Today, the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) celebrates its 10th anniversary with its celebratory event, “Sowing the seeds of Europe’s bio-based revolution”, in Brussels. BIC was established about ten years ago to represent the private side in a significant collaboration scheme with the European Commission. In particular, BIC became the partner in two consecutive public-private partnerships (PPPs) that have since brought almost EUR 6 billion for the benefit of European bioeconomy research and innovation activities.
The first PPP, the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), was a EUR 3.7 billion collaboration between BIC and the European Commission. It was active between 2014 and 2020, during which the PPP funded more than 140 research and innovation projects, including 13 large flagship projects. The follow-up partnership, the Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE JU), was initiated in 2021 and has a budget of EUR 2 billion.
“The BBI JU has had a noticeable role in the development of the European bioeconomy. This legacy is now further developed by the CBE JU. Thanks to these PPPs, the EU is now a global innovation leader in the field of circular bioeconomy”, says Niklas von Weymarn, a former Board member of BIC and current CEO of Metsä Spring.
One of the main challenges that the PPPs set out to solve was the lack of support for research result commercialisation, or what the PPPs call a lack of “Innovation actions”. When talking about manufacturing-oriented ideas, which is quite typical in the bioeconomy, this often boils down to increasing the funding for scale-up projects, in which pilot, demo and flagship facilities are built and operated.
“First-of-its-kind demo and flagship projects come with a very high risk, and finding financing for them is challenging. BBI and CBE JUs have identified this bottleneck and are actively trying to do something about it”, Niklas von Weymarn continues.
Metsä Group was one of about 30 founders of BIC 10 years ago. Today, BIC has around 250 Industry Members and more than 200 Associate Members. The BIC team has its office in Brussels.
For additional information:
Niklas von Weymarn, CEO
About Metsä Spring
Metsä Spring was established in 2018 as Metsä Group’s innovation company. Metsä Spring invests in and supports potential sustainable innovations and technologies that find new purposes and higher value for Nordic wood to replace fossil-based materials and chemicals in everyday products.
To date, Metsä Spring has made five external startup investments to Woodio, Innomost, Montinutra, Fiberwood and Adsorbi, and has launched two in-house development projects, Kuura and Muoto.