Press release

New CAP-focused European Innovation Partnership

Support for bioeconomy key to productive and sustainable agriculture.

Brussels, 29 February 2012

The Commission’s new European Innovation Partnership (EIP) published today, sets the focus on the Common Agricultural Policy’s Rural Development Pillar and on the bioeconomy for delivering productive and sustainable agriculture across Europe.

“The world is set to change dramatically over the coming decades” commented Nathalie Moll, EuropaBio Secretary General, “with the impacts of climate change, a growing population and with 70% more food and 100% more energy needed by 2050 there will be increasing pressure on our natural resources. It’s vital that our future agriculture policy responds to these challenges by stimulating innovation and by producing more from less.”

Innovation in support of the bio-based economy has been identified as one of five central themes of the partnership, with special emphasis placed on supporting biorefineries and on strengthening the biobased value chain through improved information flow between farmers, researchers, scientists, NGOs and Industry.

This is well aligned with the Bioeconomy strategy published earlier this month. This strategy plots a roadmap for creating a society far less dependent on fossil fuels. Industrial Biotechnology plays a central role in achieving this, through the sustainable processing and production of products, chemicals, materials and fuels from biomass and agricultural waste, reducing the EU’s dependence on oil, coal and gas and creating jobs across a wide range of sectors and disciplines.

To grow a robust and dynamic bioeconomy, measures will be needed within the EIP to foster more effective use of the EU’s biomass resources. These include developing new facilities and infrastructures, such as demo biorefineries and logistical systems to collect and transport the biomass. This all needs to be implemented in an environmentally and economically sustainable way.

“Implemented well, this EIP could be great news for the building up of the biobased economy in Europe” stated Lars Hansen, Chair of EuropaBio’s Industrial Biotech Council. “We need to use all available tools to feed a growing population, to responsibly use the EU’s valuable natural resources and to re-centre agriculture as a driving force for the industrial economy. The biobased economy is part of the solution to address these multiple challenges.”

 

Link to the Commission press release.