”The BBI JU initiative represents a key acceleration tool for the circular bioeconomy, fostering the transition from a wasteful to a low carbon and resource efficient society”
Catia Bastioli's bio
Catia Bastioli is a chemist, researcher and entrepreneur. She is CEO of Novamont, President of Terna Spa of the Kyoto Club Association and of the Italian Technological Cluster of Green Chemistry SPRING, and member of the Board of Directors of Fondazione Cariplo. She has been developing and field-studying the model of biorefineries integrated in the local areas, where the primary objective is an efficient use of resources and priority is given to high value-added products (bioplastics and biochemicals), short value-chains and a system-based economy. This represents a cultural (before than economical) development model, based on territorial regeneration that starts from decommissioned chemical sites and uses local biodiversity and scraps in order to give origin to renewable raw materials, capitalizing research and innovation and involving different stakeholders (institutions, research bodies, actors of the agricultural and industrial world). The innovative technologies developed for the bioplastics integrated supply-chain have led to the foundation and growth of a series of companies, that today form part of the Novamont Group.
She has been a member of important EU working groups on climate change, environment and renewable raw materials, such as the European Union Bioeconomy Panel. Prime inventor of around 80 patent families in the sector of synthetic and natural polymers and transformation processes of renewable raw materials, she was awarded “European Inventor of the Year 2007” by the European Patent Office and the European Commission for her inventions related to starch-based bioplastics between 1991 and 2001.
Novamont coordinates the FIRST2RUN BBI JU flagship project aims at demonstrating the techno, economical and environmental sustainability at industrial scale of a first-of-kind value chain where low input and underutilized oil crops (i.e. cardoon) grown in arid and/or marginal lands and not in competition with food or feed, are exploited for the extraction of vegetable oils to be further converted into bio-monomers as building blocks for high added value bioproducts, biolubricants, cosmetics, bioplastics, additives through the integration of chemical and biotechnological processes.
By and co-products from the process will be valorised both for energy, feed for animals and added value chemicals productions in order to increase the sustainability of the value chain. Standardization, certification and dissemination activities will support the project in relation to increased marketability as well as social acceptability of developed biobased products in view of their penetration in the market.
The eligible cost of the project is 25 MIL € (of which 17 MIL € supported by a BBI JU grant) and around 30 MIL € of additional investments.