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Europe plants €3.7bn in biobased economy
09
Jul '14
Every single day the world uses almost 100 million barrels of oil – an addiction to a non-renewable energy source that has proven difficult to break. Just about anything that is not iron, steel or metal of some sort has some petrochemical component – take shampoo, the rubber in sneakers, plastic bottles, the fuel in the tank – or the fibers in a car seat.
 
Today, however, the most promising replacement to the fossil-based society is taking a European leap forward. Alongside industry representatives, European Commission President Barroso and Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Geoghegan-Quinn announce in Brussels the formal launch of a €3.7 billion Public-Private Partnership (PPP) on biobased industries.
 
Immediately, substantial investments in biobased products and fuels sourced locally and "Made in Europe" will be initiated using the continent’s untapped biomass and wastes as feedstock to make fossil-free and greener everyday products. All while creating jobs, sparking rural growth, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
 
“Europe is not ahead of the curve when it comes to realizing the immense potential around the creation of the biobased economy – the only viable alternative to our current oil-based society,” says Peder Holk Nielsen, President and CEO of Novozymes, who is representing the emerging industry on the ground in Brussels. 
 
“With this unprecedented public-private commitment, however, we demonstrate that EU wants to take the lead in this transition towards a biobased economy. For Europeans, it is an opportunity to secure thousands of rural jobs and sustainable growth in our regions, while reversing the investment trends currently going to other parts of the world.”
 
A leap forward on the biobased economy
Between 2014 and 2024, the €3.7 billion will be injected into the European economy to develop an emerging sector of the bioeconomy, biobased industries. In 2014 and 2015 alone, more than €250 million will come from the European Commission, with the private sector expected to contribute nearly three times as much.
 
Through financing research and innovation projects, the PPP will create new partnerships between sectors such as agriculture/agrofood, chemicals, energy, pulp and paper, and technology providers.


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