BIC Documents

The bioeconomy comprises those parts of the economy that use renewable biological resources from land and sea – such as crops, forests, fish, animals and micro-organisms – to produce food, materials and energy. In 2016, a study conducted by nova-Institute on behalf of the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) showed for the first time which macroeconomic effects are generated by these activities, e.g. turnover, employment etc. for the years 2008 and 2013. This study has now been updated with data for 2014 and 2015.

The analysis of the Eurostat data of 2015 shows that the turnover of the total bioeconomy, including food and beverages and the primary sectors agriculture and forestry, results in 2.3 trillion € in the EU-28. Roughly half of the turnover is accounted for by the food and beverages sector, almost a quarter is created by the primary sectors, agriculture and forestry. The other quarter is created by the so-called bio-based industries, such as chemicals and plastics, pharmaceuticals, paper and paper products, forest-based industries, textile sector, biofuels and bioenergy.

The bioeconomy employs 18.5 million people in total. The primary biomass production, mainly agriculture plus forestry and fishery, generates a lot of employment (55%).

As in the 2016 study, this update highlights the contribution of the often underrated bio-based industries, such as chemicals and plastics, pharmaceuticals, paper and paper products, forest-based industries, textile sector, biofuels and bioenergy to the bioeconomy. This sector shows considerable turnover of almost 700 billion € and 3.7 million employees in the EU-28 in 2015. In the bio-based chemical industry alone, turnover amounted to around 30 billion €.

Read the full report by Dr. Stephan Piotrowski, Michael Carus (nova-Institut), Dr. Dirk Carrez (BIC), updated April 2018

The #Industry4Europe coalition has developed a new Joint Paper on “A Governance Structure for an ambitious EU Industrial Strategy”, which has been co-signed by 122 Members of the #Industry4Europe coalition, including BIC. This new Joint Paper aims at proposing a governance structure which enables the implementation of an ambitious EU Industrial Strategy, based on an informed dialogue between the industry, decision-makers at EU, national, regional and local levels and the Civil Society.

Bio-Based Industries to support the SDGs under HORIZON EUROPE

The bioeconomy is at the centre of sustainable development strategies worldwide and can bring huge opportunities in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This new paper of Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC)illustrates the strong link between the SDGs, the bioeconomy and the Bio-Based Industries with concrete examples.

Thanks to BIC’s Partnership with the European Union since 2014, the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) has kick-started the European bioeconomy by supporting innovative bio-based demonstration and flagship projects.

In our view BBI JU projects currently contribute through breakthrough innovation of sustainable bio-based products and processes to SDGs 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15. The BBI JU itself is an example of SDG 17 “Partnerships for the Goals”, where industry works alongside the public sector to develop more integrated solutions to global challenges.

A continuation of the BBI JU under HORIZON EUROPE (2021-2028) will therefore underline the EU commitment to the SDGs.

A new EU bioeconomy strategy and action plan: Calling for tangible action to scale up the circular bioeconomy

In light of changes in the economic and political context in the EU, with more emphasis on climate change mitigation, circular economy and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the EU bioeconomy strategy and action plan are to be updated by the European Commission in 2018.

Bio-based industries will play an important role in spurring sustainable growth and boosting Europe’s competitiveness by re-industrialising and revitalising rural and coastal areas.

BIC believes the EU should seize the opportunity to aim for an ambitious and action-oriented bioeconomy strategy update, taking into account the following:

1. Don’t stop the innovation train: To maintain the EU leadership role in the bioeconomy, continued investment and a second round of the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking - BBI 2.0. - are necessary. Stopping now would mean losing out on investments already made.

2. The EU should champion the bioeconomy: The bioeconomy helps the EU lead in delivering on its circular economy and low-carbon economy goals, as well as on most of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

3. Make the EU Bioeconomy Strategy tangible for consumers and businesses and capable of delivering concrete consumer benefits: Promote bio-based products and raise public awareness in order to create an EU internal market for sustainable alternatives to fossil-based products.

The Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) calls for a continued partnership with the European Commission under the new EU Research & Innovation Framework programme (FP9).

BIC asks for a continuation of the current BBI JU (a “BBI 2.0.”) because:

1. Funding from the BBI JU is crucial in order to turn research into innovation and deployment in Europeand thus to develop a competitive European bioeconomy.

2. BBI JU brings together different sectors and entire value chains, mobilising the relevant stakeholders, ranging from SMEs to large companies, from resource & technology providers to brand owners.

Impact of the BBI JU

The BIC position paper “The BBI JU – An Institutional PPP supporting the Bioeconomy Strategy” describes the current and future impacts of the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU).

The BBI JU - a unique Joint Undertaking - aims to invest € 3.7 billion in bio-based innovation between 2014 and 2020: € 975 million have been committed by the European Commission and € 2.7 billion by the private sector. Already today, for every euro of public funding BBI JU expects to leverage € 4,4 of private financial contributions: in the first 3 years, bio-based industries have reported € 192 million in-kind operational project contributions and € 1.95 billion of additional activities. The BBI JU contributes to green growth in Europe, reindustrialisation and development of rural areas, and helps the transition towards a Circular and Low Carbon Economy creating new markets for bio-based products and finding synergies between European financial instruments.

BIC Position on REDII - Sustainable bioenergy contributes to the EU’s long-term decarbonisation target

Position of the Bio-based Industries Consortium on the EU Renewable Energy Directive, April 2017.

BIC views on the Waste package: A successful Circular Economy requires a vibrant renewable Bioeconomy

A sustainable waste management system that fully uses the potential of agricultural, forestry and municipal (biogenic) wastes will be essential to enable the circular economy and can supply the bioeconomy with recycled raw materials. Key policy asks: (1) Ensure access to biomass ; (2) Promote industrial symbiosis and boost secondary raw materials; and, (3) Promote bio-based packaging.

The European circular economy package Position of the Bio-based Industries Consortium

The concept of the circular economy is about using the planet’s resources efficiently and sustainably to prevent irreversible environmental degradation and resource depletion. The circular economy seeks to break away from the linear economy characterized by “make, use, dispose” in favour of a more circular model based on “reuse, recycle or biodegrade”. The bioeconomy is a perfect illustration of circularity in that it regenerates CO2 and uses renewable raw materials to make greener everyday products.

The aim of this Joint Paper is to propose a short list of indicators that can be used to both assess the health of the European industry and monitor the progress made by the EU on the implementation of its industrial strategy. The indicator list is composed of two sections: the headline indicators and those linked to the pillars of the Joint Reaction Paper previously presented by Industry4Europe. The indicators are simple and intended to be applied in combination to answer specific questions that may be relevant for different scenarios.

The role of indicators in delivering an industrial strategy

The selection and use of indicators should be a critical tool, designed to both highlight success points and reveal weaknesses that require remedial action through a revised strategy.

The use of a single indicator has limited value and responsible interpretation should come from indicators used in combination. The use of an indicator such as employment is important, however presentation in isolation yields no insight into productivity, skills level and potential negative societal changes. This is particularly relevant as digitisation and automation change the nature of employment, which could undermine priorities without careful assessment.

While not listed as a specific indicator, sustainability is an important cross-cutting factor. Indicators are able to assess the growth of the EU circular economy, creating products that can lead market developments internationally and maintain the EU’s reputation for sustainable innovation. This list of indicators reflects the long term, multi-pillared priorities of the European Union and role of industry in achieving those priorities. Europe has clearly stated priorities for the 2015-19 period, which will evolve and mature towards 2030. These include:

  • Jobs, growth and investment
  • Energy union and climate
  • Deeper and fairer internal market
  • Balanced and progressive trade policy to harness globalization

Coordination and Support Actions for Europe’s bio-based industries (CSAs) are a specific type of BBI JU projects.

CSAs address strategic aspects and cross-cutting challenges to enable bio-based industries to grow as a sector and to accelerate the market-uptake of bio-based products and applications.

This report provides a status update of the BBI JU CSAs BioCannDo, BIOWAYS, BiOPEN, Pilots4U, RoadToBio, STAR4BBI.

Following requests from stakeholders BIC and novaInstitute have published the detailed list of the European biorefineries.

The concept of the circular economy is about using the planet’s resources efficiently and sustainably to prevent irreversible environmental degradation and resource depletion. The circular economy seeks to break away from the linear economy characterized by “make, use, dispose” in favour of a more circular model based on “reuse, recycle or biodegrade”. The bioeconomy is a perfect illustration of circularity in that it regenerates CO2 and uses renewable raw materials to make greener everyday products.

Biorefineries are processing facilities that convert biomass into food, food ingredients, feed, chemicals, materials, fuels and energy using a wide variety of conversion technologies in an integrated manner. A common goal for biorefineries is to use all parts of the biomass raw material as efficiently as possible, i.e. maximising the economic added value, while minimising the environmental footprint.