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Tackling global grand challenges 

By Joanna Dupont-Inglis,  EuropaBio Deputy Secretary General


IB plays a fundamental role in delivering solutions for a large majority of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), both in the EU and globally 

Joanna Dupont-Inglis

Companies focusing on industrial biotechnology (IB) and the bioeconomy are contributing towards achieving 11 out of 17 SDGs, enabling smarter and more efficient use of precious natural resources, developing renewable alternatives to traditional fossil-carbon products, helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change, reducing energy consumption and man-made emissions to soil, air, and water.

These are the main results of our new report about the impact of industrial biotech towards meeting global challenges. IB uses enzymes and micro-organisms to make bio-based products in sectors such as chemicals, bio-based plastics, bio-based lubricants, bio-based solvents, food and feed, detergents, paper and pulp, textiles, as well as bioenergy, such as biofuels and biogas. It also plays an important role in bioremediation through water purification and soil recovery. As such, IB is increasingly recognised by a growing community of stakeholders as playing an important role in responding to some of the greatest global challenges and helping to achieve objectives under the UN’s SDG framework. It is now critical for Europe to develop a more competitive and sustainable bioeconomy. To this end, the EU’s ‘Horizon Europe’ proposal will be key to ensuring that the right investments in innovation are made to address societal challenges and deliver on the UN SDGs. I invite you to read the new EuropaBio report, which also includes policy recommendations for the EU.

The place to be to hear all the latest on the innovative biotechnology products and processes that are coming online and that can contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals is the European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology and the Bioeconomy (EFIB): 17 – 18 October 2018 in Toulouse France. Over the last decade, EFIB’s delegates, exhibitors, sponsors and speakers have been showcasing innovative IB solutions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This year, we will celebrate the IB communities’ latest achievements in harnessing the power of innovation with influential brands and Industry leaders, as well as start-ups and entrepreneurs and a broad range of stakeholders and policy-makers. Around 600 attendees and more than 60 international speakers from the industrial biotechnology and bioeconomy area are expected to join this two-day event with presentations and panel discussions covering the sectors of bio-based plastics, food, feed and nutrition, wood biorefining, synthetic biology, and sustainable aviation amongst other topics. In addition, we will learn more about financing, joint ventures and partnerships.

This year, EFIB will also offer small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) a reduced fee. Start-ups are also invited to take part in the PitchFest and the START-UP VILLAGE@EFIB, a new initiative welcoming fresh and new founders of the bio-based circular economy in the exhibition. You can find more information here.


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