% of Europe’s transport energy demand will be met by sustainable advanced biofuels (25% in 2030)
9. At least 5 first-of-its-kind flagship plants will be realized to optimize technology for biomass conversion and ensure price-competitiveness for a second wave of commercial production to kick-in from 2017.
10. The market supplied by biobased polymers and composites at comparable quality-price ratio compared to the fossil alternatives will be 5 times higher than today (factor 10 in 2030)


19 Direct Deliverables for 2020

1. 36 new cross-sector interconnections in biobased economy clusters
2. At least 10 new biobased value chains (new products and feedstock);
3. Realising a total industrial investment of 2.8 bn Euro by the PPP partners
4. More than 200 cooperation projects through cross-industry clusters;
5. The new biobased products rwill on average have an at least 50% reduction on greenhouse gas emission compared to their fossil alternatives;

6. 10 new regional biorefinery clusters raised
7. 10 conversion of existing and unused facilities into biorefineries;
8. At least 5 flagships resulting from BRIDGE, cost-competitive to the alternatives based on fossil resources
9. 5 to 10 new/innovative biomass species varieties;
10. 10% higher mobilisation of forest biomass by innovative technologies;


11. 10% higher biomass yield by combining innovative cultivation methods with the regional most suitable crop rotation;
12. 15% increase of harvested biomass per unit of fertilizer;
13. 15% increase in the water use efficiency by adapted crop rotations and management practices.
14. 5 new building blocks based on biomass of European origin validated at demonstration scale, (10 in 2030)
15. 10 functionalized chemicals and materials developed, with demonstration of their economic feasibility

16. 5 successfully demonstrated concepts for valorisation of proteins from plant residues;
17. 50 new biobased materials (eg. such as specialty fibres, plastics, composites and packaging solutions);
18. 30 new demonstrated ‘consumer’ products based on biobased chemicals and materials;
19. 5 new biodegradable, compostable or recyclable bio based products and materials for short life application.

How will it be managed?

Projects are selected through open and competitive calls for proposals. The best proposals will be selected based on independent peer review and concluded by formal funding agreements. The new JTI will be managed by a dedicated Joint Undertaking whose Governing Board comprising an equal number of European Commission and BIC representatives will take funding decisions.


Project example

The EUROBIOREF project is an example of what could be undertaken on a more
comprehensive scale under the new BBI JTI.

Working with a €23 million EU contribution, EUROBIOREF was set up to demonstrate a biorefinery that: handles multiple types of biomass, such as oil plants, lignocellulosics (e.g. grasses, willow), and agricultural and forestry residues; processes them in multiple ways (chemical, biochemical, thermochemical); and produces multiple high added value bio-based products, (e.g. chemicals, biopolymers and aviation biofuels).

Ambitious targets have been set: 30% improvement in cost-efficiency; 30% reduction in energy use; and zero waste production.

More information on EUROBIOREF here:

Value chain Flagship Example

A flagship that Converts 400 000 tons of straw, 650,000 tons of manure and 50.000 tons of municipal solid waste into 73 million litres of bioethanol and about 99 million cubic meters of biogas (of which 76 million cubic metres of biogas will be upgraded and fed into the natural gas grid). In addition, district heating for approx. 10-20 000 households and electricity equivalent to 15-25,000 households’ consumption will be produced.


Activities 2014 through 2020

• Value chain demonstration projects (Technology Readiness Level levels 4 to 6)
• Flagship projects (Demonstrator activities corresponding to TRL levels 7-8)
• R&D projects focused on filling the gaps in technological innovations
• Supporting projects, addressing the cross-cutting challenges and supporting the value chains.


Direct SME partners

• CLEA Technologies
• Biobase Europe Pilot Plant
• Direvo – Engineering Biomass
• Biorefinery Process Facilities
• BIONET Ingenieria

SMEs in Clusters

There are four cluster-members in BIC: IAR, GFP, DBC and CLIB2021.

GFP – German Federation of Private Plant Breeders — A cluster of 60 German plant breeders of which 2/3 is SMEs

IAR (“Industries et Agro-ressources”) cluster, France — 90 SMEs represented including Deinove, YNSECT, Omega Cat System, Maguin, Alderys

Dutch Biorefinery Cluster — Coldenhove Papier and Meerssen Papier; Several SMEs in the Product Board Arable Products and the Product Board Horticultural Products.

Biobased Innovations — 5 SMEs in biobased innovations, 13 SMEs in biofunctionals

CLIB2021 Cluster Industrial Biotechnology, Germany — 26 PPP-relevant SME members from Germany, EU27 and other countries represented

Production Facilities of current members

Below an overview is given from the production facilities of the current BIC members:

• Billerud: Lithuania
• Borregaard: Czech Republic
• Cargill: Poland
• Clariant: Czech Republic, Poland
• Holmen: Estonia
• Metsä Group: Poland, Slovak Republic, Estonia
• Mondi: Slovakia (2x), Czech Republic (5x), Bulgaria (1x), Poland (11x), Hungary (3x)
• Nordzucker: Lithuania, Poland, Slovak Republic, Czech Republic
• Roquette: Bulgaria, Estonia, Romania
• SCA: Poland, Slovak Republic
• Smurfit Kappa: Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania
• Stora Enso: Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland
• Südzucker: Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovak Republic, Czech Republic
• Tereos (via IAR): 5 plants in Czech Republic
• Siclae (via ARD), via its subsidiaries: Hungary, Romania and Poland
• Sofiproteol (via IAR): Romania
• UPM: Poland, Estonia
• Unilever: Czech Republic, Romania


In today’s Digest, we look at research organizations associated with the effort, plus we have links to a 2-page and 48-page summary of the Initiative and reaction from the key players — all via the page links below.

Prev1 of 2
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: ,

Category: Top Stories

Thank you for visting the Digest.