European Commission welcomes big bio-based industry initiative

Forty-eight companies have joined forces with the European Commission this July to set up a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for bio-based industries.

The PPP brings together €3.8 billion ($4.9 million) with an aim to advance the bioeconomy in Europe. The European pulp and paper industry is one strategic partner in this PPP, with 13 of the 48 member companies from the sector as well as the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) as an associate member.

The PPP combines €1 billion of public support from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme with €2.8 billion of industry investment. The initiative, beginning in 2014 and lasting for six years, will create new markets and value chains for bio-based products, bringing jobs and growth to Europe.

‘We have worked hard to help make the PPP become reality, it is a great initiative,’ says CEPI director general Teresa Presas. ‘This support for innovation and demonstration is much needed. It keeps investments in Europe and helps realise our industry’s future.’

The PPP will capitalise on Europe’s research leadership to bring solutions to commercial scale via pilot and demonstration projects, with biorefineries at the heart of developments.

The biorefinery concept is well placed in the pulp and paper industry, which already constitutes a large part of the bioeconomy in terms of volume and value. The sector’s focus on value creation from raw materials is leading to new products such as bio-chemicals, bio-composite materials and second-generation biofuels.

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