Unlocking the potential of added value products in Europe: an Italian perspective
This perspective article aims to look at the potential for Europe to build a solid bioeconomy based on added value products. The global and European state of play will be analysed with the aim of showcasing why Europe needs to leverage on the potential of a bioeconomy based on added value products such as bioplastics and biochemicals. A case study on Italy will then sum up the article in order to concretely demonstrate that it is possible even at time of crisis to restore growth and trigger innovation through biorefineries while preserving and enhancing local ecosystems and biodiversity.
STATE OF THE ART TRENDS AND CHALLENGES FACED BY BIOBASED INDUSTRIES WORLDWIDE
In the tough economic climate that the EU currently faces continuing the development of the manufacturing industry is paramount. As global economic competition goes from strength to strength looking to the future, following the "business as usual" scenario simply will not work. Transition from our current resource intensive use growth model to a resource efficient growth model, towards a circular economy, is fundamental. It offers an opportunity to find a large number of local competitive niche sectors in the field of biobased products for Europe to focus on and invest which will be able to deliver growth and jobs at local level. Public authorities, industries, researchers and citizens should be aware that there is a different way of manufacturing the products that we use in everyday life, by minimising waste of energy and natural resources. The economic recovery needed worldwide can benefit from new models of sustainable development that are able to create innovation and new jobs, improve production processes, and put local resources to good use in a “short supply-chain situ ...