EU's Horizon 2020 program invests in biobased industries

By Erin Voegele | July 12, 2013

The European Commission has announced that it, along with EU member states and European industry, will invest more than €22 billion ($28.70 billion) over the next seven years under the Horizon 2020 research initiative in several sectors that deliver high quality jobs. According to the commission, most of the investment will go to five public-private partnerships, including one focused on biobased industries (BBI). The four other partnerships will focus on innovative medicines, aeronautics, fuel cells and hydrogen, and electrons. The public-private partnerships are referred to as joint technology initiatives (JTIs).

In a statement, the European Commission said these investments will boost the competitiveness of EU industry in sectors that already provide more than 4 million jobs. The public-private partnerships will find solutions to major societal challenges not being solved quickly enough by the market alone. 

Under the BBI JTI, the UE and its member states are contributing €1 billion over the next seven years. Along with the €2.8 billion contributed by industry, the total investment package in the BBI JTI will be €3.8 billion.

According to a fact sheet published on the BBI JTI, the initiative focuses on using renewable natural resources and innovative technologies to produce greener everyday products. The goals of the program are to help the EU move towards a post-petroleum existence by replacing petroleum-based products with biobased ones. The initiative will also focus on turning agricultural and forestry waste into useful products. Regarding economic development, the BBI aims to create new jobs and economic growth while helping farmers diversify their revenues. The initiative will meet these goals by leveraging Europe’s biobased investment in research and technology.

Information on the Horizon 2020 program can be accessed on the European Commission website here