09/02/2017 - Jukka Kantola
The bioeconomy requires new thinking
Looking at the current status of the bioeconomy, there is an evident need for a new approach. There is still too much of everybody operating within their own silos. There is just not enough constructive interaction between the chemical industry, the forestry industry and the new biotech companies.
It’s time a look at the setup with new eyes.
NC Partnering has launched a new bio-ecosystem called the BioFutureFactory BFF, a highly fertile growing ground for a multitude of emerging bio-economy projects and applications, and with the added beauty of being a concept that is a perfect example of the circular economy. BFF aims to bring costs of the feedstock down to enable bio-operators to build their operations on sustainable, renewable and economical premises.
Traditional companies tend to associate with their established stakeholders. Development work is done within a safe environment with well-known parties. Also too often big companies with established industries associate way too little with emerging SMEs, which surely hinders the development of new applications.
The BFF model is simple. It is shifting focus from primary bio-feedstock to secondary feedstock. This will bring costs of the feedstock down to enable bio-operators to build their operations on sustainable, renewable and economical premises. Remembering that new bio-products are not high volume products from the beginning, secondary streams from BFF can easily meet market demand to enhance development of various bio-product applications.
Also, external energy is often needed in bio-processes. BFF provides green energy to be exploited by third parties. These are only a few arguments justifying why there is a need for a new way of thinking. Add to that the beauty of the concept being a perfect example of circular economy!
New operation models will foster the development of emerging bio-applications as most of the costs are shouldered by main operators with main applications. This is important to get emerging volumes to get to the growth path in the supporting environment.
Finland has several biorefineries under development based on sustainable feedstock of wood. These biorefineries will be perfect platforms for evolving bio-applications in future.