Switzerland prepared Action Plan „Biotech by Cleantech“
Bern - More than 25 experts from industry, academia and national funding agencies attended the workshop " Cleantech by Biotech - Exploiting the Value of Industrial Biotech in Chemistry and Materials Processing“ aimed at developing a strategy to implement sustainable industrial biotechnology in Swiss chemical production.
According to Swiss Biotech Association (SBA) industrial biotech is expanding rapidly due to huge sustainability benefits and limited fossil resources, especially the production of biobased plastics. The meeting supported by the Swiss Industrial Biocatalysis Consortium (SIBC), and pharma chemistry association SGCI highlighted the huge potential of industrial biotechnologies and gave an opportunity for networking with leading experts in the field.
According to OECD figures, worldwide share of bioplastics is small with 0,36 million tons of bio-plastics compared to 250 million tons of conventional plastics made from fossil resources, However, at the conference it became clear that biodegradable plastics and plastic made from biological resouces have expanded their market share by 48% annually in the last 7 years in Europe and by 38% at global scale. By 2020 a market share of 10-20% of the total plastic market is in reach. A potential that had been recognised early by the SBA that organised meetings, surveys and the current workshop to drive the field in Switzerland forward. A plan is to pool the expertise of academic and industrial know-how through so-called KTI projects. Besides that Switzerland is also running a „Cleantech by Biotech“ programme. In the next year Germany will kick-off a similar initiative. Acooeding to the German government EUR100m have been earmarked for an innovation initiative industrial biotech.