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Qmilch bags 'Innovation Award' at Bio-based material forum
Apr '14
160 participants from more than 20 countries came together at the 7th International Conference on Bio-based Materials. The first day featured policy and strategy as well as biorefineries. Bio-based building blocks, polymers and composites gained centre stage at the second day, and start-ups presented their latest inventions at the third day of the conference.
The participants chose the winner of the Innovation Award at the first day. Qmilch Germany GmbH (DE) won first place, followed by fischerwerke GmbH & Co.KG (DE). Two companies shared third place: Hemp Eco Systems SA (CH) and ZinCo GmbH (DE).
The “7th International Conference on Bio-based Materials” provided major players from the European bio-based chemical, plastics and composite industries with an opportunity to present and discuss their latest developments and strategies. Representatives of political bodies and associations had a say alongside leading companies. For the first time, the conference featured a third day dedicated to start-up companies to put them in touch with investors and industry. 
It is one of the biggest conferences worldwide and provided also this year an excellent platform for networking with more than 160 participants from all over the world and an exhibition. 
One highlight of the conference was the presentation of the first few operational European biorefineries and a status report on industrial biotechnology. The bio-based economy, and especially the area of bio-based materials, is one of the key drivers of innovative and sustainable development of the economy and industry as a whole. Bio-based plastics and their building blocks are the true centre of attention. 
More and more companies are entering this field, and Europe is one of the key regions – but it is under great pressure from Asia as well as North and South America. Sponsored by BIOTEC and InfraServ Knapsack the 7th International Conference on Bio- Based Materials presented the leading players in this race to establish a European bio-based economy for the future. The presentations held up the high standard of former years, giving deep insight on the present state and future vision of biomass-based products.
A new framework is needed to build a strong and innovative European bio-based economy – and this includes policies, investments and companies. Although European companies are among the biggest and most innovative companies in the world, particularly in the chemical and polymer industry, various barriers and hurdles must be overcome. 
The right frameworks and well-thought-out ideas are needed to create a perfect backbone for the development of this future economy. Leading experts presented and discussed their policies, strategies and visions for Europe’s bio-based future.

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