Sweetening the market potential of the sugar production industries of lesser-developed countries with the objective of helping them to join the global market economy has soured relations with local sugar producers.
Unless preventive measures are taken by introducing new innovative ideas, the European sector may face a bitter future as a consequence of increased foreign competition. Facing this challenge, the TOSSIE project will introduce a strategy for the competitiveness and environmental friendliness of the sugar sector, and establish contacts with relevant European Technology Platforms (ETPs).
BETTER SUGAR BEET PROCESSING
TOSSIE fosters debate and promotes the dissemination of recent research results in the fields of alternative processing technologies, engineering and management tools, as well as innovative value-chain structures (from sugar beet growing, harvesting and transport through beet processing to distribution of products). As a public/private partnership involving universities and industries, the project is expected to propose new ideas and technologies for augmenting the restructuring effort of European sugar manufacturers and to help secure the sustainability and future of the sugar sector.
Researchers are looking for methods, such as new plant designs, to modernise sugar manufacturing and make it both more efficient and environmentally friendly. For instance, participants wish to reduce the use of energy and water in production lines, in order to minimise the negative impact on the environment. Industries rely heavily on nonrenewable energy and often use huge quantities of water during the preprocessing of raw material.
Another project aim is to offer new solutions for optimising the use of raw material that enters production lines. Under this project, by-products are to be most economically re-used as animal feed, fertilisers and compost, or even reprocessed to produce pharmaceuticals and energy sources (for example, bioethanol and biogas). The initiative not only contributes to better environmental protection, but also sustains many industrial sectors linked to the sugar industry via its by-products. This prospective modernisation should create new industrial opportunities and give fresh impetus to the sugar sector, which in 2004 represented over 800 000 employees in 550 factories, working on 4.5 million hectares of cultivated land throughout Europe (including non-EU countries). Moreover, the new technologies should improve the quality of sugar products and by-products, which play an important role in human nutrition.
TOSSIE joins European initiatives paving the way for the 7th Framework Programme of EU R&D, by establishing working contacts with relevant ETPs and by contributing to the European Research Area objectives. The project offers a coordinated view of research activities and helps establish the integrated scientific and technological base that is vital for improving the competitiveness and environmental friendliness of sugar production from sugar beet.
The partners in this consortium are European entities belonging to industrial and professional associations. TOSSIE ensures the widespread dissemination of its results by communicating with all its partners and respective associations. The dissemination of information strengthens links with the industries of new Member States. However, communication with big European sugar producers is also of crucial importance. Furthermore, with the assistance of industrial and professional associations, the TOSSIE results can reach other sugar-related industries in Europe and beyond.
TOSSIE is bringing the sugar sector closer to a bright and sweet future by improving production, reducing environmental impacts and creating the right conditions for a competitive European sugar industry.
List of Partners
- Warsaw University of Technology (Poland)
- University of Ferrara (Italy)
- University of Maribor, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (Slovenia)
- Graz University of Technology (Austria)
- Cooperativa Produttori Bieticoli (Italy)
- Pfeifer & Langen Kommanditgesellschaft (Germany)
- Krajowa Spolka Cukrowa SA (Poland)
- EnerDry (Denmark)
- Full title:
- Towards sustainable sugar industry in Europe
- Contract n°:
- Project co-ordinator:
- Krzysztof Urbaniec,
Warsaw University of Technology, Poland
- EC Scientific Officer:
- Maurice Lex,
- EU contribution:
- € 520,800
- Specific Support Action