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26 February 2016

European Commission invites procurers interested in PPI and PCP to take survey

The European Commission has launched a survey targeted at procurers, the results of which will guide the allocation of funds for the next Horizon 2020 Working Programmes. The survey aims to collect data from public procurers that intend to procure an innovative solution in the coming years. A budget of around €130 million is available under the 2016 - 2017 Horizon 2020 Work Programmes to support procurers that join together to implement joint cross-border Pre-Commercial Procurements (PCP) or Public Procurement of Innovation (PPI).

The short questionnaire asks which type of innovative ICT solutions are of most interest to the procurer’s organisation, giving selectable examples such as advanced computing, software services or applications, and human-centric ICT solutions. It also enquires as to the organisation's potential interest in collaborating with other procurers and the organisation's experience in innovation procurement.

The survey is hosted on the eafip website, a European Commission supported initiative that focuses on promoting the benefits of innovation procurement, as well as providing training and assistance to public procurers with an interest in implementing innovation procurements of ICT based solutions across the EU.

To take part in the survey, visit the eafip website.

19 February 2016

Utrecht to host the 4th BioEconomy Stakeholders’ Conference

Co-organised by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and by the European Commission, the 4th BioEconomy Stakeholders’ Conference will take place on 12-13 April in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

The programme of the Conference has been designed to detect the needs of the European bioeconomy. The first day is aimed at inspiring participants by listening to key stakeholders, as well as by learning more about the role of bioeconomy in the circular economy. Several interactive workshops will be held in different Dutch companies. During the second day of the event, a Manifesto for the bioeconomy in Europe will be presented. Other sessions will focus on how to organise the governance of the bioeconomy and how to progress towards an integrated bioeconomy.

As part of the side events, a bio-based house will be shown. Around 40 companies – suppliers, builders, architects, and start-ups – will contribute to the house. It will be a clear example of which bio-based materials can be used in construction and which bio-based products are already available.

Registration to the event is already available: http://www.bioeconomyutrecht2016.eu/

9 February 2016

Free online introductory course on bio-based economy

The Canvas Network – a platform where teachers, students and institutions worldwide can connect – is offering an introductory course on bio-based economy, starting on 15 February. The eight-week online course will provide an overview of the economy surrounding biotechnology. Participants will learn more about biorefineries, nutrients, biopolymers, bioenergy, and the cycle that takes products from biomass to world markets.

The instructors of the course are Michiel Michels and Nathalie Marquez, both of them senior lecturers and researchers at Avans University of Applied Sciences. Michels has a special focus on bio-based chemistry, and Marquez has been involved in bio-based research projects with a focus in techno-economic evaluation of biorefinery schemes and the upscaling of biorefinery processes.

The topics of the course are: bio-based economy (bio-based production chain, dedicated crops and biomass residuals); bio-based energy (biomass input, processing, conversion, and different units of energy); biorefinery (features and classification); biopolymers (types and biosources, properties for product development, and biocomposites), natural compounds (metabolism, metabolic pathways, and compound classes); nutrients (macro and micro nutrients, and organic fertilisers); algae (production and production system), and sustainability and economics (climate, sustainability and forecast).

For more information, visit the Canvas Network website.

5 February 2016

BBI releases its annual work plan

The Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking’s 2016 Annual Work Plan and Budget is now available from the BBI Europe website. The document outlines the scope and details of research and innovation activities prioritised for the Call for Proposals in 2016. During the next BBI JU 2016 Open Info Day, that will take place 21 April in Brussels, participants will be informed about BBI Call rules, how to apply and how to submit a proposal.

2016 AWP focuses on the need to better integrate biomass feedstock suppliers on the front end of the chain to create a demand for biomass feedstock from biorefining processes and pursues to stimulate the formation of partnerships with end market actors to create a ‘market pull’ for bio-based products for identified applications. The three strategic lines will be to have sufficient and sustainable biomass feedstock supply at affordable price, the development of biorefinery technologies and processes to increase the competitive position of the bio-based industries in Europe, and to increase market demand and customer awareness through the development of innovative products.

Topics such as bio-based food packaging, bio-based alternatives to improve protection of human health and the environment, improve sustainability of value chains based on forest biomass and increase productivity and profitability on supply side by adapting forests to climate changes, bio-based polymers/plastic materials with new functionalities for medical, construction, automotive and textile industries, and biomass production on unused land for conversion into added-value products while boosting rural and industrial development, are included in the call for proposals.

For more information, visit the BBI Europe website.