Chemical Building Blocks –What do we need to do to build sustainable foundations for the biobased chemicals industry in Europe? BIO-TIC Business Case Workshops 2014, Reims, France


A BIO-TIC business case workshop about ways to build sustainable foundations for the biobased chemicals industry in Europe, 1 October 2014 at Reims Congress Centre, Reims, France.

Chemical building blocks provide routes to a wide range of different products and chemicals and, in turn, an astonishing range of different downstream uses. Industrial biotechnology offers the potential for developing biobased chemical building blocks that can have new or improved functionalities compared to those which can be produced from fossil fuels or traditional chemical routes. Despite this potential, significant hurdles to the production of biobased chemical building blocks using IB processes exist in the EU.

This workshop aims to identify workable solutions to the major hurdles and concerns hampering the development of the biobased chemicals sector in the EU.  It will consider, amongst other issues:

  • Is it feasible or desirable to develop an internationally harmonised framework to allow international trade in biobased chemical building blocks?
  • Whether the EU should focus on a broad chemical building block portfolio or should it reap the benefits from its strong R&D base and the current developments in favour of shale gas to develop a competitive advantage in biomass derived aromatics and C3/C4 chemicals?
  • How do we improve cost-competitiveness of EU chemical building blocks production?
  • Should we introduce a specific mandate for bio-based chemicals in the EU or would tax incentives or infrastructure grants be more effective?

We are especially interested in views on 3HPA, succinic acid, PDO, furfural, and isoprene as we consider these chemical building blocks to have the highest potential for deployment in the EU.

The workshop is taking place as part of the European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology and the Biobased Economy (EFIB)  Attendees must register for the EFIB 2014 conference in order to attend the chemical building blocks workshop. Workshop attendees are eligible for 15% off the admission fee for the EFIB 2014 conference but need to register for the workshop before registering for EFIB 2014 in order to receive the discount. 

BIO-TIC is a three year project, funded by the European Commission and coordinated by EuropaBio, aiming to identify the hurdles to Industrial Biotechnology (IB) and to develop solutions to overcome them, thereby unlocking the massive potential for this key technology in Europe.

The project focuses on five product groups which have significant potential for Europe and which have the potential to introduce cross cutting technology ideas. These product groups are:

  • Bio-based chemical building blocks
  • Bio-based plastics (PHA and PLA)
  • Biosurfactants
  • Advanced biofuels
  • CO2 based chemicals

Roadmaps for developing the IB sector in Europe, with a special focus on the opportunities above, will be delivered by summer 2015. We are developing three in depth bio-roadmaps focussing on market potential, R&D priorities and non-technological (regulatory and policy) hurdles to IB innovation. The market roadmap will provide market projections to 2030. The technological roadmap will focus on setting R&D priorities and identifying needs for pilot and demonstration activities and the non-technological issues roadmap will identify the regulatory and non-technological hurdles that may inhibit IB innovation from new markets.

For more information please visit the website.

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