Bio-Economy/ACHEMA European Project Supports SMEs in the Bioeconomy

Editor: Dominik Stephan

Small and medium enterprises are often driving forces of innovation and competition – The EU wants to unleash their potentials for the future European bio–economy by establishing Biochem, a project that supports SMEs with networking agencies, venture and public funding and programme consultancies in seven Member States.

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Great potentials for bio-based materials: the EU boosts (Picture: BASF)
Great potentials for bio-based materials: the EU boosts (Picture: BASF)

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) could play a decissive role for a successful bio based economy, believes Biochem, an EU-founded innovation project. Project officials welcomed the focus that a recent Communication of the European Commission (‘Innovating for Sustainable Growth – a bio–economy for Europe’) put on issues of bio based materials.

Project speakers explained that innovative SMEs could become key players for the success of this strategy: “EU policy often reminds us of the importance of a healthy SME sector. The Biochem project is giving SMEs a springboard to the bio-economy, benefiting both these small European companies and the sustainability of our sector. In the push to a more sustainable, bio-based economy, SMEs have vital role to play,” explained project Coordinator Steve Fletcher.

Bio-Economy Could Become One Of Europe’s ‘Lead Markets’

Bio-based products, made from renewable, biological raw materials such as plants and trees, are typically sold on into market sectors such as bio-plastics, bio-lubricants, surfactants, enzymes and pharmaceuticals. The use of bio–based raw materials could generate economic, environmental and societal benefits and and become one of Europe’s ‘Lead Markets’, Biochem believes.

Biochem Accelarator Forum at ACHEMA 2012

To give SMEs the possibility to participate in this development, the projects supports them with activities such as Accelerator Forums, that bring together SMEs and an influential audience of biotechnology investors, entrepreneurs and other major players in the bio-based economy. These forums offer the possibility to network, earn about tools to evaluate their company’s potential to enter and succeed in the bio-based market, and have the opportunity to pitch new business ideas to potential investors, Biochem says.

The next Biochem Accelerator Forum will take place in Frankfurt, Germany, June 18th to 22nd, during ACHEMA 2012: the world forum for the process industry and a trend-setting technology summit for chemical engineering, environmental protection and biotechnology.