Case studies

Inclusive Biobased Innovation: Securing sustainability and supply through farmers’ involvement

Our project team first studied non-technological factors for failure and success in the development of biobased value chains in the Netherlands, focussing on potatoes and sugar beets. Currently, we are working on completing and comparing four explorative case studies in different feedstocks in the US (corn), Brazil (sugar cane), South Africa (tobacco) and Jamaica (bamboo and king grass). In these case studies we map various relevant actors and their particular interests and perspectives through interviews and surveys and identify structural and local challenges and solutions. This provides input for a model for the improved inclusion of farmers to achieve commercial biobased value chains in various contexts.

Choice of cases

With our choice of cases, we include situations with both a high and low technology level, and with biomass production on a small/medium and a large scale (see the matrix below). The Netherlands is a net importer of biomass, Jamaica a net exporter. The USA, South Africa and Brazil offer interesting cases on local business development within biomass value chains.

Low tech availabilityHigh tech availability
Small and medium scaleJamaicaThe Netherlands, South-Africa
Large scaleBrazilIowa (USA)

Videos by others on these cases

The video below introduces the case that we will be working on in South-Africa. It was made by Sunchem, a company that is specialized in sustainable feedstock production and that plays a leading role in developing a value chain from tobacco to aviation fuel.

The next video introduces the case that we will look at in the USA, ‘project Liberty’ by PoetDSM (which made the video). PoetDSM is a joint venture that aims to make cellulosic bio-ethanol production in Iowa competitive with grain ethanol.