Platform Bio-Economie consolidates broad bioeconomy strategy by appointment of Chair of the Board

News - 16 December 2020 - Communication TNW

Platform Bio-Economie consolidates its strategic reorientation towards becoming the leading industry organisation targeting the development of a fully renewable and sustainable, CO2-neutral society in which product chains are as circular and biobased as possible. Luuk van der Wielen with over 30 years of mixed academic/industrial experience in developing bioeconomy technology, business and policies  has been appointed to chair the board.

He will lead the implementation of the PBE vision “that energetic and non-energetic use of sustainable bio-based resources and other renewables are indispensable for the transition to an affordable, reliable, CO2-neutral,  circular economy”. Central will be the development of a concrete investment agenda, flanked by a quantitative macro-economic and climate impact study and proactive communication supporting a green, post-pandemic economic recovery in The Netherlands. First results are planned for spring 2021.

“Responsible energetic and non-energetic use of biomass are integral parts of sustainable bio and circular economic development. It is based on sustainable production, trade and use of sustainably certified biobased raw materials in context of other renewables. While wind and solar energy and circular materials are developing seriously, they are still far from complete coverage of the dutch needs. I think of domestic needs, such as those of the Dutch chemical, food, energy, transport and construction sectors and the global opportunities that underpin the flourishing  Dutch economy” says Luuk van der Wielen. “I’m looking forward to work with our industry and societal partners in the development of the investment agenda, supporting the development of a professional market where biobased and circular innovation are leading. “

Integral Knowledge and Innovation Agenda for Climate (IKIA Climate) targets all resources, products and processes in Dutch industry to be nett carbon neutral in 2050 and for at least 80% circular. This requires new pathways for resource efficient process/product combination using biobased and circular feedstocks, including cascading, and a cross sector approach (Chemistry.NL or Chem.I.KIA, dec 2019).

Tim van der Hagen, chairman of the Taskforce that established the Integral Knowledge and Innovation Agenda (IKIA) of the dutch Climate Agreement “Luuk has a track record of successfully building and driving broad organisations in Bioeconomy development. I am happy to see that the cross sectoral bio and circular economy development will be rooted in the IKIA that we completed in 2019.” He added as President of Delft University of Technology” And of course that one of our distinguished professors is to lead the development of a concrete investment agenda.”

Professor Kerstin Mey, President of University of Limerick, Ireland said: “In line with our Sustainable Development Goals, University of Limerick is committed to the development and implementation of a holistic approach to sustainable development, in partnership with the communities we serve, locally and regionally, and through our national and international alliances.

“Luuk van der Wielen’s dual footprint as director of our Bernal Institute at UL and now as chair of the Platform Bio-Economie, is an exemplar for further enhancing Irish/Dutch relations as we aim to enable our students, graduates and staff to engage as ‘active citizens’ who contribute to the well-being and future of our planet and our communities.”

Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland commented  "Stimulating broad green and circular industrial developments are priorities in The Netherlands and in Ireland alike. Science Foundation Ireland ,and the Centres it funds such as AMBER ,see the current development as a great opportunity for ambitious Green Deal collaborations in a European context."

About Platform Bio-Economie

PBE is the dutch organisation to stimulate sustainble and societally accepted use of biobased and circular resources in The Netherlands within an adequate and stable policy framework. PBE represents industry and other stakeholders active in the production, trade and use of biobased resources for food, chemical, materials, energy, transport, construction industries.

About Luuk van der Wielen

Luuk van der Wielen is Distinguished Professor in Biobased Economy at TU Delft as well as the Director of the Bernal Institute at the University of Limerick, Ireland. He has founded and led several private-public research organisations  in The Netherlands  and beyond, and was founding board member of TKI-BBE. Since 2017, he leads the Bernal Institute in Limerick, Ireland, a 400 p, €150+m research institute on structured materials characterisation, design and manufacturing, especially focusing on solving grand challenges in Health, Energy and the Environment.  Further details at AS en Bernal Institute.

Luuk van der Wielen

More information

Aine O’Neill, Communications Officer, Bernal Institute, University of Limerick