The Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA), first adopted in 2013 and updated in 2017, translates the ambitions of the BIC into a set of actions designed to deliver tangible and increasingly ambitious results by 2020 and by 2030.
The SIRA, sets out the main technological and innovation challenges to developing sustainable and competitive bio-based industries in Europe at the time of writing. It reflects the industries’ vision of a competitive, innovative and sustainable Europe leading the transition towards a bioeconomy, while decoupling economic growth from resource depletion and environmental impact.
The SIRA identifies research, demonstration and deployment activities to be carried out by the Joint Technology Initiative on Bio-based industries, or BBI Initiative.
Dynamic and sustainable bio-based industries in Europe can deliver many environmental, economic and social benefits. They can help to meet EU objectives in areas ranging from economic growth, job creation, the circular economy and resource efficiency to climate change mitigation, security, agriculture modernisation and regional development.
To unlock their full potential, Europe’s bio-based industries will need to make sustainable, resource-efficient and largely waste-free use of Europe’s renewable materials to play an important role in spurring sustainable growth and boosting Europe’s competitiveness. They will re-industrialise and revitalise rural and coastal areas, providing tens of thousands of highly skilled research, development and production jobs over the next decade.
At the heart of this Agenda are the bio-based value chains and their composing pillars:
- foster supply of sustainable biomass feedstock to feed both existing and new value chains;
- optimise efficient processing for integrated biorefineries through research, development and innovation (R&D&I);
- develop innovative bio-based products for identified market applications; and
- create and accelerate the market-uptake of bio-based products and applications.
These pillars form the four strategic orientations of the bio-based industry in Europe.
The 2017 SIRA explicitly incorporates new feedstock such as aquatic-based sources, bio-waste and CO2. In addition, it more actively pursues the crossover between ‘traditional’ value chains. This ‘multi-value-chain’ approach increases opportunities to convert and valorise new feedstocks into a wide array of bio-based products.