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The PROVIDES consortium recently received a substantial subsidy from the Bio-based Industries Initiative (BBI JU). The consortium focuses on developing environmentally friendly alternatives to chemical solvents in the European pulp and paper industry by means of Deep Eutectic Solvents (DES). Coordinated by ISPT, the industry-driven PROVIDES project is also financially supported by 18 industrial partners. The BBI subsidy means the project can go full steam ahead with the further development and industrial implementation of these innovative green processes.
The project is of high interest to the paper and pulp industry as it offers a new, environmentally friendly technology to isolate high-quality cellulose fibres and lignin from lignocellulose. The innovative technology can potentially reduce CO2 emissions in the papermaking chain by 20%.
“The subsidy is great news for the industry,” says Math Jennekens, R&D Director at Sappi Europe, one of the consortium‟s industrial partners. “The DES technology will bring an enormous breakthrough in our industry and strengthen our position as a pivotal sector in the development of the bio-based economy. It‟s therefore important, in this pre-competitive stage, that the technology is developed in a form of cooperation that brings universities and institutes together with the European pulp and paper industry.”
“The PROVIDES project is an excellent example of what industrial cooperation can bring,” says Tjeerd Jongsma, Director of ISPT. “The original approach taken in CEPI‟s Two Team Project competition brought forward the best ideas industry-wide. The next step is an open innovation setting with broad participation of the major European industries to bring this idea to realization. For me, this is proof that the joint European paper industry will be able to cope with global competition „head-on‟.”
“The role of ISPT in the consortium formation is truly exemplary,” says Ekhard Beuleke from Omya International AG, Switzerland. “ISPT provided us with support, as well as with pre-discussed „standardised‟ draft contracts and agreements, which made it much easier and less time-consuming to align all the many different partners in the consortium.”
The PROVIDES project will benefit from the knowledge and expertise on DESs that has already been built up over the past few years. Technical University Eindhoven (TU/e) recently produced the first hydrophobic DES. The PROVIDES project can use these insights to remove detrimental hydrophobic components from wood and paper for recycling. Progress has also been made by TU/e and VTT, both partners in the consortium, on lignin-dissolving DES. This will be further developed in the context of the project.
FOR THE EDITOR
About the PROVIDES project
Deep Eutectic Solvents (DESs) are nature-based, renewable, biodegradable, low-volatile and cost-effective. When used for producing high-quality cellulose fibers in paper-making applications, they are extremely energy efficient, particularly because they do not require high temperatures. They offer a groundbreaking new method for the pulping of many different lignocellulosic materials for producing chemical pulp, pure lignin and other chemicals.
The PROVIDES consortium consists of 18 industrial partners in the pulp and papermaking chain, complemented by ISPT as coordinator, and Technical University Eindhoven, CTP and VTT as knowledge partners. Consortium partners come from all over Europe: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland.
As part of the PROVIDES project, three PhD students from Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands) are carrying out research in close collaboration with the industrial partners from the pulp and paper industry. These projects focus on the use of DESs for the recycling of paper, lignocellulose fractionation and recovery processes. The research group is the first in the world to systematically screen possible DES mixtures, and has already reported several new ones.
CEPI Two Team Project competition
In 2012, the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) organized a competition in which two teams – independently and in competition with each other – worked for a year on finding new breakthrough concepts to achieve 80% CO2 reduction by 2050. Each team presented four concepts. The winning concept was Deep Eutectic Solvents (DESs). For more information, see www.unfoldthefuture.eu and this document.
The Institute for Sustainable Process Technology unites industry, universities, research organizations and SMEs in order to accelerate innovation and ultimately transform process technology into a green, clean, efficient endeavour. In addition to developing knowledge, the Institute fosters the demonstration and application of new technologies. More information: www.ispt.eu.
The Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking is a new €3.7 billion Public-Private Partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC). Operating under Horizon 2020, it is driven by the Vision and Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda (SIRA) developed by the industry. 50% of the PROVIDES partners are member of BIC. More information: www.bbi-europe.eu and www.biconsortium.eu.
Photo and caption
Group photo by ISPT – „PROVIDES consortium‟
Logo of the BBI, official H2020 requirement to add this logo to all publications.
Lisa Groothuis e-mail: email@example.com Ph: +31 (0)33 700 0799
Creating a world-leading bioeconomy in the European Union requires bold political moves. On the occasion of its launch at the European Parliament on 4 February, the European Bioeconomy Alliance (EBA) calls for more predictable policies leading to a long-term strategy for a competitive, dynamic and sustainable bioeconomy in Europe.
Developing the bioeconomy is only feasible if the European Union provides a holistic, coherent and harmonised framework in a range of policy fields: agriculture, forestry, marine, industrial, climate, environment, energy, research, innovation and regional development. The EU needs to act on the following four main fronts in particular, in order to help Europe become a leader in the bioeconomy:
1. Implement priority recommendations from the Lead Market Initiative1on bio-based products. This will not only create new markets and jobs but also stimulate economic recovery, focusing on: access to feedstock, research, development and innovation, access to markets, public procurement and communication.
2. Encourage member states to implement measures to i) increase agricultural and forestry productivity and soil fertility in a sustainable way and ii) facilitate mobilisation and access to renewable feedstock at competitive prices.
3. Address barriers to investment in first commercial operations, such as biorefineries in Europe. The Public Private Partnership on Bio-based Industries is a first step in the right direction and should facilitate and catalyse other European and national and regional financing sources.
4. Engage with civil society, together with farmers, forest owners and industry, to encourage the debate on shaping a more competitive, sustainable bioeconomy for Europe.
EBA’s vision is to help establish a more competitive, innovative, energy-secure and sustainable Europe, separating economic growth from a reliance on imported fossil sources, resource depletion, and environmental impact. EBA fully supports both the European Commission’s work on developing an EU bioeconomy as well as on-going efforts at member state and regional level to implement local strategies. In addition, EBA entirely supports the recent establishment of the European Parliament intergroup on “climate change, biodiversity and sustainable development” and its subgroup on the bioeconomy.
Over the next decades, the bioeconomy will play an increasingly important role in boosting Europe’s economy by revitalising rural and coastal areas and disused industrialised sites while providing more growth and jobs. According to the European Commission, the European bioeconomy is worth nearly €2 trillion and provides more than 22 million jobs to EU citizens2.
The bioeconomy is not a niche sector; it encompasses the sustainable production of renewable resources and their conversion into food, feed, fibres, materials, chemicals and bioenergy through efficient and/or innovative technologies, which provides widespread economic, environmental and societal benefits. Therefore, the EBA calls for the bioeconomy development to be set as a priority in the Commission’s new €315 billion investment plan as well as in national and regional measures, to help ensure Europe’s sustainable economic recovery.
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note to the Editor
The EBA is an informal alliance of leading European organisations active in the bioeconomy. Its members are:
• BIC - Bio-based Industries Consortium
• CEFS - European Association of Sugar Producers
• CEPF - Confederation of European Forest Owners
• CEPI - Confederation of European Paper Industries
• COPA - COGECA - European Farmers and European agri-cooperatives
• ePURE - European Renewable Ethanol Producers Association
• EuropaBio - The European Association for Bioindustries
• EUBP - European Bioplastics
• FEDIOL - The EU Vegetable Oil & Proteinmeal Industry
• FTP - Forest-based Sector Technology Platform
• PFP - Primary Food Processors
• Starch Europe - European Starch Industry Association
1. Priority Recommendations from the Lead Market Initiative on bio-based products
2. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions “Innovating for Sustainable Growth: A Bioeconomy for Europe”, 13 February 2012, COM(2012)60 final.
EU and industry leaders have today launched a new European Joint Undertaking on Bio-based Industries (BBI). The aim is to trigger investments and create a competitive market for bio-based products and materials sourced locally and "Made in Europe", tackling some of Europe’s biggest societal challenges.
€3.7 billion will be injected into the European economy between 2014 and 2024 - €975 million from the European Commission and €2.7 billion from the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) - to develop an emerging bioeconomy sector. Through financing of research and innovation projects, the BBI will create new and novel partnerships across sectors, such as agriculture, agro-food, technology providers, forestry/pulp and paper, chemicals and energy.
The aim of the BBI is to use Europe's untapped biomass and wastes as feedstock to make fossil-free and greener everyday products. At the heart of it are advanced biorefineries and innovative technologies that will convert renewable resources into sustainable bio-based chemicals, materials and fuels.
Organised in five value chains – that range from primary production to consumer markets – the BBI will help fill the innovation gap between technology development and commercialisation, sustainably realising the potential of bio-based industries in Europe.
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, said: "The bioeconomy has huge potential that is attracting investments all around the world. With this new partnership, we want to harness innovative technologies to convert Europe’s untapped renewable resources and waste into greener everyday products such as food, feed, chemicals, materials and fuels, all sourced and made in Europe."
Peder Holk Nielsen, CEO of Novozymes, added on behalf of industry partner, the Bio-based Industries Consortium: “The BBI is an unprecedented public-private commitment because of its focus on bringing bio-based solutions to the market. It is an opportunity to deliver sustainable growth in European regions and to reverse the investment trend currently going to other regions of the world.”
The BBI is a shift from a fossil- and imports-based society to increase Europe’s share of sustainable economic growth, and is expected to create tens of thousands of jobs (80% in rural areas), revitalise industries, diversify farmers’ incomes, and reduce GHG emissions by at least 50% in comparison to fossil-based applications.
The BBI will manage the investments in the form of research and innovation projects that are defined in annual Calls for Proposals and implemented across European regions. In line with Horizon 2020 rules, all stakeholders are invited to submit innovative proposals and demonstrate progress beyond state-of-the-art.
First BBI Call for Proposals focuses on high potential / high impact investments
Also launched today is the BBI’s first Call for Proposals. It is a €50 million Call (not including industry contributions, which are expected to reach up to €100 million) that is a first step in a long-term strategy that will deliver tangible social, economic and environmental results. The Call contains a total of 16 topics:
- 10 Research and Innovation Actions with a total budget of €15 million;
- 6 Innovation Actions (5 Demo and 1 Flagship) with a total budget of €35 million.
Note to the Editor
About the BBI
BBI stands for Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking. It is a €3.7 billion Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC).
The BBI is dedicated to realising the European bioeconomy potential, turning biological residues and wastes into greener everyday products through innovative technologies and biorefineries, which are at the heart of the bioeconomy.
The BBI is about connecting key sectors, creating new value chains and producing a range of innovative bio-based products to ultimately form a new bio-based community and economy.
The European Commission is the public partner in the PPP. It will support the BBI with a contribution of € 975 million from Horizon 2020, the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation from 2014 to 2020. The activities of the BBI will complement the activities funded under Horizon 2020 and seek to establish synergies where relevant.
The Bio-based Industries Consortium - the industrial partner in the PPP - is constituted by a unique mix of sectors including agriculture, agro-food, technology providers, forestry/pulp and paper, chemicals and energy. It is an association that was established in 2012 to collectively represent the private sector in the BBI. To date, BIC has 70 full industrial members (large, SMEs, clusters) and over 100 associate members (RTOs, universities, associations, technology platforms). And it is still growing.
BIC will support the BBI with a contribution of € 2.7 billion, of which € 975 million will be used to support research and innovation activities, and another € 1.7 will be provided in the form of additional activities.
The BBI will fund projects aimed at:
• Building new value chains based on the development of sustainable biomass collection and supply systems with increased productivity and improved utilisation of biomass feedstock (incl. co- and by-products);
• Unlocking the utilisation and valorisation of waste and lignocellulosic biomass;
• Bringing existing value chains to new levels, through optimised uses of feedstock and industrial side-streams while offering innovative added value products to the market, thus creating a market pull and reinforcing the competitiveness of EU agriculture and forest-based industries.
• Bringing technology to maturity through research and innovation, by upgrading and building demonstration and flagship biorefineries that will process the biomass into a range of innovative bio-based products.
BBI first Call for Proposals
Patrick van Leeuwen
Coordinator Public Affairs & Communications
Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC)
Mobile: +32 475 964 772
Policy officer - Communication
DG Research & Innovation
T: +32 2 295 06 36
The Council of the European Union has adopted the legal acts for a new generation of public and private partnerships that will allow large-scale, long-term innovation projects to be carried out under the umbrella of Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation framework programme.
The innovation investment package, which implements the Innovation Union strategy to stimulate the creation of growth and jobs, will contribute to pool research and innovation investments up to 22 billion € in sectors facing major societal challenges in the next seven years.
Five public-private partnerships will be set up or further developed as Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs). One of them is the bio-based industries ("BBI"), to develop new and competitive bio-based value chains that replace the need for fossil fuels and have a strong impact on rural development. The industry is organised in a Bio-based Industries Consortium, with CEPI being one of its members.
The Consortium currently brings together more than 60 European large and small companies, clusters and organisations across technology, industry, agriculture and forestry. They have all committed to invest in collaborative research, development and demonstration of bio-based technologies within the Public Private Partnership (PPP).
You can find out more about it at http://www.biconsortium.eu/
The European pulp and paper industry has searched for, and now found, breakthrough technology concepts which can enable a competitive future in Europe. The example is a fascinating case study from one of Europe’s energy intensive industries.
At this year’s European Paper Week gathering in Brussels CEPI unveiled eight concepts for breakthrough technologies that provide solutions which can enable the future of the industry in Europe. Each solution offers opportunity to create value, reduce costs, improve margins, radically change sector operations and allow massive decarbonisation.