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27 May 2016

Final days to register for the Sustainable Catering Forum in Ghent

Ghent (Belgium) will play host to the Sustainable Catering Forum on 9 June 2016, a chance for public procurers, local and regional governments, and caterers, producers and suppliers from across Europe to exchange experiences, form partnerships, and discuss the economic, social and environmental challenges facing food systems in Europe. Guidance and knowledge gathered through the INNOCAT project will be used to shape the interactive programme.

Selected European cities will address participants on purchasing eco-innovative catering and food, touching on such topics as: making school food services healthier and more climate-friendly, minimising the environmental impact of hospital catering services, decarbonising vending machines in universities, reducing food waste and packaging, and facilitating market access for SMEs and small suppliers.

Participants will receive information on new approaches to the sustainable procurement of catering services, details of the latest EU policy developments, and get to preview new and emerging technologies in the sector. Training will also be provided on eco-innovative procurement. Participation is free of charge, with limited funds available to cover some expenses. To register, fill in the online form.

For more information, visit sustainable-catering.eu or contact innocat@iclei.org.

20 May 2016

West Holland promotes itself as a hotspot for bio-based industry

West Holland, in The Netherlands, has designed an infographic presenting the 10 reasons why the region is a hotspot to invest in the bio-based industry, highlighting its strong reputation for knowledge and expertise in the field of industrial biotechnology.

The region defines itself as a "feedstock hub" due to its “key position and strategic location for importing biomass”, as well as for its local feedstock – sugar beets are widely available. Another key fact they remark is the access to talent, as the number of students on the field of biotechnology increased from 2014 to 2015. Courses on bioprocess design, environmental biotech, and biocatalysis and protein engineering are available in the area.

The Netherlands is strongly focusing on shifting to a bio-based economy. It is stated that “entrepreneurs, knowledge institutes and government agencies strengthen the front runner position of the region in the bio-based economy”.

To learn more, visit The Innovation Quarter

13 May 2016

First InnProBio market dialogue held in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

The Dutch Public Procurement Expertise Centre (PIANOo) – one of the InnProBio partners – the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Erasmus Medical Centre (The Netherlands) and the hospitals Reinier de Graaf and Rijnstate co-organised the first market dialogue on bio-based disposables for healthcare and catering. The event took place on April 19 and the focus was on the actual purchasing needs of hospitals and of the Dutch government.

More than 130 people from local, regional and national governments, hospitals, producers and suppliers discussed their requirements, barriers and solutions related to bio-based disposables.

The deputy director of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Karin Weustink, explained the importance of a bio-based economy and how public procurers can set a good example for the private sector to move away from a fossil-based economy. Participants at the event were also informed about bioplastics and their biodegradability. Later on, procurement practitioners presented their wish lists for bio-based solutions both in the healthcare and the catering sectors. The companies attending the market dialogue also had opportunities to present their products, and listened to the comments from the audience on whether these solutions meet or do not meet procurers’ needs.

In the healthcare session, bio-based alternatives for traditional products among several product categories were discussed, such as sheets, gloves and garbage bags.

Those who attended the event will receive information on follow-up activities

For further information about InnProBio’s market dialogue activities, please contact Carla Dekker from PIANOo.

6 May 2016

Three-day conference on renewable resources and biorefineries

The 12th edition of the International Conference on Renewable Resources & Biorefineries will take place in Ghent, Belgium, from May 30 to June 1. Participants in the event will hear about the latest developments on industrial biotechnology, sustainable chemistry and agricultural policy related to the use of renewable raw materials for non-food applications and energy supply.

Speakers at the opening ceremony will address how bio-based products serve the needs of a growing world. During the three days, sessions on bio-based materials, valorisation of biomass waste streams and biomass fractionation, amongst other topics, will run in parallel.

The conference further aims at providing an overview of the scientific, technical, economic, environmental and social issues of renewable resources and biorefineries in order to give an impetus to the bio-based economy. The conference will provide a forum for leading political, corporate, academic and financial people to discuss concerns and solutions and set up collaborations. There will also be a poster session and an exhibition.

To learn more, visit: http://www.rrbconference.com/