Three days in Action

The Bioeconomy in Action conference covered three days: A Policy and Partnering Conference on March 26, a Bioconomy and Partnering Workshop on March 27, and a Plant Visit to the world’s largest straw-based biorefinery, and a low temperature gasification plant on March 28.

26 March – Policy and Partnering Conference

This conference presented high-level speakers. Ministers, parliamentarians, executive officials from NGO, industry, research councils and governments addressed the opportunities and challenges in boosting smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe - and how Europe can take a leading role.

The conference built on the three complementary pillars of the Strategy “Innovating for Sustainable Growth: a Bioeconomy for Europe” adopted by the European Commission on 13 February 2012:

  • Focusing on increasing investments into research, innovation and skills. € 4.7 billion of funding have been proposed for bioeconomy research and innovation under the European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation “Horizon 2020”.
  • Supporting new markets and expanding existing ones.
  • Improving synergies and coherence between the priorities of the European research and innovation policy and other policies relevant to the bioeconomy.

Morning presentations
The first three speakers introduced bioeconomy from a political point of view. Among these, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science elaborated on The Commissions strategy and actions toward a bioeconomy-based sustainable European growth.

A panel discussion ended the morning session presenting and debating country perspectives on Public-Public Partnerships and stronger coordination and cooperation for bioeconomy implementation. Perspectives from Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, and France.

Afternoon discussions
In the second part of the conference brief statements introduced the participant’s views, kicking off the panel discussions. The aim was lively animated debates, during which the spoken word and argument counted. The discussions focused on:

  • Best practice in how to create partnerships across Europe (Public-Public and Public-Private)
  • Enhancement of policies and markets with competing uses of biomass and rapid technological changes
  • Initiatives and development within different countries and identification of best practices

During the afternoon a declaration was drawn up. A summary after each panel discussion generated input to the declaration. The declaration will act as an instrument holding concrete measures, recommendations and conclusions. After the conference the declaration was published and disseminated.

27 March – Bioconomy and Partnering Workshop

In this workshop for practitioners representing academia, industry and governmental bodies, the Commission’s new strategy on bioeconomy seen in conjunction with Horizon 2020 was presented. Open discussion fora provided the workshop participants the possibility to point out important gaps and opportunities within the research and strategies as well as bringing up good examples of opportunities for partnering according to the triple helix model.

Overall concept
This conference constituted a mix of presentations and panel discussions aiming at a high degree of interaction among organizers, speakers and participants. Interactive communication tools was available for panel discussions in order to give the speakers, moderators and panel participants an opportunity to ask questions to the floor.

Priority in the panel discussions was dialogue with the audience. The panellists were given 5 minutes to state their messages in order to start the debate. It was the role of the moderator to ensure proper distribution of input from the panel and the audience.

Morning sessions

  • Introduction to the new bio-economy strategy and action plan was followed by a short summary of highlights and key messages from the bioeconomy Policy Conference the day before. Two other presentations focused on research and innovation in agriculture and the Becoteps project,- the latter focused on technologies and the processing industries.
  • Session on value chains with input from some of the major stakeholders of the bio-economy strategy and action plan. Each speaker listed main gaps/opportunities in the bioeconomy strategy and forwarded these to the organizing committee.
  • The Danish Minister for Food, Fisheries and Agriculture presented Bioeconomy in a Danish perspective.

Afternoon panel discussions

  • Interactive panel discussion on the future approach to create green products from green resources and how the bioeconomy research and strategy can help this process. On top of their own views, the speakers replied on the gaps/opportunities listed by the speakers in the morning sessions. Best practice and success stories from national or regional triple helix collaboration projects constituted examples.
  • Session on partnering, entrepreneurship and innovation. The speakers were chosen based on their experience and capability to include SME’s in partnering and experience with regional programs. They also pointed out gaps/opportunities within the strategies.
  • Final interactive panel discussion on the global bio-economy. The panellists gave their views on the European bioeconomy from a global perspective and also pointed out what Europe can learn from their country to obtain success with our future Bioeconomy strategy
  • Closing remarks by Maive Rute summed up on gaps/opportunities as well as debated issues.

28 March – Bioeconomy in Practise: Plant Visit to Inbicon, the world’s largest straw-based biorefinery and Pyroneer, a low temperature gasification plant  

On the 3rd day of the conference, there was a possibility to visit DONG Energy Kalundborg site, which incorporates Inbicon cellulosic ethanol demonstration plant and Pyroneer gasification plant. These two demo plants demonstrate two of the technologies in DONG Energy New Bio Solutions. Following the visit at the two demo plants Novozymes provided a brief update on the latest status on commercialization of advanced biorefineries globally.

Inbicon demonstrates production of cellulosic ethanol, C5 molasses and lignin biofuel pellets from Danish wheat straw. Currently it is the biggest facility in the world of its kind. The capacity of the plant is 5.4 million liters of cellulosic ethanol made from 30,000 tons of wheat straw, and enzymes from among other Novozymes are used during conversion. In Denmark the full value chain from wheat straw to blending into gasoline is demonstrated.

Pyroneer is a 6MW demonstration plant for DONG Energy's low temperature gasification technology. This demonstration plant demonstrates that it is possible to substitute fossil fuels at large scale power plants and produce electricity and heat with a high efficiency from low value and difficult biomass.

To learn more about the site visits, please visit

Inbicon (external link)

Pyroneer (external link)