BE-Basic Foundation celebrates 10th year anniversary

april 08, 2015

From R&D towards implementation of the biobased economy

On March 31 and April 1, BE-Basic Foundation celebrated its tenth anniversary during the annual symposium with several guest speakers and 250 participants in conference centre Leeuwenhorst in Noordwijkerhout. The event focused on the consortium’s recent developments and on the next steps to implement new biobased technology into society.

Guest speakers

Erick Fernandes (Worldbank) reflected on the rapidly growing world population, and the increasing demand for meat, (bio)fuels, food and energy. Biobased solutions bring a positive impact on our climate by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They increase our energy security by providing alternatives to fossil resources and may help against poverty by giving new business opportunities to local farmers. Fernandes especially highlighted the need of efficient policies when implementing such biobased solutions: “Good governance is a key factor in assuring robust sustainable industrial biobased development outcomes.”

Sean Simpson (LanzaTech) and Niels van Stralen (ChainCraft) on the other hand focussed their presentations on how to bridge scientific knowledge and concrete entrepreneurship. In the market survey based lecture of Michael Carus (Nova-Institut), he illustrated the global development of growing International markets for biobased polymers and the environmental advantages of using these (PHA and PLA) polymers as opposed to fossil fuels.

Future projects

During the symposium, BE-Basic launched a video highlighting biobased product, process and company development over the last 10 years. Luuk van der Wielen (President of the Executive Board) gave an outlook on new programmatic activities such as the projected €80m development program of BioPort Holland for sustainable aviation fuels and other industry driven consortia such as Isobutanol Platform Rotterdam.

Education and raising awareness

Furthermore, sharing knowledge, education and raising awareness were important themes throughout the 2-day symposium. BE-Basic’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) ‘Technology for biobased products’ was launched in 2014 and aims to share knowledge internationally about industrial biotechnology. The program was highly successful and will be repeated in September 2015.

As a side event during the symposium, Foundation IMAGINE (part of the BE-Basic Education Programme) organised an exhibition about the submitted project proposals for their yearly competition for high school students. Eleven groups presented their ideas in front of a panel of expert judges about how to apply biotechnology in order to help people in developing countries.

About BE-Basic Foundation

BE-Basic Foundation is an international public-private partnership that develops industrial biobased solutions to build a sustainable society. The consortium consists of 50 partners: universities, knowledge institutes and companies. Part of the BE-Basic funding comes from a research grant from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs for executing the initial BE-Basic Program. The purpose of BE-Basic Foundation is to develop the required knowledge and technology to stimulate biotechnology based, ecologically balanced, sustainable industrial chemistry in the Netherlands and beyond. More information can be found at, or view our Annual Report video on