Bio-based Value Chains Sector
Rural Areas abound with biomass resources that could be used to produce bioenergy and sustainable products, using renewable resources instead of fossil fuels. Considerable research has already been carried out on new bio-based value chains, and several pilot projects have proved the viability of these new processes. Today, bio-based industries employ more than eighteen million people, and have an annual turnover of 2.3 trillion Euro in the European Union. There is significant growth potential could be further exploited in rural areas, making use of agri-food side-streams and other non-food resources to avoid competition with food supply and valorise resources that are currently being wasted. Underused sources of energy and new medicinal crops also represent promising opportunities to benefit from the natural wealth of rural regions.
Bio-based value chains offer a wide variety of business and job opportunities for rural areas, from biomass production and collection, logistics for its transportation and conservation, and its transformation into products or energy, ready for consumption. These models often require the involvement of different actors, leading the way to the creation of new collaboration models in rural communities. Besides, it is not just that the products created through these new value chains could replace materials and chemicals that are currently produced with fossil fuels, but some of them also have improved features and new applications. While some bio-based products, such as chemicals, detergents, bioplastics, food products or textiles, are directly targeting industries and consumers, other types of products, such as fertilisers, biopesticides, or animal feed can be reintroduced directly in the lands to return nutrients to the soil.
Business opportunities arising from bio-based value chains are numerous and offer promising perspectives for growth and high-skilled job creation to revitalise rural areas. Whilst waiting for the launch of the RUBIZMO virtual library, which will showcase the best bio-based business models, you can visit the following websites to learn more about bio-based products and resources:
A few examples of bio-based products: