The BIO-TIC project comprehensively examined the innovation hurdles in industrial biotechnology (IB) across Europe and formulated action plans and recommendations to overcome them. The projects is built on three pillars: an online industrial biotech community, an assessment of biomass and sustainability in industrial biotech, and an action plan for industrial biotech in Europe. As part of the action plan for industrial biotech three roadmaps to overcome barriers were developed: Market roadmap, R&D roadmap and Non-Technological roadmap.
Principal barrier to European industrial biotechnology development was cost-competitiveness, both compared to fossil alternatives and compared to other regions of the world. This was affected by many factors including the cost of feedstock, technology readiness levels, and the market support for bio-based products. The cost competitiveness issue was compounded by difficulties in accessing finance for large scale projects, an often low end user awareness of IB derived products and by a lack of skills and operational alliances to drive the sector forward.
This press release discusses ten pragmatic recommendations for action to tackle identified barriers and hurdles, and to ensure that most of the market potential is realised in Europe. These cover feedstock issues (improve the opportunities for feedstock producers within the bioeconomy, investigate the scope for using novel biomass), processing issues (promote the use of co-products from processing, improve the bioconversion and downstream processing steps, identify, leverage and build upon EU capabilities for pilot and demonstration facilities), investment challenges (introduce a long-term, stable and transparent policy and incentive framework to promote the bioeconomy, and improve access to finance for large-scale projects) and support for innovation more generally (develop the skills needed now and in the future for the IB industry, assess and improve public perception and awareness of IB and bio-based products, develop stronger relationships between conventional and non-conventional players).