Barbara Bendaoud of PNO Consultants /BioLinX during her presentation
Retrospective on BioLinX Finance Academy & Brokerage Event, 17-18 October
On October 17 and 18, the BioLinX Finance Academy met in Gothenburg. Promising entrepreneurs in the field of bio-economy got free coaching to make a selling presentation of their business concept. A jury of experienced business leaders and investors from several European countries listened to eleven candidates. and appointed two winners: Modvion from Sweden and Act&Sorb from Belgium, pitching wooden towers for wind turbines and a method to recycle fiber slabs respectively
More energy, less waste incineration
Modvion manufactures wood composite towers for wind turbines. Consisting of smaller parts, those are easier to transport than today's steel towers. As they can be mounted into wind turbines with a broader base than those in steel, they can be higher and thus more energy efficient. At the same time, they are easy to grind down when their lifetime is over.
"If you like renewable materials and energy, then you like Modvion," Otto Lundman concluded his presentation.
Act&Sorb has developed a method of recycling wood fiber boards (like MDFs), which currently are incinerated after use. Through pyrolysis they instead create two useful products – activated carbon, which can clean water and air, and syngas which is used in the chemical industry.
"Two and a half years after I renovated my own kitchen and realized that the wood fiber boards could not be recycled we had a solution," said Kenny Vanreppelen from Act&Sorb.
Winners: Otto Lundman and Kenny Vanreppelen Kenny Vanreppelen presenting to the expert jury
Big meets Small
Another initiative presented during the event is the Scale-Up project "Big meets Small", a comprehensive network of cleantech/biobased companies in the North Sea region. At the events of this project, smaller companies present their innovation in personal meetings with large companies. Many of those meetings result in actual collaborations. Two of these large companies, IKEA and AkzoNobel, presented their experiences with the "Big meets Small" format.
AkzoNobel organized a start-up challenge and received more than 200 ideas. The winners are offered a cooperation agreement with AkzoNobel, or the opportunity to work in one of the companies innovation centers.
In September, IKEA launched an accelerator programme that attracted 1,300 companies.Their goal: to create innovative solutions by combining start-up companies' speed with IKEA's impact. Ten companies were selected to participate in a bootcamp at IKEA's headquarters in Sweden. The programme will end with a demo event in December.
Forest-Chemistry Brokerage workshops
Parallel to the Finance Academy, experts in forest chemistry gathered in workshops to find new solutions for a society without products made of fossil materials. The aim was to find bio-based products for specific needs.
The city of Gothenburg was actually one of the parties to benefit from the joint knowledge and expertise. One of the city's missions is to build 'first fossil-free preschool', for which innovative and sustainable paint and glue is required. After an intensive group brainstorming, several project ideas and options for fossil free paint were presented: lignin products, biogas and biomethanol, cellulose derivatives and adipic acid.
BioLinX will be organizing new Finance Academy & Brokerage Events in 2018. Through, among other things, these events BioLinX has already contributed to the success of 509 unique projects and/or companies.
Leading Dutch bioeconomy platform and magazine 'Agro & Chemistry' recently interviewed Dennis van der Pas (of REWIN, and coordinator of the BioLinX project), and Roald Suurs (of TNO and the projects' work package leader for Reflective Monitoring).
In the article, Dennis and Roald talk about what BioLinX entails and the results achieved sofar, now that the project is in its final year. "BioLinX guides businesses and organisations looking to get biobased products on the market through the TRL process faster. Öur emphasis is on connecting - linking - different parties and providing support in entrepreneurial skills. And with success!
You can read the entire interview by clicking on the image below.
Service in the Spotlight | Finding value chain partners
BioLinX offers a vast network capable of finding new value chain partners/new parties. The home base of the BioLinX project is formed by three well advanced regions/countries: Sweden, Southwest Netherlands/Biobased Delta and Northern Italy. New regions in Europe are also added to the BioLInX network, for instance Germany, Scotland, Ireland, South Italy and Finland. Making use of the BioLinX networks pays off, as illustrated in this example:
A young Italian researcher is working for an important but underfunded agricultural research center. She does research in the framework of KBBE on the utilization of trees and crops for soil phytoremediation in several highly polluted communities. This project creates a potential win-win situation for environmental values (soil remediation) and bioeconomy (valorizing biomass).
Orginally, the research was focusing on agroforestry systems. Other activities were related to phyto remediation, without a connection to biobased value chains. The researcher in question was looking for a way to continue her work, which is related more to opportunities offered by bioeconomy value chains. This required the right connections for international consortia.
Assistance from BioLinX
BioLinX partner PNO Consultants got in touch with the researcher and connected her to numerous key bioeconomy players, amongst others the BBI-network, Nova Institute, Imperial College and two large industrial players. All have expressed appreciation for her work.
A consortium was formed that has now prepared multiple bids for new projects. A first bid was unfortunately not succesful, despite a high score. More importantly, the researcher has become more confident in the value of her ideas and research. She is now the official contact person of her organization within the BBI-network and is fully integrated within the EU bioeconomy field. With her organization to back her, she is planning to organize events on the topic of soil phytoremediation.
Service in the Spotlight | Training and support in acquiring private financing
Are you looking for private financing? BioLinX offers assistance in finding it. We can help you to get investment-ready and can provide advice, training and access to private funding. We already helped out various parties. For example:
The owner of a company in the Southwest Netherlands, supplying cost effective plants and equipment to enable the production of high-quality, biobased particleboard panels in commercial quantities. The technology involved an ecologically sound bonding system, thereby eliminating the harmful formaldehyde emissions.
The main challenge for this company, in this stage, was to find investors. This had proven to be a difficult path.
Assistance from BioLinX
This company was invited to attend a ‘BioLinX Finance Academy’. Part of this event was an in-depth training on managing IP (intellectual Property). This turned out to be highly valuable. In the entrepreneurs own words: “The IP information was really an eye-opener. It showed me the direction to a new way of doing business: based on royalties. I had never realized that my trademark is such an important asset!”
This BioLinX relation has since changed the course of his company. Now he is more interested in marketing the brand, and not so much in developing one factory after another. The new course helps him to focus on quality and certifications, thereby increasing the brand value.
As a perspective, there is a large market for high-quality biobased eco-materials, but potential customers require some sort of guarantee that the materials they buy are indeed what the suppliers says they are. A trademark is such a guarantee.
This, using IP in a smart way, is potentially a means for European companies to compete with cost competitors from for instance China.
Representatives of the BioLinX consortium attended the 3rd edition of the Greenwin Conference, 22/23 May, at the University of Mons, Belgium. Main theme of this years session was Green Chemistry and White Biotechnology: the Industry of the Future. The purpose of the conference was to take stock of the innovative technology used to boost activities in the fields of green chemistry and white biotechnology around the world, to share knowledge and encourage the creation of new R&D projects involving the academic world, research centres and industrial players in the sector at regional and international scale.
Many interesting presentations were given, and the EU Bioeconomy Strategy Review was shared.
Our new brochure is available! Click on the image to enlarge.
Green light for Mid Term Report of BioLinX project.
The EU Commission that reviewed the BioLinX projects' half term report, has commanded the consortium on the results already gained in terms op KPI's (number of companies/projects involved in and impacted by BioLinX) and building networks within and across bioeconomy regions in Europe.
For more in depth information, you can contact the project coordinator Dennis van der Pas via firstname.lastname@example.org
BioLinX hosted a webinar on upcoming ERA CoBioTech co-funded call on 31st January 2017.
BioLinX informed participants on the funding priorities, main criteria and eligible organizations and countries. They also learned how to prepare a (pre-)proposal for the ERA CoBioTech call.
The webinar was hosted by the funding experts of PNO, partner in the BioLinX project.
ERA CoBioTech Cofund for Biotechnologies aims at funding multidisciplinary research and development projects that contribute to transforming the global economy from dependence on fossil raw material to a sustainable bio-based economy.
Dennis van der Pas, coordinator of the BioLinX project, was interviewed by CommBeBiz Magazine for their 'Bioeconomy Innovation 2016-2017' issue.
In the article, Dennis explains how the BioLinX projects works and what its goals are. "Our main task is to bring innovators in entire value chains together."
You can read the entire interview here.