4th Bioeconomy Stakeholder Conference (BEU2016): inspiring, dynamic and productive

The 4th Bioeconomy Stakeholder Conference (BEU2016) took place on 12 - 13 April 2016, under the auspices of the Dutch EU Presidency, co-organised by the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs and the European Commission. At the BEU2016 about 350 participants attended with backgrounds ranging from industries to academia. Present from PLATFORM were Niels Gotke (IF, DK), Kees Kwant (EZ-RVO, NL), Phillipp von Bothmer (FNR, DE), Annamaria Marzetti (Mipaaf, IT), Serenella Puliga (Mipaaf, IT), Casper Zulim de Swarte (EZ, NL), Christine Bunthof  (coordinator, WUR, NL) and Brenda Kuzniar (WUR, NL).

At the first day there were inspirational talks from several high ranking stakeholders in the bioeconomy who shared their views and insights on the current societal challenges. The importance of renewable use of resources and moving towards a sustainable and circular economy were being stressed. In the afternoon participants were invited to visit throughout the country outstanding Dutch companies and organisations actively involved in the bioeconomy, illustrating the talks of the morning.

The second day was in the context of working towards Manifesto, a document being prepared to serve the future orientation of the European Bioeconomy Strategy, which will be reviewed and evaluated in 2016 by the Commission. The aim of Bioeconomy Strategy is to shift the European economy towards greater and more sustainable use of renewable resources to ensure a secure and healthy food and feed supply, as well as producing bio-based materials, energy, and other products. This will enable a more innovative and low-emissions economy – reconciling demands for sustainable agriculture and fisheries, food security, and the sustainable use of renewable biological resources for industrial purposes, while ensuring biodiversity and environmental protection.

PLATFORM contributed to the Building Blocks of Manifesto taking part in the discussion as moderator and participant in the World Café 'Working session towards Manifesto', a session to give input and polish further the working paper prepared earlier on in two workshops. Among other issues, Manifesto states the proved value of and to build further on public-to-public partnerships.

From Manifesto:
20. Cross-overs and connectivity between the sectors should be organised, giving special attention to cross-overs in the funding of research, pilots and demo’s. Open innovation, interdisciplinary research and public-private-partnerships are suitable approaches to enhance innovation. Here ‘Public to Public’ partnerships such as ERA-NETs, Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) and Joint Technology Initiatives (JTIs) have proved their value; these should be further built on.

The end of the two conference days full of inspiring talks, insight-giving panel discussions and productive efforts: a European Bioeconomy Manifesto

BEU2016 Quotes:

We have to act now if we want to influence what happens in de BioEconomy, Europe has to invest - Robert Jan Smits, Director General of DG Research and Innovation, European Commission

Today's challenges require innovative solutions, to be developed tomorrow and the day after tomorrow - Bertholt Leeftink, Director General of the Ministry of Economic Affairs of The Netherlands

We can rewrite history - back to circular economy without 'fossil biomass' - Louise Fresco, president of Wageningen University

Co-creating the bioeconomy - mobilising generation sustainability - John Bell, Director of Bioeconomy, in Directorate-General Research and Innovation, European Commission

We see several inspiring industry developments in the bioeconomy in Europe - Christine Lang, Germany BioEconomy Council

Increasing role of farmers for the EU Economy: creating jobs, tackle climate change, contribute to greener economy - Pekka Pesonen, Secretary General of Copa - Cogeca

Five key principles sustainable Bioeconomy: Food first, Sustainable yields, Circularity, Cascading & Diversity - Stefano Bisoffi, SCAR forsight

The same sustainability principles for biofuels must be also applied to their alternative - fossil fuels - Kees de Gooijer, TKI Agri&Food, TKI Biobased Economy

Time for a more collaborative, integrated & strategic approach to bioeconomy in Europe - Markku Markkula, President of the European CoR and Vice-Chairman of the OISPG

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