News from Europe

A BIO private-public partnership

Europe needs to radically review its approach to biological resources

Through the «Innovating for sustainable growth: A bio economy for Europe» [COM (2012) 60 final] Communication, the European Commission has set out a comprehensive bio economy action plan.

P. Capellini


The starting assumption of the action plan is that, in order to cope with increasing global population, depletion of resources and climate change, Europe needs a radical review.

Where and what?

Bio economy includes the sectors of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food, pulp and paper production, as well as parts of chemical, biotechnological and energy industries. Such bio economy action plan drafted by the Commission expects the establishment of a public-private partnership on research and innovation and it has been proposed in Horizon 2020, the future EU framework program for research and innovation, which considers the continued use of public-private partnerships as the key factor for R&D. In the framework of a public-private partnership, both private and public sector offer resources to support activities linked to research and innovation.

An important target of such partnership is to increase the volume of innovative products manufactured by the bio-based industries, starting from renewable biological resources like forestry, bio-waste, activating and fostering new types of processes and bio- refineries. Examples to lead the transition shall be identified in those bio-based industries with a long tradition in processing renewable biological resources, such as the starch and the food industry, the pulp and paper industry, which might play an important role in leading innovation and spreading good practices all around Europe.

Who and How?

Since a large group of stakeholders has shown interest in the set up of a new public-private partnership in the field of bio economy, the European Commission has decided to launch a public consultation in order to collect comments and inputs from the overall world of stakeholders. The consultation title is «Public consultation on Bio-based industries, towards a public-private partnership under Horizon 2020? » and it aims at raising comments on research and innovation which may enlarge the current knowledge and state of the art of bio-based industries value chain in Europe. Consultation takes the form of a questionnaire divided in several parts, including a section that addresses the European added value of EU level action on R&D and innovation for the bio-based industries; a section which looks for the input of objectives that such EU level action should address, sections which ask for input of implementation tools for R&D under Horizon 2020 framework, including public-private partnerships.

The results of the public consultation – which lasted from 21/09/12 till 14/12/12 – will be presented and illustrated during a stakeholder event organized on January 9th, 2013 by the European Commission, DG RTD. The target of such event is to introduce the results of the collected input and create the field for an exchange of views between the main representatives of the bio-industries and all the relevant involved stakeholders.