The bioeconomy encompasses the sustainable production of renewable resources and their conversion into food, feed, fibres, materials, chemicals and bioenergy through efficient and/or innovative technologies. A corner stone of the bioeconomy are biorefineries that use biomass, by- and co- products and waste instead of fossil resources as their raw material. The sector offers huge potential to tackle societal challenges such as resource efficiency, climate change, maintaining European competitiveness and creation of jobs.
In order to stress the need to revitalise rural areas and optimise land use and food security through a sustainable, resource-efficient utilisation of Europe’s renewable raw materials, FEDIOL has been extensively involved in the work of the European Bioeconomy Alliance (EUBA), a cross-sectoral alliance of 12 associations active in the bioeconomy sphere. Since the Alliance was established in early 2015, it has been working to further mainstream and realise the potential of the bio-based economy in Europe.
At EU level, the bio-based economy sector's pillars and development are defined via the EU Bioeconomy Strategy, which was published in 2012 with three overarching priorities:
- Investment in R&I and skills;
- Policy interaction & Stakeholder engagement;
- Enhancement of markets and competitiveness.
The EU Bioeconomy Strategy is currently under review by the European Commission (under the lead of DG Research & Innovation) and the revised strategy is expected to be issued on the occasion of a High-Level Bioeconomy Conference on 22 October 2018.
In this context, the EUBA issued a position paper outlining five Policy Asks for what needs to be done at EU level to create a strong framework to support investments throughout the value chains, enhance EU-grown biomass mobilisation and market access for bio-based products made in EU.