Biotech industry welcomes EU support for biorefineries

October 24, 2006

Brussels, 20 October 2006

EuropaBio strongly supports the initiative taken by the European Commission in conjunction with the Finnish Presidency to promote the development of biorefineries (1) in Europe at the European Conference on Biorefinery Research which began yesterday in Helsinki.

Biorefineries are a key element of the bio-based economy (2) which is encompassing a future society no longer wholly dependent on fossil fuels for energy and industrial raw materials. There are many examples of bio-based products already on the market, such as biofuels (3), biopolymer fibres for household applications (e.g. carpeting, bedding and blankets, pillows, etc.), or bioplastics (4) to manufacture for instance plastic drink bottles and containers.

Biotechnological processes also form the basis for the manufacture of some antibiotics, vitamins (5), amino acids and laundry detergents (6) which use enzymes that decrease the temperature of water without compromising cleanliness.

"Biorefineries use renewable raw materials to produce energy and a wide range of everyday products in an economically viable manner", says Jack Huttner, Chairman of the Industrial Biotechnology Council of EuropaBio (the European Association for Bioindustries). "By working to decrease our dependency on fossil fuel reserves, biorefineries are seen as a promising route to keeping Europe prosperous while preserving the environment. "

In the next few weeks, EuropaBio will publish a full policy document to develop the knowledge based bio-economy in Europe, and biorefineries will be a key element. The 5 main recommendations are

- to establish a coherent European Policy Agenda for the Knowledge Based Bioeconomy (KBBE)

- to stimulate and support innovation in plant science and industrial biotechnology

- to promote production and use of bio-based products and processes

- to create awareness amongst all stakeholders (industry, academia, farmers, authorities, customers, investors)

- to improve investment in Industrial Biotech SMEs

For further information about EuropaBio please contact:
Adeline Farrelly Tel: +32 2 735 0313 Direct: +32 2 739 1174 Mobile: +32 475 93 17 24. Email: a.farrelly@europabio.org
Dirk Carrez Tel: +32 2 735 0313 Mobile:+32 473 73 65 28. Email: d.carrez@europabio.org

For further information about the European Conference on Biorefinery Research: http:///europa..eu.int/comm/research/energ y

Fact sheets

(1) Biorefineries http:///www.europabio.org/documents/biore finery._161006pdf.pdf

(2) About the bioeconomy www.bio-economy.net

(3) Biofuels http:///www.europabio.org/documents/biofu el.pdf

(4) Bioplastics http:///www.europabio.org/documents/biopl astics_161006.pdf

(5) Vitamins http:///www.europabio.org/documents/vitam in.pdf

(6) Detergents http:///www.europabio.org/documents/DETER GENTS.pdf

EuropaBio
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