France and The Netherlands Join Forces to Develop the Bioeconomy at ECO-BIO conference, 7 March 2016 in Rotterdam

maart 08, 2016

The leading French and Dutch public-private biobased innovation clusters have joined forces to develop a sustainable bioeconomy. This collaboration will help both countries to benefit optimally from available resources and facilities, to help reach the agreed reduction of Green House Gasses at COP21 as well as economic growth. The Memorandum of Understanding between Toulouse White Biotechnology (TWB) and BE-Basic Foundation is signed by their presidents on Monday 7 March 2016 during the first day of the international ECO-BIO conference at the World Trade Center in Rotterdam.

Development, testing and demonstration of new biobased value chains requires resources and facilities, often larger than a single company or institution can handle. Professional partnerships, especially between public and private organisations can substantially increase the rate of development and implementation by sharing resources, costs, facilities and thereby risk. BE-Basic and TWB are such professional national-level public-private partnerships that connect each 40 à 50 companies and research institutes in The Netherlands and France respectively. Both have proven track record of boosting innovation and creating new industries in the field of biorenewables production.

Pierre Monsan, Founding Director of TWB: “Joining forces with BE-Basic is a fantastic opportunity for TWB as we share the same vision of pragmatism and efficiency to promote the best level of science and training of student as well as to develop successful applications in the fields of environmental and Industrial biotechnology.” 

But connecting people, facilities and other resources at a larger scale generates new opportunities for technology implementation and investment. The current partnership , formalised via the MoU that was signed, will provide a formal and ambitious basis for this.  Luuk van der Wielen, President of BE-Basic:” Our colleagues in Toulouse and France in general have developed a high level of competence in environmental and industrial biotechnology, and have been successful to create sustainable solutions for chemicals and fuels industries. Therefore, TWB is a perfect match for BE-Basic and its partners.”

The agreed collaboration is meant to mutually benefit from the wide portfolio of research institutions, their knowhow and facilities, and offer industries and investors an inducing environment for implementing a sustainable Bioeconomy. Sustainability is a cornerstone of the collaboration. The parties will exchange experiences and best-practices following joint key performance parameters, supporting international cluster-building and networking  and actively supporting their partners in Academia and Industry in building bilateral links to prepare joint projects in academic science and industrial R&D. They also agreed to joint R&D projects in the field of industrial biotechnology, following the earlier investments.

ECO-BIO program

The MoU was signed at the ECO-BIO 2016, organised by BE-Basic Foundation and Elsevier. The conference took place from the 6th until the 9th of March 2016 at the World Trade Center in Rotterdam, providing an international platform for industries, scientists, NGO’s and governments to meet and discuss the challenges and solutions to build a sustainable biobased economy. Key speakers include Marcel Wubbolts (DSM), Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz (FAPESP), Wim van der Putten (NIOO-KNAW), Philippe Marlière (Institute of Systems and Synthetic Biology) and Korneel Rabaey (University of Ghent). Luuk van der Wielen and Bram Brouwer (Managing Director BE-Basic) will chair the event. More information: