Modern use of industrial biotechnology (IB) holds the key to a bio-based economy. Deploying the full potential of biotech innovation will enable the European industry to deliver high-value products to consumers and create new commercial opportunities. New feedstock demands will lead to synergies amongst SMEs and large industrial partners. New technological developments will boost European export of technology and facilities by bringing Europe’s top sectors together: chemical industry, engineering and renewables.
However to date, major hurdles continue to hamper the full exploitation of biotechnology in Europe. These hurdles may vary from technological bottlenecks to limited availability of venture capital and fragmented policy frameworks. Funded by the European Commission, BIO-TIC was launched with the aim to establish an overview of the barriers to biotech innovation and find solutions to overcome them.
In BIO-TIC we seek to define product segments and applications that promise significant potential for Europe’s industry and society by 2030. We have now identified 5 major “bio-Business cases” which are EU-competitive and have the potential to introduce cross-cutting technology ideas. These are:
- Bioplastics PHA and PLA
- Building blocks
- CO2-based chemicals
In addition to the business cases, we are developing three in-depth “bio-Roadmaps”. These will focus on the market potential, R&D priorities and non-technological hurdles of IB innovation. In particular, the market roadmap will provide market projections until 2030. The technology roadmap will focus on setting R&D priorities and identifying needs for pilot and demonstration of plant activities. Last but not least, the non-technological barriers roadmap will identify regulatory and non-technological hurdles that may inhibit industrial biotech innovation reaching new market opportunities. The final roadmaps will be released in July 2015.
To measure the impact of the bio-roadmaps deployment in Europe, we plan to establish a “bio-Observatory”. This is a common regulatory framework which will describe definitions, standards, data sources and processes for systematic monitoring on the market uptake of bio-based products. Our aim is to achieve consistency in the data all along the value chain.