CLIB News

20.05.2014Bio Innovation Growth megaCluster BIG-C launched in Düsseldorf
This morning, 10 leading public-private organisations in biobased innovation of North Rhein Westphalia, The Netherlands and Flanders launched BIG-C as the integrating organisation for current and future biobased initiatives. The event was attended by over 150 industrialists, scientists and politicians from this region. Svenja Schulze, NRW Minister of Innovation, Science and Research spoke of ‘an important initiative adding value for the whole region and bringing sustainable solutions a big step further’. The initiative was taken by CLIB2021 (NRW), BE-Basic (NL) and FISCH (Flanders)..

Manfred Kircher, CLIB2021, indicated how the chemical, fuels, energy, food and other industries contribute approximately 25% to the cumulative GDP of € 1780 bn per year, making North Western Europe one of the most prosperous areas worldwide. „A strong point is the connectivity between the individual industry clusters in the region by pipeline, river and road. To benefit from biobased opportunities, BIG-C will encourage and support the combination of regional resources. Together we will be much stronger to face the challenges in making an economical viable industry which actually fights climate change.Coordinated actions will provide an attractive environment fordemonstration and pilot projects from the large EU innovation programs such as BBI and SPIRE .“

Developing the industry infrastructure in the region will require significant investments in new, emerging biobased value chains. Ludo Diels, one of the Flanders initiators: „In order to capitalise on the biobased opportunities, we need to enhance the development of logistics and foster cross-border private and public investments and other funding possibilities“.

The organisations that undersigned the agreement are well functioning public-private organisations that have now committed themselves to support BIG-C from their own resources. They will also make available their networks that include access to investors and other financial parties, especially to facilitate participation of small and medium sized companies. Luuk van der Wielen, President of BE-Basic: “Not only financial support -public or private- is significant but we need to make sure that the coming generations are aware of the biobased opportunities – so biobased economy need to be part of education. Knowledge, but also skills are important to which requires courses as well as initiatives such as design and business competitions. Combining the region’s efforts will help to implement a joint Human Capital Agenda. Given the international orientation of the BIG-C-region, this should reach out beyond the region – preferably also in a joint manner”.

BIG-C will use the feed-back of today’s meeting to develop its program and implement its objectives. They invite interested parties to submit term sheets for joint development in the coming two months.