BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

A premium for biobased products

04.04.2011

An industry based on renewable resources is not to be had for free. Switching from petroleum-driven large-scale industry to a biobased economy will cost both time and money. But the question is – who will pay for it? Can you communicate to the consumer that they will be paying a premium, but that the change is worth it? Or will a biobased product inevitably fail if it is more expensive than a conventional counterpart?


There are obviously no simple answers to those questions, and those given by captains of industry and leading politicians will vary according to individual interests. Maive Rute, who heads the European Commission’s Directorate of Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology, presented the latest statistics during the “European Industrial Biotechnology World 2011” convention. A few years ago the European Commission started the "Knowledge-based Bio-Economy" (KBBE) programme to help foster a key role for biotechnology in the future. “Between 2007-2010, a total of 51 projects involving approximately 730 participants were supported with public funds exeeding a520m,” said Rute in mid-February in Amsterdam. But with public research funding alone, biotech probably won’t leave the niche. “We need a policy push to build demonstration plants,” stressed Christophe Luguel, the Scientific Coordinator at Biorefinery Euroview. Critics remain unconvinced that subsidies or tax deductions will provide a big boost. “Public funding in the inital phase is OK, but in the long run, industry has to stand alone,” said Klaus Neumann, vice president at Norwegian Borregaard Ind. Ltd.
So will companies be able to convince the buyer to pay a premium for a bio-based product? Several firms are preparing to prove they can. Among them is Dutch start-up SkyNRG, which produces a green aviation fuel that costs two to four times more than conventional kerosine. Dutch airline KLM says it is willing to pay part of the bill, and SkyNRG CEO Dirk Kronemeijer has found another partner help defray the cost – a multinational bank. Instead of paying for sometimes dubious emissions compensations, the bank has decided to support the use of the CO2-neutral green jet fuel.

“The change will take time”

Companies in related large-scale industries continue to be dubious about the significance of renewable resources. “It’s not about using biomass, it’s about making money,” says Matthijs Ruitenbeck, a Senior Scientist at Dow Benelux. Dow’s 14 petrochemical “steam cracker” plants worldwide cost US$15bn to build. It therefore comes as no surprise when Russel Mills, Director at Dow Chemicals, predicts that “the change will take time.” While the world’s leading ethylene producer remains sceptical, however, others are moving forward. Brazil-based Braskem S.A. officially inaugurated the first sugarcane-fed polyethylene plant last September. The 200.000 metric tons of bioplastic it will produce this year were sold before the plant even went online – at a 50% premium.
Companies like Tetrapak, Johnson & Johnson or Procter & Gamble are among the clients. Danone is also currently changing the packaging for it’s Activia joghurt. The new plastic consists of polylactic acid (PLA), which is made from cornstarch. “We would like to see a stronger commitment among consumers to pay for environmental benefits. However, we won’t change the recommended retail price at the moment,” said head of Danone Germany Andreas Ostermayer in an interview with the German daily the Handelsblatt.
These examples show that premiums for bio-based products are possible, but producers are worried about consumer backlash. Sky­NRG successfully advocated for a premium from its customer and the end-consumer – but Danone has decided to lay low and pay the higher cost on its own.

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

06.10.2011

Hamburg/Brussels - Evotec AG and UCB Pharma seem to be satisfied with their relationship. The Belgian pharmaceutical company entered into a second multi-year, multi-target integrated drug discovery collaboration with Evotec in...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

05.10.2011

Luxembourg - For its tiny size, Luxembourg attracts a disproportionally huge amount of venture capital. Creabilis SA has raised €15m in a Series B funding round led by Abbott Biotech Ventures. "In Abbott, we have added another...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

01.10.2011

Munich/Amsterdam – Researchers from the LMU Munich and the Aca­demic Medical Center Amsterdam have found a way to predict disease outcome in patients with life-threatening bacterial meningitis. In a nation­wide genetic...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

01.10.2011

Utrecht – Consuming fish or fish oil capsules may be a bad idea for cancer patients, according to Dutch researchers. In mid-September, a team headed by Emile Voest from the University Medical Centre Utrecht reported such products...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

01.10.2011

Rotterdam – Finnish oil refining company Neste Oil corporation has kick-started production in Europe’s largest renewable diesel refinery in Rotterdam. The plant has a capacity of 800,000 tonnes a year, and this will be ramped up...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

01.10.2011

Brussels – A European gateway to life science capacities has been launched (www.toolsofscience.eu) that is aimed at providing a novel resource for identifying the best facilities and service companies from among 13 bioregions...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

01.10.2011

Stockholm/Leiden/Barcelona – A complicated ménage a trois has come to an end: Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB, Pharming Group N.V. and Esteve S.A. announced at the beginning of September that they were terminating a 2004 deal...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

14.09.2011

Bunnik – AM-Pharma B.V. has raised €29.2m. The Dutch company plans to spend the money on delivering a human recombinant form of Alkaline Phosphatase (AP) as a treatment for Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) from preclinical stages to the...

BeNeLuxBelgiumNetherlandsLuxembourg

13.09.2011

Utrecht – Researchers at University Medical Center Utrecht have dealt a blow to the advocates of allegedly healthy fish oil. The substance which is again and again named as a helpful substance for cancer patients, seems instead...

Displaying results 21 to 30 out of 304

< Previous 21-30 Next >

© 2007-2014 BIOCOM

http://www.european-biotechnology-news.com/nc/news/messages-archive/archive-benelux/browse/2/article/a-premium-for-biobased-products.html

Events

All Events

Stock list

All quotes

TOP

  • NOVACYT (F)4.98 EUR5.96%
  • STALLERGENES (F)53.50 EUR4.37%
  • MORPHOSYS (D)72.25 EUR3.96%

FLOP

  • ANTISOMA (UK)1.32 GBP-14.84%
  • XENETIC BIOSCIENCES (UK)6.00 GBP-14.29%
  • OREXO (S)137.00 SEK-5.35%

TOP

  • WILEX (D)3.10 EUR307.9%
  • SANTHERA (CH)67.95 CHF88.7%
  • ADDEX (CH)4.03 CHF79.9%

FLOP

  • MERCK KGAA (D)64.38 EUR-49.4%
  • HYBRIGENICS (F)1.77 EUR-27.5%
  • CHRONTECH PHARMA (S)0.07 SEK-22.2%

TOP

  • SANTHERA (CH)67.95 CHF3457.6%
  • GW PHARMACEUTICALS (UK)419.75 GBP715.0%
  • PAION (D)2.77 EUR313.4%

FLOP

  • CYTOS (CH)0.26 CHF-92.4%
  • EVOCUTIS (UK)0.21 GBP-91.8%
  • THROMBOGENICS (B)9.54 EUR-69.5%

No liability assumed, Date: 27.07.2014

Job Advert

Executive Director of the IMI Joint Undertaking

The Innovative Medicines Initiative Joint Undertaking (IMI JU) is a public-private partnership between the European Commission and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries Associations (EFPIA).
The Executive Director will lead and manage the Joint Undertaking and take overall responsibility for its operations ensuring the achievement of the Joint Undertaking's objectives. more...


Current issue

All issues

Product of the week

Products