BRUSSELS – At the 2017 General Assembly held on February 15, 2017, the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) welcomed 16 new Full members and 22 new Associate members, signaling strong European cooperation on the bio-economy. They join a unique cross-section of experts, including technology providers and representatives from the agriculture, agro-food, forestry, pulp and paper, chemicals, energy, and other manufacturing sectors, all working together to develop innovative biobased value chains.

BIC Executive Director, Dirk Carrez said, “The addition of 38 new members demonstrates confidence in BIC’s ability to drive the European bio-economy forward by bringing the biobased industries together. We are excited about our growth, which shows strong industry commitment and support for the BBI JU (Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking).”

An Open Session followed the BIC General Assembly. At the Open Session, Philippe Mengal, BBI JU Executive Director, reviewed the organization’s activities. He said, “The BBI JU program is the catalyst in shifting to a sustainable European biobased economy. In supporting research and innovation actions, its contribution for the initial three completed Calls is €419 million, funding for 36 ongoing projects. As a joint venture between the European Commission and BIC, the BBI JU is helping to create the right conditions for a competitive biobased industrial sector in Europe.”

Key to BBI JU project success is interregional cooperation, which fosters biobased technology scale-up. The role of regions was the main focus of the General Assembly Open Session, which provided 13 regions with the opportunity to pitch BIC Full and Associate Members to explain regional strengths, available biomass and potential financial incentives. Bart Verschoor, from the Zuid-Holland (South Holland) region in the Netherlands, also presented the Vanguard Initiative Bioeconomy Pilot, which is aimed at facilitating the creation of cross-regional demonstration projects using smart specialization strategies.

BIC is committed to working with regional authorities. In June 2016, BIC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Vanguard Initiative and with ERRIN (the European Regions Research and Innovation Network). In October 2016, BIC signed a Letter of Intent with eight Polish bioregions to develop new bio-economy partnerships. BIC also collaborates with six European sustainable chemistry “model demonstrator regions” to attract new investments in sustainable chemical production.

BIC is a non-profit organization based in Brussels. It represents the private sector in a public-private partnership with the EU on Bio-Based Industries (BBI). Worth €3.7 billion, the partnership mobilizes investment in innovative facilities and processes that manufacture high-quality biobased products as well as in bio-refining research and demonstration projects.

The Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) is a public-private partnership between the European Commission and BIC. Part of the EU’s plan to move to a post-petroleum era, the BBI JU aims to make the EU economy more resource-efficient and sustainable, while supporting growth and employment.