Financial Aid for Biosolutions Up to 30 000 Euro Support for SME’s Developing Biobased Innovations

Editor: Dominik Stephan

Up to 30 000 € aid for researches of biobased processes: Bio Base Europe of Belgium offers small and medium enterprise innovation coupons for studies at their pilot plant in Ghent.

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(Picture: Ernhofer/PROCESS)

SME’s can now access ‘Innovation Coupons’ worth up to 30 000€ to assess the feasibility of an innovative biobased process at Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant in Ghent, Belgium. These Innovation Coupons are an initiative of Bio Base NWE, a project to support the development of the bio-based economy in North West Europe (NWE).

So far, the partnership granted fifteen innovation coupons worth 10 000€ to smaller SME’s to validate biobased ideas. Raising the value of the coupon to a potential amount of 30 000€, provides Bio Base NWE with an extra tool to also assist larger SME’s looking for process-validation and to shorten the time-to-market for biobased innovations in general.

A Three Year project for Biomaterials

Bio Base NWE is a three-year and € 6,2 million project launched by the European Commission in 2013 to support the development of the bio-based economy in North West Europe (NWE). The Bio Base NWE partnership includes organisations from five different countries and works mainly with small and medium businesses (SME’s) to help facilitate innovation and business development in bio-based technologies.

One of the tools of the partnership is financial support by way of Innovation Coupons. Initially, these coupons represented a value of 10 000€ each for work undertaken at the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant, an independent, flexible, state-of–the-art demonstration facility in Ghent, Belgium, to demonstrate innovative bio-based technologies. Fifteen innovation coupons have been awarded so far and the impact of the coupons on SME’s is very positive.

Support for Scottish Bio–Butanol Firm

“The Innovation Coupon which Celtic Renewables received, enabled the company to achieve the smooth transition of its innovative process technology to the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant, and the commencement of scale-up trials of the technology.”, says Marc Simmers, CEO of Celtic Renewables, an Edinburgh-based bio-butanol company. “The expected successful outcome of these trials will allow Celtic Renewables to accelerate the commercialisation of the innovation, and to move towards the full-scale industrial deployment across Europe.”

Rudi Dieleman, CEO of Pectcof (The Netherlands), states: “It is not just about the money, it is all about the technical support. Scale-up is unpredictable business, a process that works perfectly in the lab, can behave completely different in a larger production batch. The Innovation Coupon gave us access to the valuable scale-up skills and expertise at Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant, and helped us to shape a commercially viable industrial process.”