A new article written by BBI JU Project Officer Ana Ruiz, in collaboration with other authors*, was published in the latest issue of New Biotechnology (Elsevier), the official journal of the European Federation of Biotechnology (EFB).
The paper explains how BBI JU has contributed to a systemic change in the European bio-based industries sector. The authors also explain the functioning of this public-private partnership and its major achievements. When BBI JU was established in 2014, the developing bio-based industries were still very fragmented. In the past six years, the partnership has de-risked investments, stimulated research and innovation, integrated economic actors along value chains and created new bio-based materials, driving unprecedented transformation in the sector. BBI JU investments have been fundamental, as ‘several technologies that had achieved commercial scale in bio-based industries would not have passed the research and innovation stages without the BBI JU’s support.’
The publication discusses the reasons behind the success of the BBI JU programme. It focuses on the added value provided by the model of an institutionalised partnership, which results in ‘the dynamic alignment of the strategies of both the EU and industry, and in the efficiency of the programming process.’ The paper also stresses that ‘the long-term political and financial commitment of the industry and the European Commission creates a stable and favourable environment for the bio-based industries to invest and grow in Europe.’
Even if BBI JU’s mandate will end in 2024, this commitment is likely to last. The development of a circular bio-based economy is fundamental to make Europe carbon-neutral by 2050 and the impacts of BBI JU-funded projects demonstrate that the bio-based industries sector is a key contributor to the objectives of key policies, such as the EU Green Deal. BBI JU projects indeed have relevant environmental and socio-economic benefits, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the creation of green jobs, and the development of sustainable products. As mentioned in the article, ‘BBI JU projects fit very well within the Green Deal approach, as they focus on the valorisation of organic residues and the production of bio-based products with a sustainable end-of-life.’
The work and achievements of BBI JU thus constitute an important starting point for the future partnership under Horizon Europe that will continue structuring the bio-based industries to achieve a circular and sustainable bio-based economy in Europe.
*The article is co-authored by Eleni Zika, Lene Lange, Pilar Llorente Ruiz de Azúa, Antonella Canalis, Paloma Mallorquín Esteban, Paola Paiano, and Philippe Mengal.