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Bio-tech projects get funding

A €6.2 million (£5.35m) European Commission project has been launched to help SMEs to develop and market bio-based technologies, including bio-energy.

The Commission has launched a three-year project called Bio Base North West Europe which will give financial support to SMEs to demonstrate innovative bio-based technologies at a pilot demonstration facility in Ghent, Belgium.

The project will also provide expert advice from a partnership of organisations from five countries, on developing new ideas into marketable products. It will also provide training and education to tackle the skills shortage in bio-based industries in Europe.

Bio Base NWE project manager Lieve Hoflack said that the bio-based economy could be worth more than €2 trillion to the European economy by 2020.

“Bio-based products are a growing area of interest for SME’s working in chemical industry, agro-industry, plastics, fuels, food, textile and pharma industry,” he said.

“However, many SME’s find it difficult to bridge the gap between newly developed research and the commercial market.”

The Bio Base NWE partners include: Ghent Bio-Energy Valley, Bio Base Europe, REWIN/Biobased Innovations, Cluster Industrielle Biotechnologie, Competence Centre for Biorefining and Bioenergy at National University of Ireland, and National Non-Food Crops Centre.

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