Thanks to the development of new technologies and applications, the bioeconomy continues to grow apace – fuelled by the desire among consumers to live increasingly sustainable lives.
Representing the bio-based industry and acting as a catalyst for its growth is Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), the €3.7bn public-private EU partnership set up to convert biological residues and wastes into greener everyday products until 2020.
To spread the word and to progress bio-based industry, BBI JU will in two months’ time host its inaugural Stakeholder Forum 2017 on 7 December in Brussels, where 65 exhibitors will give details on their ongoing projects and how they fit in to the bio jigsaw.
Among the exhibitors at the Project Exhibiton will be PolyBioSkin, with its portfolio of bio polymers for use in demanding skin-contact applications; SHERPACK, which is developing sustainable packaging materials; and ValChem, which will display its wood-based chemicals that are competing with fossil-based raw materials.
The one-day public event will feature a series of illuminating sessions and workshops such as Bio-Based Europe: defining the roadmap, a 45-minute talk on the value of sharing responsibility for the sustainability of the European bio-based economy. The first session of the day, Jack Metthey, director of Climate Action and Resource Efficiency at the European Commission, and Tom van Aken, chief executive officer of Avantium, will both be in attendance.
Metthey gained a doctorate in biological sciences a Master’s of science from Strasbourg University the University of California before he began at the European Commission in 1988, while van Aken has worked in fine chemicals and life sciences roles in the US and his native Netherlands since entering the industry more than 20 years ago.
Other speakers at Stakeholder Forum 2017 will be:
- Dirk Carrez, executive director of Bio-based Industries Consortium, who will give his insights on the current state of investment in Europe;
- Kevin O’Connor, professor at the School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science, speaking up for the leadership of science for transforming society
- Fabio Fava, professor at the Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental, and Materials Engineering, who will tackle the challenge facing the industry of widening its reach across Europe.
Breaking up the talks and seminars and providing excellent opportunities to speak to peers and experts, coffee breaks and a networking lunch will be provided, giving all attendees a chance to see the exhibition area and meet the people behind the 65 ongoing projects on display.
BBI will be hosted at The Square, Brussels. After lunch there will be four workshop sessions that will tackle the role of the primary sector in building bio-based industries; defining the direction for science-based innovation; aligning economic and societal expectations and needs; and new markets and new products.
Giving those in attendance the chance to have their say, Stakeholder Forum 2017 will host a rapporteur feedback session moderated by writer and broadcaster, Vivienne Parry OBE, and attended by four journalists involved in the sector, including Luke Upton, editor and co-founder of Bio-Based World News and Lisabeth Kirk, the former editor-in-chief of the EUobserver.
Registration is free but obligatory and can be made at the Stakeholder Forum 2017 website. Places are offered on a 'first come' basis and are limited, so we advise you to register as soon as possible.
Venue: The Square, Glass Entrance, Mont des Arts/Kunstberg, B-1000 Brussels. www.squarebrussels.com