The EU might be currently facing challenges right now with the Greece debt issue but it is noticeable that this region is upping its ante when it comes to investing in bio-based chemicals with its various public-private R&D and commercialization programs.
In a preview from a new study by nova-Institut, it is estimated that the EU-28 bioeconomy is reportedly worth EUR 2 trillion providing 19 million jobs based on available 2011 statistics from Eurostat. Industries under this statistics include agriculture, forestry and fishery as well as the manufacture of food products, beverages, tobacco products, paper and paper products, forest-based industry and biofuels.
The textile industry is assumed to have a 40% bio-based shares coming from natural fibers, while the chemical industry has around 5% share or 8.56 million tons dry matter in terms of renewable raw materials consumed compared to total raw material input in the chemical industry. Roughly, employment due to bio-based chemicals and chemical products are estimated to around 60,000 or about 5% of total employment in the manufacture of chemicals and chemical products in EU-28.
The study calculated that employment for the manufacture of biodiesel and biofuels amounts to around 23,000. Feedstock demand for EU biofuels is around 26.8 million tons dry matter (16.5 million tons from plant oils and 10.3 million tons from sugar/starch). The study concluded that the use of biomass in the chemical industry generated about 8 times more employment that the use of biomass for biofuels based on the same biomass input.
By the way, the BIO-TIC project (Industrial Biotech Research and Innovation Platforms Centre towards Technological Innovation and Solid Foundations for a Growing Industrial Biotech Sector in Europe ~ whew! what a mouthful!) recently launched its final roadmap for tackling barriers to industrial biotechnology in Europe. The roadmap represents a comprehensive summary of expertise and insight from the Member States highlighting recommendations of developing a more competitive, circular EU bioeconomy.
The BIO-TIC project is a cooperation funded by the European Commission (EUR 2.8 million project) to assess biomass and sustainability in industrial biotech and to build an action plan for industrial biotech in Europe. BIO-TIC comprises of 12 project partners.
According to the BIO-TIC partners, the EU market for industrial biotech-derived products is expected to increase from EUR28 billion in 2013 to EUR50 billion in 2013.
Meanwhile, if you want to know more about the potential US bioeconomy, the blog recently posted a USDA study on this as well. Now, all we need is an Asian bioeconomy study and maybe South America too…