Knowledge Based Bio-Economy

Bio-based Industries

Research and innovation provide the means to reduce the Union's dependency on fossil fuels and contribute to meet its energy and climate change policy targets for 2020. Estimates conclude that a shift to biological raw materials and biological processing methods could save up to 2.5 billion tons of CO2 equivalent per year by 2030, increasing markets for bio-based raw materials and new consumer products several-fold.

The overall objective is to accelerate the conversion of fossil-based European industries to low carbon, resource efficient and sustainable ones.

Research and innovation will provide the means to reduce the Union's dependency on fossil fuels and contribute to meet its energy and climate change policy targets for 2020 (10 % of transport fuels from renewables and a 20 % reduction of greenhouse gases emissions).

Estimates conclude that a shift to biological raw materials and biological processing methods could save up to 2.5 billion tons of CO2 equivalent per year by 2030, increasing markets for bio-based raw materials and new consumer products several-fold.

Reaping these potentials requires building a broad knowledge base and developing relevant (bio)technologies, focussing mainly on three essential elements: a) transforming current fossil-based processes by resource and energy efficient biotechnology based ones; b) establishing reliable, sustainable and appropriate supply chains of biomass, byproducts and waste streams and a wide network of bio-refineries throughout Europe; and c) supporting market development for bio-based products and processes, taking account of the associated risks and benefits. Synergies will be sought with the 'Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies' specific objective.

Integrated biorefineries

Enhancing the range of types of biomass to be used in second and third generation biorefineries, including forestry, biowaste and industrial by-products, will help avoiding food/fuel conflicts and support economic and environmentally-friendly development of rural and coastal areas in the Union. Technologies and strategies will be developed to assure the raw material supply.

Supporting market development for bio-based products and processes

Measures on the demande side may help opening new markets for biotechnology innovation. Standardisation and certification at Union and international levels is needed for, amongst others, determination of bio-based content, product functionalities and biodegradability.

It is necessary to develop even further methodologies and approaches to life cycle analysis adapted to scientific and

industrial advances.

Research activities supporting product and process standardisation (including harmonisation of international standards) and regulatory activities in the field of biotechnology are considered essential to support the creation of new markets and to create trade opportunities.

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