Post Event Report Contents: Page 2 – Plenary Report Page 4 – SME Innovation Track Report Page 7 – Policy Track Report Plenary Report: > Opening plenary session 1: New business models for Industrial Biotech – attracting investments and enabling the EU bioeconomy The opening session of the conference began with an introduction by Nathalie Moll, EuropaBio’s Secretary General who set the scene for EFIB 2015. She highlighted that, with the European Commission’s bioeconomy investment summit, the new circular economy package and the COP 21 climate conference in Paris all on the agenda for the coming months, this year’s EFIB could not come at a more auspicious time. The first keynote speaker, Reinhard Büscher of DG GROW, spoke on the role of the bioeconomy within the Commission’s jobs & growth agenda, noting that the bioeconomy is not only key in the transition to a low-carbon economy in Europe – one of the main long-term objectives of the current Commission – but also in bringing more cohesion to Europe through rejuvenation of rural regions. “The bioeconomy, which helps create new jobs and stimulates investment, needs to become part of a broader industrial fabric,” said Mr Büscher, “it not only has clear links to the circular economy, but also to the regional development and cluster agendas.” “In order for the bioeconomy to reach its full potential we need new investments in research and development as well as in large scale facilities”, he continued, “but we also need new forms of industrial symbiosis. That means novel relationships between sectors that might have previously not worked with one another”. The creation of new markets for bio-based products was brought up in this context, noting that while there is definitely scope for green public procurement for bio-based products, any such regulation would have to be preceded by clear sustainability criteria, which would have to cover the sourcing of feedstock, production and end-of-life of products. Joining the bioeconomy debate from a national perspective was ambassador and deputy permanent representative of Finland, Marianne Huusko-Lamponen, who presented on the state of play and the future ambitions of Finland with regards to the country’s bioeconomy strategy. Already accounting for almost 10% of the Finnish economic output, bioeconomy has not only been well anchored in the national bioeconomy strategy adopted back in 2014, but was also identified as one of the five strategic priorities of the new government. “With €300 million of public investment secured for the coming three years, the country is at the forefront of developing a competitive business environment and new opportunities for the bioeconomy, while securing a strong knowledge base and outstanding sustainability credentials,” said Ms Huusko-Lamponen. The remainder of the session featured a presentation on the outlook of the world’s second generation biofuels market by Henrique Pacini from the UN intergovernmental body on trade and development (UNCTAD), as well as presentations by CEOs Tjerk de Ruiter of Corbion and ilka Hämälä of Metsä Fibre Ltd, who introduced their respective success stories and set out their company visions for the future. Although representing very different business sectors in terms of profile – one specialising in bioplastics and biochemicals, and the other principally active in pulp, paper, board and tissue production, both of the final speakers underlined the need for the development of new integrated biorefineries in Europe and for new collaborative ways of inter-sectoral activity in the future. > Opening plenary session 2: The bioeconomy, the biological motor for an EU circular economy The second plenary session was dedicated to the topic of the circular economy and the place of the bioeconomy within it. Introducing the subject, Jocelyn Blériot of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation noted that the linear economy model in which we “take, make and dispose” is no longer viable and, bearing in mind the finite nature of our stocks, the circular economy model presents the pathway to a more resource efficient economy. “The circular economy is restorative and regenerative by design,” said Mr Blériot, “and devised to optimise resource yields by circulating products, components and materials at the highest utility at all times, revealing and designing out negative externalities.” “Material, therefore, should be defined by where it ends up rather than where it comes from”, he added, “so as to preserve and enhance our natural capital.” Putting the theory into practice, Simon Hoffmeyer Boas of the Carlsberg group presented his company’s vision for a more sustainable and circular future. Having acknowledged the fact that nearly half of the company’s CO2 footprint comes from packaging, Carlsberg has recently teamed up with ecoXpac to develop and roll out a fully bio-based and biodegradable wood fibre bottle. “This is not only about finding the right material, but also about developing new infrastructure partnerships and engaging our consumers, which will not be achieved by simple preaching” said Mr Boas. “We need to create better materials, engage consumers, get innovations to the markets, partner up and multiply our efforts,“ he added. The panel discussion saw speakers turn to the upcoming circular economy package and the hurdles that need to be overcome. The speakers acknowledged the need to approach the circular economy in a holistic way, find new business models and increase the longevity of products. When asked to name measures that could be added to the upcoming circular economy package to help achieve these aims, panellists singled out possible tax breaks that would shift taxation from labour towards materials, targets for reusability and repairability, opening of the eco-design directive to bio-based products and measures to ensure full organic waste collection across Europe. Broadly agreeing with the need to better communicate the benefits of the circular economy to the public, the speakers also highlighted that the circular economy is about much more than just waste, and that the bioeconomy has a key role to play in a successful transition. > Closing plenary session 1: Developing bioeconomy strategies, mitigating climate change and moving towards 2020 The closing plenary of the conference discussed the grand societal challenges facing the world today, focusing in particular on the potential for the bioeconomy to contribute to climate change mitigation efforts and spur innovation in clean and sustainable technologies. Stephan Tanda, Managing Board Member of Royal DSM and chair of the Industrial Biotech council at EuropaBio, kicked off the session by drawing attention to the emerging megatrends that shape the future direction of the world’s economy – from demographic changes to resource scarcity through to climate change. The plenary then comprised two keynote speeches as well as a panel discussion. Offering a global brand-owner’s perspective, the first presentation came from Nalleke van der Puil of the LEGO Group, who spoke about the future aspirations of the well-known toy manufacturer. Striving to “inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow”, LEGO has set a double sustainability goal – to source 100% of energy needs from renewable sources by 2020 and to move to 100% sustainable raw materials in manufacturing and packaging by 2030. On the latter front, the company has recently announced its decision to invest 1 billion Danish kroner into research and development of new sustainable materials. Our spirit is “only the best is good enough,” said Ms van der Puil, “and we will not compromise on product safety, quality or durability”, noting that bio-based materials quite naturally form part of the company’s vision of the future. In the second keynote speech, Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director-General at DG Environment, spoke of the challenges and opportunities for the bio-based industries in the upcoming circular economy package. Beginning by noting that the past year had been an important one for sustainable development on the global stage, with new Sustainable Development Goals having been agreed back in September and the new climate agreement being expected later this year, Mr Crespo contended that the old linear economy model that we had seen develop in Europe was no longer viable. “The move to a circular model, which is driven by the scarcity of existing natural resources in Europe, presents great opportunities for our continent”, said Mr Crespo, “it has potential of creating 2 million new jobs by 2030 and bringing savings of over 600 billion euros, all while reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 2 to 4 percent”. This could not only lead to a renaissance of the European industry, but also give us a first mover advantage, thus benefitting consumers and businesses alike. The role of the bioeconomy will be key in delivering these goals, especially when it comes to ensuring the reuse of biowaste in the economy, added Mr Crespo. With significant amounts of biowaste still buried in landfills at the moment, Europe has an untapped potential to both deliver significant environmental benefits and increase competitiveness of our industries. Biowaste is a feedstock for the bioeconomy and this is increasingly being realised. The circular economy package, which is expected to be tabled by the Commission on 2 December, will thus address questions related to its landfilling, collection and recovery. Roger Kilburn, CEO of Scottish Industrial Biotech Association IBioIC, then presented Glasgow as EFIB’s host city next year and extended a warm invitation to delegates to join him there on 16-18 October 2016. Taking place at the heart of the Scotland’s industrial central belt – home to the country’s first biorefinery since 2015 – the next year’s edition is set to welcome over 700 professionals active in the bio-based sphere for three days of topical presentations, workshops and 1-to-1 meetings. More information about the event is available on http://www.efibforum.com/. The closing panel debate, moderated by Ian Hudson, President for Europe Region at DuPont and EuropaBio Board Member, focused on the potential of industrial biotechnology to help address one of the most pressing challenges ahead – climate change. While most agreed that the bioeconomy has a central role to play in climate mitigation and that, with bold action in defossilising our societies, it is still possible to keep up to the 2°C target, the panellists also drew attention to some of the main hurdles that hamper the development and innovation in the bio-based sector. The insufficient predictability of the regulatory framework in Europe was highlighted in this context, as was the need for the bio-based industry to step up its game in communicating its climate benefits and the creation of a level playing field with traditional fossil fuel industries. “Industrial biotechnology, a driving force of the bioeconomy that turns today’s waste into tomorrow’s products, quite naturally struggles to compete with the industries that, annually, receive subsidies in their hundreds of billions”, said Waldemar Kütt of DG Research & Innovation. New markets should be created for bio-based products, contended the panellists, together with product standards that would facilitate market access. “Carbon pricing mechanisms are important in this respect,” added Martin Porter of the European Climate Foundation, “not only should they stimulate innovation , but also create a longterm framework, leading to the emergence of new business models and a much needed change in people’s mindsets.” The session was concluded with the presentation of the John Sime Award, which this year was awarded to Marcel van Berkel, CCO of GFBiochemicals – for its first-of-a-kind technology enabling production of bio-based levulinic acid at a commercial scale. With thanks to contributing authors: Dirk Carrez, Executive Director, Bio-based Industries Consortium & Managing Director, Clever Consult James Cogan, Senior Consultant and Branch Manager, PNO Consultants Joanna Dupont-Inglis, Director for Industrial Biotechnology, EuropaBio Claire Gray, Project Coordinator, EuropaBio Filippo Giancarlo Martinelli, Grants and Innovation Consultant, PNO Consultants Ernestas Oldyrevas, Trainee, Industrial Biotechnology, EuropaBio Kathryn Sheridan, CEO, Sustainability Consult SME innovation track report The first of the innovation track sessions was dedicated to the highly innovative SMEs, which, according to session chair, Carmine Marzano of the European Commission’s DG RTD, are the backbone of the European economy. She emphasised that innovation in bio-based chemicals and materials is of vital importance and that it has to lead to bio-based developing unique or better functionalities compared to fossil-based alternatives. Ms Marzano also underlined the importance of ensuring that these innovations could be scaled up after reaching maturity. Presentations during the session came from six innovative SMEs – Metabolic Explorer, AVA Biochem, Syngulon, Ingenza, Novomer and Biorem Engineering. Metabolic Explorer, a French green chemistry company active in the development of bio-based chemicals using industrial biotechnology since 1999, were the first ones to present. Having so far focused on 3 key chemicals – PDO, MDG and L-Methionine – the company, with support from the BBI JU, is now working on developing a low-cost bio-based methionine product using 2G technology. Their presentation was followed by AVA Biochem, who presented on their pioneering work developing bio-based 5-HMF. The chemical could be used as a replacement for PET or formaldehyde, and also has potential to be used as a basis for a wide range of applications, including thermoresistant resins, adhesives and infusible and insoluble fibres. The third presenters, Syngulon, spoke of their work developing a genetic firewall – a system which uses secreted bacteriocins to kill bacteria around the modified bacterium through the inclusion of an immunity gene which ensures that the modified bacterium is not killed. This gene can be switched on and off, allowing control of modified bacteria and preventing escape of genetic material. The technology is believed to be able to help transfer fermentation technology from a batch process to a continuous process, thus improving yields and economics of the fermentation processes. The next presentation came from Ingenza, who use synthetic biology techniques to improve protein performance and develop new products, in an aim to bring increased predictability and overcome persistent limitation associated with iterative and empirical processes for microbial strain improvement. This was followed by a presentation by Novomer, who introduced their technology to produce polyurethane polymers from epoxides and CO2. The resulting polyurethane polymers can be used for a wide range of applications, including coatings, sealants, adhesives and elastomers. The last presentation came from Biorem Engineering, and focused on soil remediation and cleaning disinfection technologies using a bio-based bimetallic catalyst. > Biomaterial innovations in consumer goods – showcasing IB as a commercial reality This session, moderated by Kathryn Sheridan from leading bioeconomy communications agency Sustainability Consult, brought together consumer brand Jaguar Landrover with chemical producers AkzoNobel and Covestro, and bio start-ups BioAmber, Pharmafilter and Bioserie. AkzoNobel spoke about traceability and sustainability, and forecasted that environmental externalities will increasingly be factored into production costs. In its bio-based strategy, the company is working on leading the deployment of bio-based chemicals and has made a shortlist of impactful materials, essentially 50 key building blocks, to identify where they could play a leading role. For Jaguar Landrover, the main themes were confidence building and finding solutions. “If the future is electric vehicles, 87% of the environmental impact would be in the materials, assuming a decarbonised electricity grid,” said Sustainability Manager Ian Ellison, “bio-based materials are therefore of interest as a way to reduce that impact. Making bio-based a commercial reality requires a high level of innovation - product innovation and value chain innovation, and communications,” he added. Bioserie provided a practical case study of making baby products, such as toys, from bioplastics, noting that designing with biomaterials is “more of an art than a science.” CEO Kaya Kaplancali said that “100% bio-based can be a challenge”, and pointed out that large amount of terminology used in marketing more sustainable products can be "too complicated and pretentious" for the consumer. “The customer does not understand and does not care", he said, claiming there was “far too much greenwashing in the consumer space.” He finished by calling on the audience to inspire consumers and to participate in a circular economy. Pharmafilter shared the company’s inspiring journey making a closed loop system for hospital waste products, including developing single use biodegradable items like bedpans. The Pharmafilter units were commercialised 3.5 years ago and would reach break-even within 5 years. “We have to build the whole business case around waste, wastewater and biodegradables,” said Peter Kelly, International Director. The company is looking at locally-available second generation feedstocks like lactose whey, potato peelings and brewers’ spent grain. In the final presentation of the session, BioAmber shared the stage with Covestro to present on their partnership in bio-based waterborne polyurethanes for textile applications using BioAmber’s succinic acid. “Performance leads, sustainability follows,” said BioAmber’s Chief Commercial Officer Babette Pettersen, presenting the joint project on artificial leather. > New processes showcase The session comprised six presentations in total from highly innovative companies and clusters – Novasep, Plaxica, IAR, Global Bioenergies, Stora Enso and Bio-based Delta. Presenting first, Novasep spoke of their cost-effective and innovative desalting solutions for fermentation processes, which cover technologies such as membrane filtration, ion exchange, continuous chromatography and electrodialysis. Their presentation was followed by Plaxica, who introduced their newly developed Plaxica Versalac® technology, which helps extract the currently underutilised hemicellulose content of biomass and convert it into lactic acid. In addition, their Optipure® technology can also separate isomers of lactic acid and provide a low cost gateway to D lactic acid, thus enabling a cost-competitive way of production PLA with improved material properties. The third presentation came from IAR & ARD, who spoke of metabolic engineering and its application in optimising or creating new metabolic pathways within cells to increase the production of different products, and addressed the many complementarities that exist between metabolic and process engineering. This was followed by a presentation by Global Bioenergies, who introduced their pioneering work in developing metabolic pathways for the direct production of light olefins, such as isobutene, butadiene and propylene, from renewable raw materials. The process has entered industrial pilot phase in Pomacle, France, and another pilot plant is planned to open in Leuna, Germany. Traditionally a paper and board business and an actor in the biomaterials sphere since 2012, Stora Enso presented on their extraction and separation technology which separates high-purity xylose sugar stream, lignin and glucose. The company aims to preserve and maximise properties of cellulosic fibres, which amount to some 50% of the incoming raw material, and use the rest for green energy production. The session was closed by Bio-based Delta, who introduced their plans for a large-scale biorefinery in South-Western Netherlands. Given the name of a ‘redifinery’, it will convert lignocellulose into second generation sugars and subsequently into bio-based chemical building blocks. > New materials showcase “Bio-based products are often perceived to have lower performance compared to fossil alternatives,” said Carmen de Vicente Coll of DG RTD when opening the session, “but new developments in materials technology are challenging this assumption.” The session saw five innovative materials and related technologies presented, developed by VITO, Centexbel, Verdezyne, GFBiochemicals and Deinove. Presenting first, VITO introduced their work on lignin depolymerisation and their membrane technology which can offer great potential for separating biomass components, thus enhancing the quality of different fractions and consequently their potential applications. Their presentation was followed by Centexbel, who introduced their latest project developing composite reinforced PLA materials that have forty times the strength of injection-moulded PLA. Speaking third were a company called Verdezyne, who presented their yeast-based conversion technology which uses the co-products from fatty acid production to produce the chemical building blocks adipic acid, sebacic acid as well as bio-based dodecanedioic acid (DDDA). The company is set to open a commercial scale bio-based DDDA plant in Malaysia in late 2017. Speaking next were GFBiochemicals, who presented their pioneering work in the production of levulinic acid at a commercial scale directly from 2G biomass. This platform chemical can be used in a wide range of different applications, including coatings, resins and plasticisers. The fifth and last presentation of the session came from Deinove, a French company that uses their proprietary Deinococcus bacteria that are both thermophillic and stable in a project with Abengoa to convert 2G feedstocks to ethanol. In addition, the company has also teamed up with Tyson to identify routes to convert tobacco to bioenergy and their Deinococcus platform is also being exploited to develop routes to carotenoids and muconic acid amongst other interesting materials. Policy Track Report > Creating markets for bio-based products This market-oriented session addressed policy measures such as standards and labelling of bio-based products, feedstock sustainability certification, and green public procurement, amongst other measures, as ways to help boost the market uptake of bio-based products in Europe. Opening the session, Alberto Satangostino of McKinsey noted that bio-based markets will take time to emerge. “Bioeconomy development will be a marathon and not a sprint,” he said, “similarly to other innovative sectors such as wind or solar power which took a decade or more to take off”. “A number of investment, regulatory and technological issues will need to be addressed before Europe can reap the full benefits of this promising sector, but when a certain set of prerequisites converge we will definitely see a hockey stick growth effect,” predicted Mr Satangostino. “To get wide diffusion and economy of scale of bioproducts that are in competition with oil based products, the industry will need long-term, supportive market making measures and a clear policy framework up to 2030,” said Piero Cavigliasso of Biochemtex. “The fact that we do not know what will happen after 2020 is a crucial problem for investors,” he added. A notable example of a supportive policy measure – public procurement – was discussed at greater length by the speakers. “Currently investigated by the European Commission’s Expert Group on Bio-based Products, green public procurement holds great potential for regional and rural development and has a tremendous potential to shift the market,” argued James Cogan of PNO. “Accounting for up to 20% of current GDP in Europe, public procurement could be a great way to open up markets for bio-based products,” he added. To put the idea into perspective, the session included a presentation by Marie Wheat of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), who introduced the US BioPreferred Program and answered a number of participants’ questions on its functioning and impact. Composed of two major components – voluntary labelling initiative and mandatory federal purchasing requirement for federal agencies and federal contractors – the programme has helped contribute towards $369 billion being added to the US economy in 2013 and 4 million jobs being created through direct, indirect, and induced contributions. “The two elements of the BioPreferred Program, both creating the programme and the label, work hand in hand,” said Ms Wheat, “greatly boosting the contribution of bio-based industries to the US economy and sustainable development.” > Ensuring sufficient and competitive feedstock supply in Europe The session focused on the ways in which Europe could ensure sufficient and competitive supply of sustainable feedstock for the development of the bioeconomy. Noting that the price of feedstock accounts for, on average, 40% of the price in bio-based chemicals production, and sometimes rises to as much as 80% of the price, the speakers acknowledged the importance of a supportive policy framework and the potentially positive impact of the expiry of the EU sugar quotas regime in 2017. The panellists were in agreement that the problem rests not with the lack of biomass in Europe, but rather in the regulatory framework and other associated issues, such as the price of energy. “Biobased companies will only invest in Europe if they are sure they will have access to secure supply of renewable raw materials. Having the right legal and regulatory framework is therefore essential,” said Calliope Panoutsou, Senior Research Fellow at the Imperial College London. The need for increased public and private investments were stressed in this context, as was the increasing need to have cross-sectoral synergies in biorefining activities. The concept of an integrated biorefinery, it was argued, presents a breakaway from the previous ways of working, moving towards a more collaborative approach, from working in silos to working together. Offering an institutional point of view, Virginie Rimbert of DG AGRI drew attention to the European support mechanisms that exist related to better mobilisation of biomass streams in Europe. These include the rural development support measures of the Common Agricultural Policy, the European Innovation Partnership ‘Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability’, as well as research funding that is available through the Horizon 2020 programme, all of which are aimed, in one way or another, towards contributing to the increased cooperation in the agricultural sector and improved logistics in the bioeconomy. > Financing the European bioeconomy Taking place prior to the European Commission’s Bioeconomy Investment Summit, this third policy session was dedicated to the issues faced by the bio-based industries that relate to financing. It kicked off with a presentation by entrepreneur and venture capitalist Gunter Festel, CEO of Festel Capital, who set the scene for subsequent discussions. He noted that commercial development in the field in Europe is mainly driven by multinational enterprises, whereas SMEs and spin-offs mostly contribute to the technological development and technology transfer. “Venture capital has grown increasingly important for this latter segment of the bio-based economy, and the rising contributions into the sector indicate that biofuels and biochemicals are seen as an attractive investment opportunity for venture capitalists. More technological investments by angel investors are needed in the EU, however, to improve the start-up foundation rate,” he said, “and focused, coordinated governmental programmes could play an important role in attracting angel investors’ interest in early-stage technology.” A new European early stage technology investment fund was brought up in this context, which could strengthen the European Bioeconomy scene by focusing on private investors and their operational involvement in the start-up foundation and building-up process and by having industrial and financial investors participate on an equal footing. In addition to venture capital and private bank investment, the subsequent discussions saw several initiatives presented by the panellists, including Horizon 2020 and the BBI JU, the newly set-up publicprivate partnership between the European Commission and the industry which is set to invest some €3.7 billion in research, demonstration and flagship projects. Panellists also debated the role of the European Structural and Investment Funds, EIB’s InnovFin initiative, which consists of a series of integrated and complementary financing tools and advisory services offered by the EIB, and other EIB financing tools available for risky but strategically important investments in supporting the European Bioeconomy. A study on access to finance for bio-based industries is currently being undertaken by the EIB, which is aimed at gathering information about financing conditions for bio-based industries and the bioeconomy, formulating policy options and evaluating the potential need for a dedicated risk finance instrument(s) at the EU and/or national level to sustain and enhance investments in this promising sector. The results of the study will be published within the first quarter of 2016. > Is the chemical industry catching up with bio-based? The transformative nature of the bioeconomy and its strong impact on the chemical industry were the subject of the last thematic session. Acknowledging that in addition to the mere adoption of new feedstock, the emergence of the bioeconomy can lead to entirely new value chains, products with new or enhanced functionalities, new markets and new business models, panellists shared optimistic perspectives of the chemical industry making a shift towards bio-based, but also expressed concerns about a number of existing hurdles. They discussed the motivations for considering bio-based feedstock, including potential new properties of materials, improved competitiveness, strong consumer demand and the long-term sustainability objectives offered by the rise of the bioeconomy, stressing the need for rational choice of raw materials and their smart use as a key factor for better resource and energy efficiency. Seeing bioeconomy as an option for the chemical industry to reach its sustainability objectives, the panellists spoke of the need to foster industrial symbiosis and to combine different technologies in a sustainable way. An integrated biorefinery, which requires multiple partners and might involve a combination of chemical and biotechnological processes, was discussed as an example of such industrial symbiosis. For these new or unconventional partnerships to be able to emerge, cultural barriers will need to be overcome and new skills will need to be developed, including through working across different disciplines. The chemical industry, meanwhile, will need to learn to work closer with its upstream partners in the bio-based value chains, argued the speakers. Considering upstream aspects of the bio-based value chain, raw material availability and feedstock price were seen as major drivers that directly influence the development of new bio-based products, as were the rising consumer needs. The need for transparency and increased acceptance of bio-based products by society were emphasised in this context, which could, it was argued, partly be achieved by product labelling as well as by increased communication to the society at large about the benefits of bio-based products and materials.