Wednesday 11 June 2014

Horizon 2020: Opportunities for Biopolymers

More from AIMPLAS 2014 - Valencia...

José Manuel Gonzalez, the Spanish Delegate and Contact Point at the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, International Programmes Directorate, European Programs Division (Spain) enthused about the EU’s Bioeconomy objectives for 2020 without getting bogged down in anything too specific.  

The objectives included:
  • ·         Discovering and exploiting new terrestrial and aquatic biomass resources to minimise environmental impacts.  Marine biomass could yield many new molecules.
  • ·         Developing integrated second and third generation bio-refineries.  (First generation refineries used food-crops as raw material.  2nd generation will use forestry, 3rd generation will use waste products.)
  • ·         The work programme for 2014-15 (€486M) will focus on Sustainable Food Security, Blue Growth (Seas and Oceans), and Innovative Sustainable Inclusive Bioeconomics (!).
  • ·         Specifically the “Value Chains” of bio-based industries would be more important. E.g.
         o   Biofuels, biochemicals and biomaterials from lignocellulosic feedstocks.
         o   Utilisation of the next generation of forest-based value chains for new added value products.
         o   Utilisation of the next generation of agro-based value chains to realise the highest sustainability and added value from improved agricultural production.  New oil crops would be sought.
         o   Realising sustainable bio-energy production by backwards integration with bio-refineries making high added value materials.
  • ·         Research on converting atmospheric carbon dioxide into useful chemicals would be encouraged.
  • ·         “Waste” would be redefined as an attractive source of raw materials.

In summing up, Mr Gonzalez said EU programmes (and hopefully the Job TitlesEd.) would become less R&D oriented and more applied.

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