Innovation and Bioeconomy
A whole value chain serving innovation and the bioeconomy
Plant-based chemistry is establishing itself as an innovative sector in an era of energy transition. It is now an integral part of the bioeconomy*, a major area of economic development.
Plant-based chemistry is one of the pillars of “green chemistry”. It offers lasting solutions for switching from a completely oil-based economy to an alternative based on renewable resources. Plant-based chemistry enables the development of products with high added value and new functions. It also contributes to better management and use of biomass resources.
The ACDV brings together the players involved in the production of biobased products and materials: from biomass production to the distribution of finished products by way of all the intermediate processing steps.
A sector in which innovation plays a central role, plant-based chemistry represents an industrial force recognised as a driving element in the bioeconomy.
This “sustainable” economy, which is the subject of a European Horizon 2020 strategy, is based on smart use of biomass resources.
It aims to reduce the dependence of populations on non-renewable resources, and to provide lasting security both in terms of food and in terms of the environment and the economy, through competitiveness and job creation (source: Ministry of Sustainable Development).
The bioeconomy, of which plant-based chemistry is a part, also makes it possible to move more towards a circular economy instead of a linear one.
The ACDV will contribute to the development of a national “bioeconomy” strategy in areas involving plant-based chemistry, including intermediates, materials and finished products.
*The bioeconomy means the manufacturing and processing of biological resources in various sectors – agriculture, forestry, fishing, food, paper-making, chemistry, biotechnologies and energy. (source: www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr)
The numerous advantages offered by plant-based chemistry:
- Rationalising fossil resources use,
- Contributing effectively to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,
- Providing companies in the chemical industry with opportunities to develop innovative processes and products which have new functions and are environmentally friendly,
- Offering additional outlets for major crops and agricultural development opportunities,
- Providing opportunities for innovation with new products or products offering new functions, notably through industrial biotechnology.
Plant-based chemistry, synonymous with innovation
It is innovation which makes it possible to create products with high added value and offer them to industrial companies, and therefore to consumers.
The plant-based chemistry sector “works on” three types of innovative functions: technological (new product properties), environmental (life cycle assessment) and societal (creation of new jobs and new professions).
Strategically, the sector deserves to benefit from tax and customs incentives and from financial aid particularly for the setting up of industrial units. The need is to establish a firm and durable basis for industrial innovation in France.
Market of biobased products
The world market for biobased chemical products represents between 50 and 70 billion Euros, or 3 to 4% of the current sales of chemicals including fine chemicals for the pharmaceutical industry (source: Arthur D. Little).
The sector can rely on a strong agricultural base. France is the leading agricultural country in the European Union and the leading country in Europe for the production of cereals and oil crops. This availability of large quantities of high-quality raw materials means the plant-based chemistry sector is well equipped to face up to worldwide competition, particularly from the United States, Brazil and certain Asian countries.
In the medium term, and for public contracts, the Energy Transition Act will provide an incentive for choosing products with low environmental impact such as biobased products.
The main players in the plant-based chemistry value chain
- Agricultural cooperatives producing the plant resources
- Primary biomass processing companies (agro-industrial companies)
- Engineering and biotechnology companies who provide solutions for industrial processing companies / formulators and chemical industry players.
- Industries in application markets which incorporate biobased products and materials in their finished products (cosmetics, detergents, packaging, automotive, construction, etc.).