Biotechs snap up EU money
16.04.2013 - Biotechs involved in the bio-economy initiatives of five European countries pool their expertise in an EU project termed BioBaseNWE.
The partners from Bio Base Europe international non-profit organisation (BE), Ghent Bio-Energy Valley (BE), Bio Base Europe Training Center (NL), REWIN/Biobased Innovations (NL), German Cluster Industrielle Biotechnologie, Galway-based Competence Centre for Biorefining and Bioenergy (IRL) and the British National Non-Food Crops Centre (UK) have secured €6.2m from the European Commission.
The overall goal of the Bio Base NWE project is to drive growth and education in the bio-based economy in north-western Europe. The project gets 50% of its €12m overall budget through the INTERREG IVB North West Europe Programme, the other 50% from Agentschap Ondernemen (BE), Biobased delta (NL), Provincie Noord-Brabant (NL), Provincie Zeeland (NL), National University of Ireland NUI Galway, Industrial Development Agency (IDA) Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, and the National Development Plan Ireland. “Bio-based products are a growing area of interest for SMEs working in the chemical industry, agro-industry, plastics, fuels, food, textile and pharma industry“ stressed project manager Lieve Hoflack. „However, many SME’s find it difficult to bridge the gap between newly developed research and the commercial market,” she added.
The network will advise SMEs on how to get financial support for projects at a pilot plant in Ghent. This flexible pilot plant will selectively invest in equipment for promising technologies to promote further growth. The partnership will also develop and deliver programmes and tools for training skilled professionals for bio-based industries.