Tag Archives: bioeconomy

Second Life Sciences Sector Deal Published

In August 2017, a coalition of industry and charity partners, led by Professor Sir John Bell, published a report into the life sciences industry – Life Sciences: Industrial Strategy – setting out recommendations for the UK life sciences industry. The report outlined the significant competitive advantages the UK possesses, as well as areas where key developments could fix issues which have slowed down growth. In response to this report, the government published the first Life Sciences Sector Deal, a key component of the Industrial Strategy. Read more

JRC Bioeconomy Knowledge Centre Launched

​The European Commission has launched a new Joint Research Centre (JRC) Bioeconomy Knowledge Centre (BKC). The BKC is the fourth Knowledge Centre to be launched by the JRC in recent years and aims to bring information and data from a wide variety of sources together in one place, in an open format. In doing so, the BKC aims to help provide a more coherent picture of knowledge on the bioeconomy across Europe, as well as identify gaps and bring information closer to the general public and policy makers. Following on from the work of the JRC Bioeconomy Observatory, it is hoped that the BKC will play a key role in the development of EU policies in the short, medium and long term. Read more

David Newman, BBIA report on EFIB

David Newman, BBIA Managing Director, attended EFIB 2016 in Glasgow and sends this report as the event comes to a close on 20 October.

The EFIB event was a well-organised and interesting overview of the bioeconomy landscape – in the UK, Europe and with contributions from the USA. Three days of workshops and seminars illustrated some of the new technological developments the sector is seeing rapidly adopted, with announcements regarding new investments, products and plant.

The strength of innovation in Scotland itself became evident with the government determined to back bioeconomy industries wanting to build infrastructure there. Scotland is poised to take the leading role within the UK in this sector, along with the Teesside region’s historic chemical industry hub.

Need for bioeconomy strategy in the UK

Whilst Scotland has a clear bioeconomy strategy and is implementing it, the UK as a whole lacks one still, and this delay has led to promising start-ups and researchers with intellectual property building their plants elsewhere.

Croda’s new $150m facility is being built in the USA and Akzonobel’s €180m facility in Rotterdam, because support, markets, political certainty and feedstocks in these locations offer a stronger case for investment.

But all is not lost. Mark Turner from BEIS this week outlined the development of thinking on the bioeconomy strategy and informed us that the government would probably announce in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement (in November) the publication of Green and White papers, with policy consultation, on the bioeconomy. He strongly recommends we all request to take part and we can do this now by writing to BEIS asking to be included in the consultation. Please do so.

Circular Economy Package progress

Elsewhere, presentations from European Commission officials underlined how the debate is moving forward on the Circular Economy Package. The discussion is very dynamic, moving from the Commission to the Parliament and the European Council.

We can expect a final version of the Waste Framework Directive not before the end of 2017. Policy discussions are intense over questions that affect our sector, notably the segregated collection of biowaste, and the definition of which materials can be considered as compatible with biowaste collections (such as bioplastics).

European, and national, funding still plentiful

One message has come across strongly: there is a lot of government and EU funding available for bioeconomy projects, whether within Horizon 2020, the BBI JU or national funds through vouchers given by NNFCC, LBNet or others.

The European Commission officials also confirmed that for the next funding round in 2017, the UK has the same opportunity to obtain funding as it always has had. Until the Brexit negotiations are completed, nothing will change on this.

Perhaps this is the moment when the British government will see the opportunities in bioeconomy investments and stimulate these through the sort of policies adopted elsewhere. Strong support among the audience was given to policies on green public procurement, to forceful interventions on biowaste collections policy, to re-writing end-of-waste regulations to allow new technologies to enter the market, and to cross-sectorial thinking and planning.

BBIA will continue to give its support to policymakers to make the case for bioeconomy investments in the UK, and I hope we can count upon your support and contribution in doing so.

David Newman
Managing Director, BBIA

£10M Bioeconomy Growth Fund for York, North Yorkshire and East Riding

A £10M Bioeconomy Growth Fund for York, North Yorkshire and East Riding

The Bioeconomy Growth Fund is being made available to the sector which provides a low carbon, renewable alternative to our fossil fuel based economy. The sector covers everything from forestry, agriculture, horticulture, food, drinks, and water utilities to name just a few. It will provide industry with the financial support needed to build innovative commercial infrastructure for the growth of bioeconomy supply chains. To be eligible for the funding, the proposals must be for capital projects with a minimum value of £1,000,000. Match funding will need to be provided by the applicants.

For more information please see http://www.businessinspiredgrowth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/BGF-application-processv4.pdf

New BBSRC report on the Bioeconomy

New BBSRC report on the Bioeconomy

The 26th July marked the launch of an assessment of evidence on the contribution of, and growth opportunities in, the bioeconomy in the United Kingdom.
The bioeconomy includes all economic activity derived from bio-based products and processes such as the production of crops or the manufacture of the latest bio-based medical therapies. These contribute to sustainable and resource-efficient solutions to the challenges we face in food, chemicals, materials, energy production, health and environmental protection.
“Evidencing the Bioeconomy” is an evidence-based review of both the contribution of the bioeconomy to the UK economy and the prospects for growth. The report was commissioned by BBSRC and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Important findings include:
The bioeconomy is a significant sector for the overall UK economy: In 2014 the whole bioeconomy generated approximately £220Bn in Gross Value Added (GVA) and supported 5.2 million jobs. This was 13.6% of total GVA and is similar to the combined value of the construction and financial services industries
The UK is one of the leading countries in a number of important areas of research and innovation that underpin the bioeconomy: In respect of field-weighted citation impact, which is a measure of the ‘quality’ of research, the UK is ranked number one globally
You can download the full report here.

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