Collaborations with Brazil in the field of biobased economy go back to the late ’90s, starting with scattered activities between individual professors and student exchanges between the Universities of Campinas (UNICAMP) and São Paulo (USP) and individual mutual contributions to courses. With the rising importance of biobased technology for social development goals, TU Delft’s strength in this field and the long-built knowledge infrastructure in Brazil for development of bioenergy (mostly from sugar cane and wood residues) in an emerging economy, it was decided to professionalise and extend the existing collaboration.
In 2011-2012 TU Delft and BE-Basic established a dedicated Brazil office located in Campinas at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in the Interdisciplinary Centre for Energy Planning (NIPE). BE-Basic is the largest international public-private partnership in the world in biobased economy. The focus of the TU Delft and BE-Basic’s Brazil Office lies on circular economy and clean technology in general and more specific but not limited to renewable materials and biofuels (biorenewables) in the broadest sense, including sustainability. TU Delft and BE-Basic have a strong international position in this field and can build on years of joint research with leading universities in Brazil in the areas of industrial biotechnology and biochemical engineering.
Brazil is the largest tropical country in the world, the second largest agribusiness exporter and the one with the greatest potential for growth in agricultural production, in the world. Due to its characteristics, Brazil is, perhaps the country with the greatest development potential in bioeconomy areas.
In this context, it is worth emphasizing that Brazil already is: the 1st sugar producer and exporter, 2nd soya, beef and chicken exporter, 2nd ethanol producer (40% of the domestic fuel market for light vehicles), and the agribusiness represents about 50% of the Brazilian trade balance.
With more than 30 years, Brazil has by far the longest experience in developing an infrastructure and capacity to produce biorenewables based on sugar cane. With increasing demands to replace oil based chemicals and materials for more sustainable bio renewables it is important to extend the joint strengths to further develop applications and business propositions.
The funding programs of BE-Basic and strong federal and regional investments in fundamental and applied research in the biobased economy in Brazil strongly facilitate this development.
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