EU-China cooperate in bioeconomy

Novozymes calls for a closer EU-China partnership to pursue a bioeconomy.

​The 7th EU-China Business Summit was held in Beijing, February 14, 2012, focusing on the current European debt crisis, bilateral ties and cooperation. The summit took place the day after the European Commission presented its new bioeconomy strategy for Europe.

Top political leaders from both sides attended the summit including Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, and European Commission President José Manuel Durão Barroso. Premier Wen stressed the importance of cooperation in scientific research and innovation, of deepening energy and environmental protection cooperation and advancing the partnership in urbanization between China and the EU.

In his presentation at the summit, Michael Fredskov Christiansen, president of Novozymes China, called for a growing EU-China cooperation in bioeconomy, especially in the context of the stagnant world economy based on fossil fuels. Preparing for an oil-independent future will require a significant transformation of our economies involving the oil, chemical, and agricultural sectors, and coordinated policies.

Bio-technology opens the pathway to a bio-based society in which renewable agricultural residues can be converted into biochemicals and nearly substitute the role that petrochemical industries have been playing since the industrial revolution.

“The technology of turning biomass into biofuels is ready. It is now, more than ever, we need to have a closer tie with the government for policy requirements to secure demand and support production,” said Michael Fredskov Christiansen. “We believe that, a growing partnership at both business and political level is crucial to further deepen EU-China cooperation on energy and be part of maintaining stable and sustainable economic growth.”

Boosting the bioeconomy: a priority for Europe 
On February 13, the European Commission presented its strategy “Innovating for Sustainable Growth: A Bioeconomy for Europe.” Lars Christian Hansen, Novozymes president for Region Europe and chair of EuropaBio’s Industrial Biotech Council said, “Bioeconomy can pave the way towards the transformation of fossil-based economies towards bio-based ones, where waste and plant residues will be the new oil. It can be part of the answer to today’s unprecedented economic and social challenges.”

Biofuels can generate revenue and jobs
According to the Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s study “Moving towards a next-generation ethanol economy", using agriculture residues to produce advanced biofuels could create almost 3 million jobs in China between 2010 and 2030, mainly in rural areas, and generate $800 billion in revenue rather than spending money on oil import.