Field: Carbon footprint, Dissemination of information, Network, Partnership
Global Technical function: Promoting the sector, Support to business
Technical Function Unit: Disseminating, Enhancing the cooperation, Networking, Providing support (advise/consultancy), Sharing expertise, Strategic planning
Geographic Area: Belgium
Type of actors: Industry, Policy makers, Professional associations, SMEs, Universities

Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC)

Bio-based industries from various sectors have joined forces as the “Bio-based Industries Consortium” (BIC) to help overcome an innovation “Valley of Death” by bridging the gap from research to the marketplace. As a private sector representative, BIC is a partner in the public-private partnership for Bio-based Industries (BBI)[1] with the EU.

The challenge

Scarcity of resources, awareness of climate change, and the need to stay competitive, all encourage the development of partnerships between eco-innovative stakeholders. By forming a powerful liaison with various partners in industry, the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) has established a positive foundation for its work in the future. Their aim is to provide support to business in bio-based industries by helping advanced biorefineries to become large scale demonstration projects. This also demonstrates that the technical capacity is already there, to bring high value, bio-based, commercial products to the market.

An improvement in research methods, technology transfer, and easier access to finance, means that the environmental impact can be reduced, while ensuring that the economic durability of these organisations is not affected.

The network

BIC was established in 2010 and has its headquarters in Belgium. The network is a non-profit international association. It represents the private sector in the €3.7 billion public-private partnership for Bio-based Industries (BBI) with the EU.[2] BIC seeks to mobilise comprehensive expertise on bio-based processes in Europe by promoting the sector. It has almost 200 members comprising of large companies, SMEs, SME Clusters, RTOs, universities, technology platforms and professional associations. These organisations come from across Europe. The network is financed by a membership fee according to the size of the organisation.[3] Full membership is open to industrial and commercial companies active in the field of bio-based industries. Legal entities in the field may join as associate members. 

The benefits

BIC carries out a number of tasks including strategic planning, analysis of projects, sharing expertise and networking. The derived analytical data feed into the Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda of the BBI[4], based upon which BIC develops specific annual work plans which then become subject to funding as part of the BBI.[5] By enhancing the cooperation and dissemination of information, BICs support to eco-innovation covers sectors such as agriculture, agro-food, technology providers, forestry/pulp and paper, chemicals and energy. The broad thematic coverage simplifies providing support to clients and helps with disseminating identified good practices.[6] Joining forces with BICI members means working towards an economical vision which places sustainability, and the smart and efficient use of resources, at the heart of industrial business and social activities[7]

Further deployment

By constantly seeking to enhance in the cooperation and development of the sector, the concept’s deployment is under further optimisation. Therefore, the maturity of this network is estimated to be 8 on the generic maturity scale GML. BIC’s work follows the guidance of a bio-based economy concept. Its vision for a competitive, innovative and sustainable Europe is as follows: leading the transition towards a post-petroleum society while decoupling economic growth from resource depletion and environmental impact.[8] This future has to include renewable raw materials, well thought out production of energy and goods, and job creation across regions. The dedicated BIC partners do their best to contribute to the umbrella activities of the joint undertaking BBI, aiming at decreasing the carbon footprint while being economically successful.

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