CLIB - NOVEL BIOBASED - CLIB2021

 
CLIB - NOVEL BIOBASED - CLIB2021
CLIB
Edition 2018 / 2019

                            NOVEL BIOBASED
                                  VALUE CHAINS

   The Industrial Biotechnology Cluster Building Sustainability
CLIB - NOVEL BIOBASED - CLIB2021
Contents

Introduction                                                        3
CLIB2021 - The Bioeconomy Network                                   4
CLIB Strategy                                                       5
10 Years of CLIB                                                    8
Structured Networking Process                                       10
BioInnovation Growth mega-Cluster - BIG-Cluster                     15
Technology Transfer - From Invention to Innovation                  17
Scale-up and Demonstration                                          21
Enabling Novel Value Chains                                         23
Education - Training the Next Generation of Biotech Professionals   27
Project Fact Sheets                                                 28
CLIB Extended Board                                                 31
CLIB Advisory Board                                                 34
CLIB Office                                                         36
CLIB Members                                                        37
Member Profiles                                                     40
Contact / Imprint                                                   67

2
CLIB - NOVEL BIOBASED - CLIB2021
Introduction

 10 years of CLIB: Review and Outlook
Dear members and friends,                                          Third: Obviously, there is not one global bioeconomy. Regional
This year CLIB looks back on a successful decade of open in-       ecological, economical, political, and societal conditions all
novation in bioeconomy. Within this timespan, the view on the      need to be considered when defining strategies to shape the
bioeconomy and how quickly to implement it, has changed            feedstock change and the way into the bioeconomy. From the
dramatically. Whereas in the past dwindling fossil resources       very beginning, CLIB has payed attention to the global dimen-
were in the foreground, today climate protection is the focus.     sion of bioeconomy value chains. Universities, multinational
The Paris Climate Agreement of 2015 increasingly displays its      companies, and SME participated in several delegation trips
full effect, demanding greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, the        to other EU countries, to South- and North-America, Russia,
changing of feedstock and the improvement of feedstock ef-         Japan, China, and South-East Asia. Today, 24 % of CLIB’s
ficiency. The agreement also sets a clear time line for reducing   members are located in these regions and enrich CLIB’s ac-
GHG emissions by 95 % compared to the level of 1990. This          cumulated wisdom through their specific views, capabilities,
ambitious but inevitable target implies a disruptive transfor-     and needs. Cross-regional and international partnering is and
mation of carbon processing industries to be implemented by        remains one of CLIB’s focus fields. A well-established example
2050. Society, politics and industries have begun to take up       is BIG-Cluster, the cross-regional cooperation of North-Rhine
the challenge, modifying general frameworks, defining targets,     Westphalia (Germany), Flanders (Belgium) and The Nether-
implementing sustainable processing, and adapting business         lands. Supported by the regional governments, well integrated
models. As always, early movers will be the winners.               in national and EU bioeconomy programs, and with a jointly
                                                                   defined working plan in technical and scientific topics as well
What is the role of CLIB in this transformation process?           as university education, BIG-Cluster has become a model in
First: All CLIB members are engaged in this transformation         pushing cross-regional bioeconomy developments.
process. Academia and industries develop data-sets, know-
how, and technologies each in their own fields of interest.        Fourth: The new approaches in feedstock, processing, and
Across CLIB’s about 100 members, an enormous knowledge is          business models the bioeconomy needs often emerge in
waiting to be made available and valorised. CLIB functions as a    young companies outside of established structures. The trans-
market radar for the early identification of promising feed-       fer of biotech innovations from academia to industrial practice
stock and product opportunities and technology needs. The          is essential to realise a European bioeconomy strategy. SMEs
main tool-set to make the accumulated wisdom of its academ-        and start-ups play a vital role in this transfer process. It is they
ic, industrial, and investing community available, are proven      who possess the required dynamics, courage, and entrepre-
communication platforms developed over the last decade.            neurial potential, as well as the scientific excellence of their
CLIB adds value by „connecting the dots“ along bioeconomy          founders, to bring risky, extraordinary, or explorative business
value chains. One example is the CIC, CLIB’s international con-    ideas and developments into practice and implementation
ference, which has evolved to a highly reputed annual partner-     in industry. In doing so, they connect academia and large
ing event for international bioeconomy stakeholders.               industry in the innovation process and accelerate the dynamic
                                                                   development of the bioeconomy. CLIB and its members
Second: The transformation process into the bioeconomy is          support SMEs and start-ups in this vital role and thus strength-
fundamental. It is too big and too complex to walk it alone.       en European leadership and technologic advancements. CLIB
Maintaining and expanding the network of bioeconomy                members provide commercial services and pro bono, commit-
stakeholders is therefore a never-ending task. Partners are        ment to define the appropriate strategy, raise financing and
needed to provide the necessary capacity in technologies,          grow the enterprise. Several companies have evolved from the
                                human resources, know-how,         cluster over the last decade
                                and capital. CLIB helps to form    and found their way into bioec-
                                appropriate consortia out of       onomy markets.
                                its membership and beyond.
                                Most consortia are target-         With now 10 years of providing
                                ing on science & technology,       services in networking, com-
                                and academic education.            munication, and partnering we
                                Meanwhile CLIB is a proven         are grateful for the continuous
                                „midwife“ in forming successful    and effective cooperation with
                                R & D & I consortia.               our stakeholders and feel well
                                                                   prepared to effectively support
                                                                   our members on the way into
   Thomas Schwarz                                                                                          Manfred Kircher
                                                                   the bioeconomy.
                                                                                                                                    3
CLIB - NOVEL BIOBASED - CLIB2021
CLIB2021

    The Bioeconomy Network
CLIB2021 is an international open-innovation cluster of large                                         tors   Large
                                                                                                 Inves     Industries Med
companies, small- to medium-size enterprises (SMEs), aca-                                                             Ent ium
                                                                                                                         erp -sc
demic institutes and universities, as well as other stakeholders                           t
                                                                                                                            ris ale
                                                                                    s & por
                                                                                                                               es
active in biotechnology and the bioeconomy as a whole. We                             p

                                                                                  sS n
                                                                                es tio
                                                                                    u
are a non-profit association, with our members shaping the

                                                                             sin ia
                                                                           Bu ssoc
cluster’s interests and activities. Our membership of more

                                                                             A
than 100 organisations comprises an international share of
about 25 % (see figure 1). We aim to network our members
within and beyond the cluster to initiate new research and
business projects. Our goal is to network stakeholders along                                          CLIB
and across value chains and to identify new opportunities in
the circular bioeconomy.

                                                                                                                                      Enter l-scale
                                                                                                                                       Smal
                                                                                                                                           pris
As the bioeconomy becomes increasingly diverse, our member-

                                                                                                                                                es
ship progressively includes diverse industries and branches
such as biotechnology, chemistry, food and feed, and pulp and

                                                                                 ia
paper. This includes multinationals, large companies, SMEs, and                         em
                                                                                     cad
start-ups. At CLIB, we try to link feedstock owners with technol-
                                                                                    A

ogy providers, processing industries, and consumer industries,
                                                                         Fig. 1: CLIB members. Categories subdivided in national /
and this also is reflected in our membership structure.                          international members

But an innovative field like the bioeconomy needs scientific             CLIB is also active in two European public-private partnerships
excellence. This is why the universities in our network have             funded within Horizon2020: BBI and SPIRE. Closer to home,
strong track records in basic research while also branching              CLIB has worked to form strong trilateral contacts between its
out into applied research and start-ups. Some of them have               German home state of NRW, The Netherlands, and Flanders.
platforms to generate novel technologies and new scientific              This has been recognised by the German Federal Ministry of
insights that are crucial for biotechnological processes and             Education, Science, and Research (BMBF), which has awarded
products. Others of our research and technology organisations            CLIB funding for its BIG-Cluster - BioInnovation Growth Mega-
(RTO) have a dedicated applied focus, such as the German                 Cluster project as part of the “Internationalisation of Leading
Fraunhofer Institutes and several of our international RTOs.             Edge Clusters” funding programme (see page 22).

An invention only becomes an innovation if it can be
implemented and commercialised, and start-ups and
SMEs especially benefit from access to a thriving ecosys-
                                                                    CLIB2021 e.V.
tem comprising experts and facilities essential for bring-
                                                                    CLIB is a registered association under German law, based in
ing an innovation to market. To this end, CLIB seeks to
                                                                    Düsseldorf, NRW. The main bodies of our association are the
include within its network competence in intellectual
                                                                    extended board, the advisory board, and the annual general
property (IP) and legal issues, techno-economic evalua-
                                                                    assembly. Our extended board (see page 31) has 12 seats, with
tion, process development, and scale-up. Our members
                                                                    each group of members (industry, SME, academia, and others)
also include investors, consultants, infrastructure pro-
                                                                    represented by three seats. The extended board meets at regular
viders, pilot plants, and networks.
                                                                    intervals throughout the year to make strategic decisions, and it
                                                                    elects the executive board of four chairpersons.
The bioeconomy is of course not a national German
                                                                    CLIB receives strategic input from an international advisory board
business alone. It is a worldwide trend requiring a
                                                                    made up of seven experts from academia and industry (see page
global approach. Our members and strong partners in
                                                                    34). The general assembly comes together to decide about the
Germany, Europe, Russia, North and South America,
                                                                    formal approval of the actions of the executive board and also
and Australasia are the cluster’s links to global markets.
                                                                    elects its members every four years. At the CLIB office in Düsseldorf,
We have CLIB contact points at our partners in Brazil,
                                                                    a staff of eight carries out the cluster work and organisation.
Canada, China, Malaysia, and Russia. It is in these
regions, and Europe, that most of our activities are
centred.

4
CLIB - NOVEL BIOBASED - CLIB2021
CLIB Strategy

    CLIB Strategy
At the CLIB retreat in summer 2017, the extended board,             At CLIB, we believe that the bioeconomy and the circular
together with several other CLIB members, developed a new           economy are essential for a sustainable, competitive economy
vision and mission statement. In the light of the Paris Climate     in Europe and that biotechnology is a key technology in realis-
Agreement, sustainability was found to be the most important        ing this carbon neutral economy. How can a budding indus-
driver for CLIB, with industrial biotechnology being the central    trial sector succeed against the hurdles just described? New
means to foster sustainability in all of its dimensions: people,    technologies can be enabled through high-value products,
planet and profit.                                                  which are accessible by these technologies in the short term.
                                                                    High-value products (such as specialties) will allow for faster
    CLIB2021 pushes sustainability through biotechnological         market access. On this basis, viable business cases of pilot and
                  solutions from a strong network                   demonstration actions with smaller feedstock and product
                                                                    volumes can be drafted. They can then serve as reference
This vision clearly focuses on the strengths of the cluster - the   points to demonstrate bio-based successes. Specialties can
competency in industrial biotechnology and the network itself.      also be enabling products for long-term markets by increasing
Toward this aim, CLIB has formulated several activities in its      efficiency and capacities in the mid-term and thus allowing the
mission: We develop cross-sectoral biotechnological solutions       cost-efficient production of bulk chemicals and fuels.
for sustainable processes and products, through
•     offering a cross-sectoral, interdisciplinary,                 This market-focused technology development is what we drive
      and international networking platform                         at CLIB. Our activities, actions, and projects are aligned with
•     applying an industry-driven structured innovation process     this strategy, which has been drafted by our office team in
•     initiating collaborative R & D & I projects                   close collaboration with the executive and extended board,
•     fostering an interdisciplinary and industry-oriented          our advisory board, and input from our members. We have
      education                                                     identified five strategic elements that we use to focus our
                                                                    efforts: networking, education, technology transfer, regulatory
Several drivers are promoting the use of biotechnology in           framework, and scale-up and demonstration.
the bioeconomy and circular economy today. Alternative
feedstocks offer diversification of the feedstock base, adding
stability to a volatile market. Biotechnological
processes can increase efficiency and lower CO2
emissions, thereby reducing the carbon and
environmental footprints. Both together mean
more sustainable, more competitive processes
for the industry, society and environment. A dif-
ferent driver is the chance to generate molecules
with novel functionalities, increasing competi-
tiveness through innovative products.

Biotechnology (and, indeed, the bioeconomy)
also faces stiff hurdles. The high availability of
fossil feedstocks, along with the drop in oil prices
over recent years, has meant less incentive to
innovate towards bio-based feedstocks and
processes. The high efficiency of the established
petrochemical processes, which have often been
improved over decades, and the lower technol-
ogy readiness level (TRL) of biotechnological
processes compared to existing petrochemical
routes also pose a difficult environment for bio-
technology to enter industrial practice.

                                                                                                                                      5
CLIB - NOVEL BIOBASED - CLIB2021
CLIB Strategy

                               Education                                          Technology Transfer

                                                             CLIB
                                        CLIB2021 pushes sustainability through
                                        biotechnological solutions from a strong
                                                       network

          Framework                                                                                           Scale-Up

                                                            Networking

Fig. 2: The five elements of the cluster‘s strategy.

Networking is, of course, the core business of any cluster           We actively support technology transfer from academia to
and includes basics such as member services and acquisition.         SMEs and industry, for example, through our technology
We provide a networking platform for our members, which              cluster or prototype workshops. Through our structured
serves as a central repository for project-related information       networking process, we are able to match technology develop-
and acts as a networking tool to prepare our conferences and         ers with their downstream value chains and can initiate and
meetings. Through our networking efforts, we connect our             evaluate consortia. We offer coaching and support to start-ups
members with one another, along and across value chains,             and give them opportunities to pitch their ideas to relevant
sectors and disciplines. We also open the cluster to input from      stakeholders.
partners and stakeholders to invite new ideas and impulses,
thereby providing our members with new opportunities in              A major hurdle for successful technology transfer is scale-up
business, networking, and partnering. At CLIB, we have de-           and demonstration. Even after partners have been found and
signed and implemented a structured networking process (see          agree on further development of a research result, it can be a
pages 10 – 11) to get the right stakeholders in contact with one     challenge to scale-up a process from the lab to an industrially
another and to provide a fruitful, constructive setting in which     relevant environment or to produce enough sample mate-
to exchange ideas and form project consortia.                        rial for testing a novel molecule or substance. In our strategy,
                                                                     we focus on higher-value products, which are relatively easily
A dedicated education approach is crucial for fields such as         accessible and can serve as enablers to establish biotechnol-
biotechnology and the bioeconomy, in which multiple scientific       ogy in the industry. But even for these relatively small-scale
disciplines intersect. Only through specialised initiatives can      processes, universities and RTOs do not always have the
new professionals be trained who are experts in their own disci-     necessary equipment of the required scale. Here, CLIB is active
plines but are also able to take a holistic approach to a process,   in SME-support projects such as the BioBase4SME voucher
product, or value chain. These experts are needed to advance         system to support scale-up financially, and we also support
science and applied technologies, and to create new innova-          enhanced integration with chemical processes and in chemical
tions. CLIB especially supports the collaboration of academia        parks. CLIB actively supports developments to help SMEs and
and industry in applied research and is working on cross-border      academia to access equipment for testing.
concepts of education in key bio-based technologies.

6
CLIB - NOVEL BIOBASED - CLIB2021
CLIB Strategy

Implementation of the bioeconomy and the circular economy
needs a supporting regulatory framework on regional, na-
tional, and EU levels. CLIB has for years been active at all of
these levels to promote the potential of bio-based and alterna-
tive feedstocks as well as to help identify technologies and
market requirements. Although it is clear that no new sector
can survive while being dependent on subsidies, a positive
regulatory framework that includes certification of bio-based
products, the use of side streams for the circular bioeconomy,
combined chemical-biotechnological approaches, and a focus
on cradle-to-cradle product evaluation can speed up the im-
plementation of a sustainable, bio-based economy.

Through these five elements and CLIB’s mission, we pursue
our vision to push sustainability through biotechnological
solutions from a strong network. CLIB provides added value
to its members by integrating them into an international
network of academia, investors, SMEs, and industry, by build-
ing knowledge in relevant topics, markets, and technologies
                                                                              bioeconomy and circular economy, and the support of demo
as well as trends in biotechnology and clean technologies. The
                                                                              and pilot projects of biotech technologies and processes helps
cluster provides access to specialists in the fields of biology,
                                                                              members to realise new research, demonstration, and innova-
chemistry, and engineering and helps to create novel business
                                                                              tion projects either in consortia or in bilateral contacts.
models through the formation of networks and value-chain
analysis in biotechnology and clean technologies. The forma-
                                                                                  That is CLIB - the industrial biotechnology cluster building
tion of tailored consortia, the provision of information on
                                                                                                         sustainability.
current calls and strategy processes in the field of the

                                                                         BIG-C

                                                                      Networking

                                                                  Technology transfer
                                           E
                                         SM

                                                                       Scale-up
                                       e4
                                    Bas

                                                                                                               HiP
                                 Bio

                                                                                                                  erIn

                                                                      Education

                                                                      Framework

                                                                      CLIB
                                         me
                                      trö

                                                                                                              INM
                                    ffs

                                                                                                                 AR
                                  to

                                                                                                                   E
                                 S
                                          N
                                        RI

                                                                        BiOPEN

Fig. 3: Classification of projects according to the cluster‘s strategic elements. Shades of blue indicate the elements mainly pursued within
        each project.

                                                                                                                                                 7
CLIB - NOVEL BIOBASED - CLIB2021
10 Years of CLIB

    10 Years of CLIB2021
None of the 33 founding members probably envisioned that the re-
gional activity they initiated in NRW, Germany in 2007 would ten years
later have grown into a world-wide network of over 100 members.
Not only did CLIB continue to exist beyond the initial funding period
of the BioIndustry2021 competition from 2008-2013, it actively grew,                                 CLIB Technology Platforms
gained new members and support, and evolved into a trusted partner                                  Four technology platforms PolyOmics,
in European projects.                                                                               Expression, Biocatalysis, Downstream

                                                      2007
                                                                                                  Processing established at the Universities
                                                                                                    Bielefeld, Dortmund, Düsseldorf and
                                                                                                           Forschungszentrum Jülich

                                                         CLIB2021
                                         Founding of the association CLIB2021 e.V.                             2008
                                       First place in the BioIndustrie2021 competiti-
                                        on of the BMBF (Federal Ministry of Educa-
                                                     tion and Research)

                                                      BioBaseNWE
                                           Launch of the INTERREG BioBaseNWE
                                         project, led by Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant

                                                                                                               2012

                                                      2013
                                                                                                             Malaysian Office
                                                                                                      th
                                                                                                     4 international office at Malaysian
                                                                                                  Biotechnology Corporation, Kuala Lumpur,
                                                                                                                  Malaysia

                                                                                           CLIB
                                                                                                     New Logo & Chinese Office
                                                                                                           New CLIB logo published

                                                      2014
                                                                                                  5th international office at Qingdao Institute
                                                                                                  of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology,
                                                                                                              Qingdao, China

                                                   BIG-Cluster & RIN
                                        Start of the tri-national BIG-Cluster initiative                       2015
                                           of Flanders, the Netherlands and NRW

                                       Grant for the RIN Stoffströme, funded by the
                                         Ministry of Culture and Science of NRW

8
CLIB - NOVEL BIOBASED - CLIB2021
10 Years of CLIB

                                                    1st CIC & Russian Office
                                                  1st CLIB International Conference

              2009
                                                2nd international office at the Research
                                               Center of Biotechnology, Moscow, Russia

      CLIB-GC & Alberta Office
 Until 2016, over 120 doctoral students took
      part in the CLIB-Graduate Cluster.
                                                           2010
  Opening of the 1st international office in
      Drayton Valley, Alberta, Canada

   German-Russian Cooperation
Initiation of the German-Russian Cooperation
     Network Biotechnology (2011 - 2014).

 3rd international office in São Paulo, Brazil

              2011

                                                          Québec Office
                                               6th international office at Saint-Hyacinthe
                                                    Technopole, Québec, Canada

              2016
       Spitzencluster & HiPerIn
  BMBF grant for the BIG-Cluster in the call               2017
 “Internationalisierung von Spitzenclustern”
 Start of the HiPerIn project, funded by the
Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation,
      Digitalization and Energy of NRW
                                                      Today, CLIB helps its members to develop their business ideas
                                                      and turn scientific results into marketable products. In this regard,
                                                      we are looking forward to further evolve CLIB together with our
                                                      members and partners, for the next decade and beyond...

                                                                                                                              9
CLIB - NOVEL BIOBASED - CLIB2021
Networking Process

 Structured Networking Process
Our structured networking process is designed to get the right      invited experts; these meetings cover specific topics and build
stakeholders in contact with one another and to provide a           consortia or proceed to bilateral talks. The CLIB team also
fruitful, constructive setting in which to exchange ideas and       helps members to initiate bilateral meetings and moderates
form project consortia. The CLIB team has developed a series        such meetings.
of event formats that span the range from conferences to
bilateral talks to narrow down a specific topic and help individ-   The following example shows our workflow in the BIG-Cluster
ual members to find the right partners, build trust, and share      project to illustrate our structured process, which we also
information that can lead to new ideas and opportunities.           optimise and implement in other projects. Here, the differ-
                                                                    ent stages of the networking process were the kick-off event,
Our CLIB International Conference showcases emerging                working group meetings, and round-table meetings. The aim
trends and connects them to markets. Especially relevant            was to connect international clusters from NRW, Flanders, and
topics are taken up and presented in greater detail during          The Netherlands to network stakeholders, competencies,
forum events, which usually are attended by 40 to 60 people         and projects; to generate the critical mass for pilot and demo
and are also seen as scouting opportunities for larger compa-       plants to implement new technologies in the region; and to
nies. They also involve non-members as input-givers. Round-         implement value chains for biobased aromatics. A parallel
table meetings are held with a smaller group of about 10 to 20      workflow was carried out for new value chains in C1 utilisation.

                                                                              Working Group Meeting
                                                                              In the following working group meetings on
                                                                              biobased aromatics, a comprehensive expertise
     BIG-C Kick-off                                                           mapping was achieved to identify stakeholders
     Similar to the CIC for CLIB, the BIG-Cluster kick-                       covering the whole value chain from lignocellu-
     off meeting served as a starting point for the                           losic feedstock suppliers via technology providers
     BMBF-funded BIG-Cluster project to identify in-                          to chemical process industry and brand owners.
     terested stakeholders in the three regions and to                        The focus was on suitable pretreatment methods
     perform an analysis of their interests and exper-                        to obtain high-quality lignin fractions, on tailor-
     tise. After extensive preparatory work to obtain                         made DSP to fractionate and separate highly
     an overview of relevant stakeholders, to analyse                         functionalised bioaromatic molecules and on
     technology approaches in the field of biobased                           industry-relevant applications like coatings and
     aromatics, and to map running activities and pro-                        adhesives. The CLIB team researched funding
     jects in Europe with a focus on the BIG-Cluster                          options for trinational R & D projects and the
     region (e. g. Biorizon and the Vanguard Initia-                          promotion of early-stage researchers in this field.
     tive), CLIB organised the kick-off meeting with
     two parallel sessions. In the biobased aromatics
     session, presentations given by Ludo Diels (VITO
     and Biorizon) and Willem Sederel (Biobased
     Delta) illustrated the diverse projects, initiatives
     and activities that had already been initiated with
     a main focus on lignin valorisation. During the C1
     session, representatives from thyssenkrupp Steel
     Europe and Covestro gave an overview of indus-
     try’s interests in this topic. Rich discussions in
     both sessions raised several important aspects.
     CLIB analysed the main topics raised during the
     meeting and prepared further working group
     meetings to sharpen the focus of the project.

10
Networking Process

      Round-table Meetings

                                                                                                         s
                                                                                                      ion
                                                                                                   rat
      The aim of the roundtable meetings was to build

                                                                                                 bo
      on the outcomes of the working group meetings

                                                                                              lla
      and derive from them concrete actions to plan

                                                                                            Co
      projects and draft proposals. The list of avail-

                                                                                         al
      able technologies was discussed and potential

                                                                                       er
      industry-relevant applications were identified.

                                                                                     at
                                                                                  Bil
      Several project ideas were defined and funding

                                                                                &
      strategies were analysed. This was finalised in                        ts
      the last round-table meeting, in which the project
                                                                          jec
                                                                              o
      concepts for e. g. R & D projects or ‘Innovative                     Pr
      Training Networks’ and consortia were defined.

Delegation Trips
Each year, CLIB, together with its members, selects countries      visits companies and business sites and networks with stake-
or region that offers exciting developments in the bioeconomy.     holders. The aim of the delegation trip is to initiate contacts
CLIB performs an analysis and establishes the first contact with   and identify project opportunities for CLIB members. After
competent local networks. After checking funding possibilities,    the visit, CLIB remains in contact with the network established
CLIB organises a trip for its members to visit the region. Often   abroad. Further cooperation, in research or business projects,
in combination with a conference in the area, the delegation       is pushed directly by the participants.

                                                                                                                                     11
Networking Process

 In Dialogue with CLIB
CIC2017, January 2017                                               HiPerIn Forum Events
CLIB2021 launched its year with a highlight: the seventh CLIB       In its different projects, CLIB organises several forum events
International Conference (CIC2017). 170 participants from           each year. These serve to focus on topics relevant to bioecon-
14 nations, presentations ranging from the development of           omy and the project at hand, with at each event three to four
biotechnologically and economically feasible processes to bio-      presentations and a total of 30 – 50 participants. The network-
based applications in home and personal care, and a high-pro-       ing during and after the forum events has become a mainstay
file panel discussion made this first international conference      of CLIB’s network activities. Examples are the 2017 forum
on bioeconomy in 2017 a good start of the year.                     events on technology transfer and life cycle analyses, which
                                                                    where part of the Biobase4SME project (see p.18). Within the
The CIC once again emphasised a change in thinking in the bio-      HiPerIn project, four forum events were organised between
economy. In addition to aspects of sustainability, the individual   September 2016 and July 2017, which covered a diverse range
lectures also highlighted an increasing number of market-           of topics:
driven aspects, which promote the future implementation                •   29.09.16   HiPerIn – Biotech for high performance
of the bioeconomy into processes and products. A first-rate                		         ingredients in flavours & fragrances
panel discussion concluded the first day of the congress, which        •   08.12.16   Biotechnology for food and feed
was moderated this year by Dr. Ludo Diels (VITO). The panel-           •   26.04.17   High-performance ingredients for cosmetics -
lists were Ms. Andrea Noske (BMBF), Prof. Stefanie Heiden                   		        new innovations through biotech
(University of Osnabrück), Dr. Dr. Christian Patermann (former         •   06.07.17   Biotech innovations for coatings
Director, EU Commission) and Dr. Roland Breves (Henkel AG &

Co. KGaA), who discussed market requirements and the role of        All events had a representative from a large industrial
brand owners to ease biotech products into the market. Their        company giving some insight into how they view the op-
discussion, but also many of the presentations during the           portunities biotechnology offers in the production of high
day, emphasised that many wheels in business, science and           performance ingredients for added functionality in novel
politics, must be set in motion to bring bio-based products on      products. For Dr. Borup from ALTANA/BYK, the expectations
the market.                                                         were clear: biotech-derived products would not gain by being
                                                                    “greener”, they would naturally have to be sustainable to be
“The CIC not only offers a forum to draw attention to these         considered by the company. However, the big opportunity
challenges, but also tries to define approaches to address          would be to offer something new, a special extra to add to a
them,” said Dr. Thomas Schwarz, Chairman of the Board of            product in order to improve it or make it unique. Cosmetic
CLIB. Many participants concluded that the CIC offers “ an          products at Henkel are very innovative: Dr. Sättler explained
exciting congress programme, and a familiar atmosphere              that the business unit beauty care has a high innovative value
where old and new faces of the industrial biotechnology scene       of 45 %, meaning that 45 % of sales are generated by new
meet”. Many also appreciated that the CIC again managed to          products launched on the market within the last three years.
let science and industry meet on an equal footing.                  This requires active R & D to constantly develop novel products
                                                                    – which presents a chance for biotechnology-enabled novel
                                                                    ingredients to find their niche.

12
Networking Process

                                                                      BIG-Cluster Stakeholders Meeting, June 2017
However, at shelf prices of e. g. 99 cents per 100 ml of              The BIG-Cluster Stakeholders Meeting, held on 12 June 2017
shampoo, the financial margin is tight. The big challenge for         in Eindhoven, illustrated the vivid knowledge exchange and
novozymes, who engineer and produce enzymes for a variety             cross-border collaborations under the umbrella of the BIG-
of applications, is to translate consumer demand into industry.       Cluster. Diverse innovation projects bring together high-level
For example, to produce enzymes which help create a bread             experts from BIG-Cluster region in the flagship to product
which is soft, moist, tender, and has an appealing texture – all      (F2P) value chains “Aromatics from woody biomass”, “C1 gases
characteristics desired by consumers – these characteristics          to chemicals”, “Aviation fuels from various feedstocks”, and the
first have to be translated into measurable parameters. Then          horizontal topic “Circular economy education”.
an assay can be developed, and the application (in this case
bread-baking) downscaled, which can be tested in the lab.             100 experts from large companies, SMEs, academic institutes
Similar challenges were given by Henkel for testing new ingre-        and universities, as well as networks attended the matchmak-
dients for laundry detergents.                                        ing event and developed roadmaps on the BIG-Cluster F2P
                                                                      value chains in parallel workshops. The participants agreed
Other presentations touched on novel products, for example            that all stakeholders need to work together and build new
novel carbohydrates from sugarbeet, bio-based surfactants,            value chains supported by the government(s) to facilitate large
self-healing coatings or bio-based pigments for colourful             investments. The meeting revealed starting points for new
biobased plastics. Making complex natural substances readily          collaboration topics and cross-border research & innovation
accessible through biotechnological production routes makes           projects.

them also available for new applications – what would have            The cross-border activities under the umbrella of the BIG-
been a prized ingredient for fragrances can now be used in            Cluster will be intensified in the future. The next Stakeholders
larger scales e.g. as insect repellent, or levulinic ketals can now   Meeting in 2018 will further foster bio-based economy in the
be used in cosmetics.                                                 BIG-Cluster region.

In 2018, CLIB staff will organise follow-up events, Round
Tables, on topics identified as especially relevant during the        “The BIG-Cluster initiative has started in 2013. Today, we look
forum events. These will serve to connect stakeholders and            back on a success story as the 10 project pitches have impres-
initiate new projects and business ideas. They will also guide        sively demonstrated. They build a sustainable base to expand
the development of a roadmap towards a HiPerIn Competence             the close collaboration of the three BIG-Cluster regions.”
Centre.
                                                                      Willem Sederel, Biobased Delta
CLIB members and participants of the individual forum events
can download the full reports and presentations from the CLIB
networking website.

                                                                                                                                        13
Networking Process

BMBF Delegation Trip on Entrepreneurship to China,                  New CLIB Canada Representative Office in Quebec, July 2017
June 2017                                                           To increase the strong collaborations between the Canadian
China is one of the most important research nations in the          province of Quebec and Germany, an agreement for a CLIB
world and is systematically expanding its innovative capacity.      representative office was signed by CLIB and Saint-Hyacinthe
Like Germany, China has placed innovation at the centre of          Technopole on 24 July 2017 during the BIO World Congress in
its economic and social developments. It has consequently           Montréal. Saint-Hyacinthe will be the second contact point for
become an important research and development partner in             companies interested to get in touch with cooperation part-
the search for solutions to global challenges. In June 2017,        ners in Canada. CLIB opened its first Canadian representative
CLIB participated in a delegation to Jiangsu province organised     office in Drayton Valley, Alberta, in 2009.
by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research,
BMBF. With over 200 German companies, the city of Taicang           For more than a year and a half CLIB has been maintaining a
hosts the largest number of German enterprises in China.            close contact with Saint-Hyacinthe Technopole, which was initi-
                                                                    ated by CLIB’s long-term Canada expert Bruno Wiest (Trade
The aim of the trip was to participate in the Sino-German           Commissioner, Embassy of Canada). During a 2016 delegation
Youth Innovation Cooperation and Entrepreneurship week.             visit, CLIB members and partners met with Canadian research-
This event intended to promote communications and experi-           ers and entrepreneurs from Saint-Hyacinthe to discuss scien-
ence sharing between young entrepreneurs from China and             tific topics and cooperation opportunities. After the trip, both
Germany. The more than 30 BMBF delegates visited the Sino-          CLIB and Saint-Hyacinthe Technopole agreed to keep in close
German Dual System Training Centre, which is the first of its       contact.

kind, located in Taicang. After splitting the delegation into two   This collaboration has now been further deepened, when
subgroups focusing on either IT and process manufacturing, or       Manfred Kircher and André Barnabé (General Manager,
biotechnology and medicine, the delegates visited the Chinese       Saint-Hyacinthe Technopole), finalised the agreement for the
cities of Wuxi and Nanjing.                                         new CLIB representative office in Quebec hosted by Saint-
                                                                    Hyacinthe Technopole. They will support CLIB’s members
CLIB was part of the biotechnological delegate group and            to develop business in Canada by offering on-the-ground
visited the Nanjing Biotech and Pharmaceutical Valley, an           assistance, helping to reach new export markets in Canada
accelerator for young biotech companies. Also impressive            and North America. Further on, the Technopole will help to
was the YouthSpace Incubator. This office building for young        connect with qualified Canadian contacts for R & D partnering,
entrepreneurs provides a supported infrastructure to start-         commercialization or sourcing of technology. CLIB is looking
ups. CLIB had already, at earlier visits, experienced the kind      forward to a fruitful cooperation with Saint-Hyacinthe Techno-
hospitality and the scientific expertise of its Chinese members,    pole.
the Nanjing Tech University and Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy
and Bioprocess Technology. The latter is the official CLIB rep-     “Quebec and Germany share the very same bioeconomy
resentative office in Qingdao. CLIB will continue to strengthen     vision and provide excellent academic and private facilities will-
the ties to China and its Chinese members, also by organising       ing to cooperate in research, development and commercializa-
future visits.                                                      tion. Therefore I’m happy to see CLIB’s next anchor in Canada
                                                                    opened”

                                                                    Dr. Manfred Kircher, Chairman of the CLIB Advisory Board
14
BIG-Cluster

 BIG-Cluster
The BioInnovation Growth mega-Cluster (BIG-Cluster) is a           Fuels) and the cross-sectional topic “Circular Economy Educa-
cross-border Smart Specialisation Initiative aiming at making      tion” (Education). In 2016 and 2017, CLIB initiated three inter-
Europe’s industrial mega-cluster in the Flanders region of         national consortia focused on these topics via the previously
Belgium, The Netherlands, and the German state North Rhine-        described structured networking process.
Westphalia (NRW) a global model in comprehensive bio-based
value chains. The region has been a powerhouse of industrial       F2P Value Chain “C1 Bioconversion”
innovation for decades.                                            Generally, CO- and CO2-containing gas streams from diverse
                                                                   industrial sectors (chemical, energy, steel) are abundant in
BIG-Cluster was initiated by the three cluster organisations BE-   the BIG-Cluster region as Europe’s industrial heart. Moreover,
Basic (The Netherlands), Catalisti (Flanders, Belgium), and CLIB   syngas from the gasification of organic materials, such as mu-
(NRW, Germany). It is backed by Biobased Delta, BIO.NRW,           nicipal solid waste or industrial solid waste, provides another
CEF.NRW, Chemelot Brightlands, CleanTechNRW, FlandersBio           source. These C1 gases can become valuable feedstock for
& Flanders Biobased Valley. BIG-Cluster’s purpose is to speed      the production of chemical building blocks that are currently
up the transition into the bioeconomy and circular economy         being produced via petrochemical process routes. The capabil-
in the participating regions, to identify and take advantage       ity to produce these building blocks from renewable non-food
of critical mass and synergies in public and private R & D and     feedstocks would be an asset for European industries and
training and education facilities, and to implement and build      offers a model of innovative circular integration and explores
capacity in the aforementioned fields and in industries. One of    a new-to-the-market carbon source available in Europe in very
the long-term goals is to enable pilot and demonstration activi-   big volumes. First C1 bioconversion technology approaches
ties for the production of chemical building blocks and fuels      are currently on the brink of commercialisation, but C1 bio-
based on alternative resources - 2nd generation biomass and        conversion still has several hurdles before it can be extensively
industrial waste gases - in the region.                            implemented.

The German Federal Ministry for Education and Research
(BMBF), as part of its ‘Internationalisation of Leading-                                      C i rc u l a r Econo
                                                                                                                     my
Edge Clusters, Forward-Looking Projects, and Compara-
ble Networks’ Strategy, supports CLIB’s internationalisa-
tion strategy within the BIG-Cluster initiative with up
to 4 M EUR in the period of 2016 – 2020. International
partners from industry and academia along specific
‘Flagship-to-Product’ (F2P) value chains join their high-lev-
                                                                                            BIG-Cluster
                                                                      Internatio

el, multidisciplinary expertise to set up a project network
around various technology fields, spanning the entire                              BioInnovation Growth mega-Cluster
BIG-Cluster region and beyond. The project network
fosters the systematic development of key technolo-
                                                                          na

gies crucial for the realisation of novel biobased value
                                                                             lis

                                                                                                                                  y
                                                                                   at

                                                                                                                             om

chains. Working groups regularly meet to discuss recent
                                                                                      n                                      on
                                                                                    io

progress, define new project ideas, and set up consortia.                                                                c
These meetings act as innovation hubs for the develop-                                                           B   ioe
ment of new technologies and novel sustainable value
chains and, as such, provide a platform for all stakehold-
ers of the whole BIG-Cluster region and beyond. Due to
the focus on specific topics and its super regional character,     The major challenges that must be overcome to be competi-
BIG-Cluster offers the possibility for CLIB and its members to     tive with petrochemical routes and processes based on sugar
actively foster cross-border projects, acquire funding on an       fermentation are a lower TRL compared with chemocatalytic
international level, and expand their network.                     conversion and sugar fermentation, resulting in a lack of
                                                                   know-how and experience; a lower process efficiency; a limited
Currently, BIG-Cluster focuses on the three F2P value chains       product spectrum; limited genetic toolboxes for efficient strain
“Aromatics and Fine Chemicals from Woody Biomass”                  development; the necessity of alternative reactor design; and,
(Biobased Aromatics), “Chemicals from CO and CO2” (C1 Bio-         last but not least, the need for proof-of-concept studies at rel-
conversion), “Aviation Fuel from Various Feedstocks” (Aviation     evant scale to demonstrate technical and economic feasibility.

                                                                                                                                       15
BIG-Cluster

To tackle this hurdle, the project BioCOnversion will develop         Therefore, it is highly desirable to develop conversion routes
a process enabling the biotechnological conversion of CO/             to upgrade renewable biomass to aromatic molecules. Lignin,
syngas into a high-value plastic precursor (for more detailed         the second most abundant terrestrial polymer and the only
information, refer to p. 19). The first BIG-Cluster think tank “C1    large source for biobased aromatics, is currently used only in
Bioconversion” was set up with more than 20 stakeholders. Its         limited amounts since conventional lignin extraction processes
experts are developing integrated process optimisations with          often suffer from poor quality of the lignin fraction. The
hand-in-hand strain development and process engineering.              biobased aromatics approach is driven by the need for highly
One of the major challenges is the limited product spectrum,          functionalised aromatic molecules that can be applied in dif-
since the only intermediates accessible to date are small             ferent application fields.
molecules such as alcohols and organic acids. They are bulk
chemicals which suffer from high economic pressure, espe-             In BIG-Cluster, a main focus is on molecules with new function-
cially under the current historically low oil price. This restricts   alities. Chemical and/or enzymatic upgrading strategies are of
the implementation of new processes based on CO or CO2.               particular interest to acquire highly functionalised molecules.
The C1 Bioconversion Think Tank aims to develop novel value           Therefore, lignin extraction processes, which maintain the
chains ranging from the primary conversion of these C1 gases          structure and functionality of lignin, in combination with in-
via gas fermentation into intermediates, which will in turn be        novative chemical and biotechnological conversion routes are
converted to higher-value chemicals using biotechnological            urgently needed to enable the production of functionalised
and / or (electro)chemical methods. Target products in focus          biobased aromatics.
are chemical building blocks with wide-range applications but
a higher value than ethanol, such as plastic precursors and           Against this background, BIG-Cluster initiates projects such as
further platform chemicals.                                           the ALIGN project (see p. 22) focussing on different extraction
                                                                            technologies, biotechnological and chemical conversion
                                                                            routes, tailor-made downstream processing (DSP), and
                                                                            new applications. The whole value chain from feedstock
                                                                            providers to brand owners will be covered to facilitate
                                                                            entry into markets such as adhesives, coatings, plastics,
                                                                            and food and beverages. Because of the vast diversity
                                                                            of both feedstocks and applications, the F2P value chain
                                                                            “Biobased Aromatics” involves stakeholders from differ-
                                                                            ent disciplines and sectors.

                                                                            Horizontal Flagship “Education”
                                                                            The horizontal BIG-Cluster flagship “Education” will
                                                                            include the aforementioned F2P value chains as well as
                                                                            further important topics of the bio-based economy. This
                                                                            flagship brings together existing excellent education
                                                                            activities to train the next generation of highly skilled
                                                                            scientists and future entrepreneurs. The universities in
F2P Value Chain “Biobased Aromatics”
                                                                      the BIG-Cluster region already offer a number of high-quality
Aromatics represent a significant share of today’s chemical
                                                                      study courses (BSc/MSc/PhD) in disciplines such as biotech-
building blocks used for a wide variety of applications across
                                                                      nology, chemistry, engineering, and economics, but none of
the chemical industry. Their growth rate is expected to be
                                                                      them conveys a holistic approach to the circular economy and
proportional to GDP growth. Currently, virtually all aromatic
                                                                      bioeconomy in the region. In the long term, BIG-Cluster aims
building blocks are produced from fossil oil. But as the use of
                                                                      at aligning these courses with a comprehensive concept of the
crude oil for energy is predicted to decrease, also cracker ca-
                                                                      bioeconomy (please see p. 27 for further information).
pacities will go down, leading to a smaller BTX stream (aromat-
ic hydrocarbons benzene, toluene and xylenes) available for
chemicals. Furthermore, the shift to use natural gas resources
for chemical building blocks, such as ethylene and propylene,
will further upset aromatics demand and supply, as the BTX
stream available from cracking natural gas is much smaller
compared to crude oil.

16
Technology Transfer

 From Invention to Innovation
CLIB brings together stakeholders from academia and industry        (LCA) or scale-up. The latter is done through the BioBase4SME
along the whole value chain in its structured network process.      project. Furthermore, the cluster creates visibility for novel
This helps academia learn more about market needs, required         technologies and young companies through presentations at
product specifications, and required process or technology          its events and in its publications.
performance. CLIB moderates the related exchange between
academic and industrial stakeholders in order to initiate joint     For each project involving technology transfer, a dedicated
R & D projects with defined technology development goals.           workflow fitted to the demands of the given topic is devel-
CLIB also supports market-oriented technology development           oped. CLIB performs value-chain analyses in order to identify
through a dedicated selection process of target products and        available technology approaches, relevant stakeholders, and
appropriate technology approaches based on market needs.            potential markets. Based on this evaluation, a SWOT analysis
The BioCOnversion project, as an example of such a process is       will elucidate the near-, medium-, and long-term business
showcased on page 19.                                               opportunities of the value chain in focus. To which depth
                                                                    CLIB is able to pursue these analyses depends on the project
The exploitation of research results from academic institu-         involvement and funding. As was done in BIG-Cluster, CLIB
tions is often limited due to an insufficient technology readi-     can help to select one or two technology approaches or
ness level (TRL) and a lack of commercialisation strategies. As     concepts of novel value chains with extraordinary potential
a result of high technical and financial risks, industry is often   for commercialisation. For these, tech-transfer strategies are
hesitant to pick up such ideas for further development. The         then developed by evaluating the technology readiness as
transfer of research results into commercial applications re-       well as potentials and risks. Business models will be prepared,
quires tremendous financial and time efforts as well as diverse     including calculations of production costs, investments, and
scientific and economic expertise. The extraordinary diversity      revenues as well as estimations of volume availabilities and
of life science technologies, their areas of application, and the   market shares. IP concepts and strategies for further technol-
necessary knowledge needed to apply them further compli-            ogy developments and strategic partnerships can be de-
cate technology transfer in this sector.                            signed.

To bridge this gap and to trigger industrial interest for further   CLIB is active in promoting technology transfer from academia
development, CLIB supports technology transfer through a            to industry and also among sectors. We do this through tar-
multifaceted approach that also involves its strong network of      geted intervention by connecting single members to relevant
strategic partners. In this regard, CLIB helps match up needed      industrial partners through our work in funded projects or
experts and investors and facilitates access to vouchers for        with partners in project consortia.
preliminary techno-economic analysis, life-cycle-assessment

                                                                                                                                     17
Technology Transfer

Project Implementation
Technology transfer is an important aspect in many of the          considering how many different scientific areas (e.g., agricul-
CLIB’s active projects. In the local HiPerIn project, biotech-     tural sciences, biology, biotechnology, chemistry, process en-
nological concepts for high-performance ingredients will be        gineering, logistics, economics, social sciences) are addressed,
established by combining different scientific fields on the one    and such interdisciplinary cooperation is a feature of a multi-
hand and market needs on the other hand, which will help to        tude of research projects and clusters. Stakeholders such as
transfer technology from the lab to an industrial scale. By com-   farmers and representatives from cooperatives, the process-
bining different research areas such as biotechnology, struc-      ing and waste industry, and public administration are currently
tural chemistry, and process engineering, new approaches and       not often included in such efforts. The experience within the
workflows for a more targeted screening for novel molecules        RIN shows that although including such stakeholders increases
can be created. High-performance molecules can have desired        the complexity of the work, it can lead to new approaches and
properties in functional-                                                                                synergies and can raise
ity, colour, taste, solubility,                                                                          new scientific questions.
or temperature stability.
These might be changed                                                                                   Within the EU-funded
by specific triggers, for                                                                                project INMARE, CLIB
example, a shift in tem-                                                                                 aims to optimise exploita-
perature change causing a                                                                                tion of the expected scien-
colour change, indicating                                                                                tific results. Researchers
when a cooling chain has                                                                                 are screening libraries
been broken.                                                                                             generated from extreme
                                                                                                         marine environments
Within HiPerIn, CLIB aims                                                                                for interesting enzymatic
to draft plans for a Compe-                                                                              activities and will charac-
tence Centre to combine                                                                                  terise and produce the
the necessary experience                                                                                 relevant ones. In doing
and speed up technology                                                                                  so, they will develop
transfer. A first step has                                                                               novel technologies and
been the application for                                                                                 processes. CLIB will help
funding of a Competence Centre Biotechnology (CKB) within          to moderate between researchers and industrial partners in
the research infrastructure initiative by the German state of      the consortium to translate industry needs. CLIB also offers
NRW. This virtual centre has been proposed by four academic        a workflow to help researchers evaluate their results and
members of CLIB: Bielefeld University, TU Dortmund Univer-         advises on further work needed or the best approach to take
sity, the University of Düsseldorf and the Forschungszentrum       to bring a scientific advancement to commercial use.
Jülich. The CKB builds on the previously funded separate           CLIB’s activities in the European public–private partnerships
technology platforms at the institutions, which will now be        (PPPs) Biobased Industries JU and SPIRE also aim toward
integrated into a joint centre to develop biotechnological         bringing research results into practice.
processes in a holistic approach. CLIB will anchor this centre
within its network.                                                BioBase4SME
                                                                   Technology transfer is essential to bring innovations into the
Technology transfer also means cooperation between dif-            market: it is needed to support the development of ideas
ferent sectors or industries. To improve utilisation of side       generated in the lab into future processes and products. The
and waste streams in industry, agriculture, or forestry, the       BioBase4SME project provides crucial support for SMEs who
so-called regional innovation network (RIN) “model region          want to upscale their processes, by providing vouchers for a
for innovative and sustainable material flow” was set up in        diverse range of services, but also through information events.
2014. The project’s goal is to improve exploitation of biomass,    One example is the BioBase4SME Forum Event on technol-
wastes, and side streams in the cross-border region of NRW         ogy transfer organised in Düsseldorf in March 2017. Several
and The Netherlands. The current aim of the RIN is to develop      speakers presented the different approaches to tech trans-
feasible concepts for that task through an interdisciplinary       fer in Germany and the Netherlands. Markus Struppe from
approach that also integrates practitioners and society. That      UnternehmerTUM, showed how automotive and mechanical
interdisciplinary solutions are required is obvious when           engineering is bringing new products from lab to industry by

18
Technology Transfer

using a comprehensive tool box, comprising prototyping labs,          BIG-Cluster Project BioCOnversion
consulting, and access to venture capital. The Unternehmer-           The project BioCOnversion will vividly illustrate the success-
TUM Center for Innovation and Business Creation is a privately        ful technology transfer across borders. Within the project,
owned associated institute of the Technical University Munich         different technologies will be evaluated by an international
(TUM), founded in 2002. In future, UnternehmerTUM plans to            consortium of industry and academia partners who combine
expand its focus to cover also biotechnology.                         their high-level, multidisciplinary expertise to develop and
                                                                      implement a sustainable process from carbon monoxide (CO)-
In the Netherlands, the Dutch Topsector Chemistry proposes            containing process gases to a defined polymer precursor.
an innovation ecosystem where iLabs (incubators for start-ups
close to knowledge institutes), COCIs (Centres for Open Chemi-        CO-containing process gases, abundant in the BIG-Cluster
cal Innovation) and CoEs (Centres of Expertise, which act as          region from e.g. steel mills, are among the most relevant
service points for SMEs) work together. The Centre of Expertise       industrial side streams and can be valuable feedstock streams
in BioBased Economy (CoE BBE) aims to support companies               for the biotechnical production of building blocks that are
in their biobased ambitions by involving them in modernis-            currently produced through petrochemical process routes.
ing professional education and by supporting their applied            Mid-chain carbon compounds with multifunctional groups
research with a strong linkage to economic demands. Dr.               are of special industrial interest. Since they are conventionally
Douwe-Frits Broens explained that their Biopolymeer Applica-          generated from fossil resources, developing new routes using
tie Centrum (BAC) organises workshops for the development             renewable non-food feedstocks to provide such precursors
of applications from existing biopolymers. These workshops            would be a major step to establish a sustainable bioeconomy.
are organised in cooperation with educational institutes and
partner companies. One project example was the construction           The process under investigation in the BioCOnversion project
and building process of a biobased bridge.                            comprises the primary conversion of CO/syngas into an
                                                                      intermediate through gas fermentation and the subsequent
The forum event focused not only on the transfer of technolo-         enzymatic upgrading conversion into the polymer precursor.
gies from lab to industry, but also took a broader view on open       BioCOnversion unites several innovative providers of conver-
innovation approaches to create favourable conditions to              sion and recovery technologies into a powerful consortium
stimulate collaboration between companies. Dennis van der             covering the entire value chain – making a high-value build-
Pas from REWIN described                                                                                    ing block available from
their clustering process                                                                                    a CO-based, renewable
set up to bring companies                                                                                   process.
together. The current
seven clusters cover                                                                                        The project focusses on
multiple themes such as                                                                                     developing technologies
natural fibres, coatings                                                                                    for the individual process
& colorants, packaging,                                                                                     steps and on the con-
or pyrolysis. The clusters                                                                                  ceptional design of the
function on a combination                                                                                   overall process using the
of market pull and technol-                                                                                 best-suited technologies
ogy push by using an open                                                                                   for each process step. In
innovation approach and                                                                                     a first phase, the indi-
are open to foreign organi-                                                                                 vidual process steps will
sations.                                                                                                    be independently devel-
                                                                                                            oped. Their performance
Concluding the forum,                                                                                       will then be evaluated by
Tobias Wingbermuehle                                                                                        techno-economic as-
explained the approach of the start-up Clustermarket, which           sessments and life cycle analysis. Based on these results, the
facilitates market -entry and scale-up for start-up companies.        overall process will be experimentally validated and further
Clustermarket aims to establish an online market place for            optimised. A final process evaluation will be done from a tech-
sharing lab equipment and facilities in the region. A first test of   no-economic viewpoint along the whole development chain.
this business model has already been successful in the UK, at
King’s College London.

                                                                                                                                        19
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