Following the success of its first edition in Wageningen in 2013 (more than 200 participants), the 2015 conference in Montpellier will focus on the theme "How can biorefinery be developed in a systemic scheme to address the main societal challenges of the 21st century? More specifically, the work will be structured around three main areas:
• The use of renewable natural resources for food and non-food purposes requires holistic and integrated approaches: in the past, significant research and commercial development work has been directed towards the simultaneous conversion of biomass into food, biomaterials and energy in the same process. At the same time, markets have emerged for specialised food and non-food sectors with little connection between them. Too often, renewable energy and food production are seen as mutually exclusive. This rather dualistic view of renewable resources reflects that of a society based on a high availability of fossil energy. To make a successful transition to the "bioeconomy", we need to go beyond old trends, using today’s knowledge and tomorrow’s innovations to meet the needs of humanity while protecting the planet. Consideration of biomass as a global resource, providing food and non-food products simultaneously, is needed to achieve real efficiency, making the most of biomass while reducing waste.
• Smart" innovation is vital for a successful transition to the bioeconomy: to achieve this ambitious goal, it is necessary to invent new production methods that maximise yields and minimise losses, thereby ensuring the sustainable use of biomass. It is also essential to devise ways of using biomass, making the most of it in terms of products, and reducing waste along the production chain. New uses need to be found, using green chemistry to design new products to match or even surpass those currently produced by the petrochemical industry. Finally, there is also a need to find a multitude of innovative ways to disseminate bio-based products in everyday life, taking into account local constraints and cultural preferences.
• It is necessary to develop new concepts of economic development and organisational innovation: admitting that future industries based on bioresources will not necessarily be organised around huge refineries located near ports opens a way to imagine new strategies for developing the bioeconomy. The new economic model should indeed be different, reflecting the variety of feedstocks used and the diversity of regional specifications, sometimes adapted to major port contexts such as Rotterdam, but in other cases corresponding to dense urban areas, or rural spaces. Although the challenge of the transition to the bioeconomy is immense and probably without comparable precedent, and the future is impossible to predict, the generation of bold new ideas is essential to meet it.
The objective of this congress is to contribute to the international reflection on the strategies and innovations necessary for a successful transition from the petroeconomy to the bioeconomy, whether at the technological, economic or societal level. In particular, it seems vital to associate the food and non-food agro-industrial sectors in the same reflection, a point to which the congress organisers will pay particular attention.
Project Number : 1500-015
Year : 2015
Type of funding : SP
Project type : PC
Research units in the network : SPO QUALISUD BIOWOOEB
Start date :
17 Feb 2015
End date :
31 Aug 2015
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