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renewablematter 15. 2017 of the national bioeconomy strategy. At ministerial level, we asked the 17 autonomous regions to come up with specific bioeconomy strategies. Andalusia, Estremadura, Castilla-La Mancha and Valencia are already committed to this. While 16 have decided to include the agribusiness sector in their smart specialization strategies. “Representatives from different organizations will also be included (consumenrs, environment, farmers, financing sector). “It is the intention of the Steering Committee to set up the Bioeconomy Observatory very soon.” What role does the Mediterranean play in the Spanish bioeconomy? “In a water scarcity scenario, there is a need to develop the circular economy and to reinforce the role that biological resources must play on it. For the Mediterranean region it is essential to ensure

the sustainable production use and exploitation of the biological resources within the different value chains that make up the Bioeconomy: agriculture and food production, including livestock production, forestry, blue economy, and biobased products and bioenergy. Sustainability must be considered as a whole (people, profitability and planet). Due to the limited water framework in this region, the valorization of waste from diferent sources must contribute to more efficient and sustainable production systems and to generate new jobs, growth and competitiveness of the Bioeconomy sectors. “The Spanish bioeconomy is mainly focused on agrifoodbusiness but also on fishing, aquaculture and marine research. Research in the field of algae and generally on marine biomass plays a strategic role for the present and future of the bioeconomy in our country. But also in the whole Mediterranean area to restore the right centrality to Southern Europe.”

Interview

by M. B.

The Spanish Way to Biotech Isabel Garcia Carneros, Asebio’s Operations Director

Asebio is the Spanish Association of biotech companies. It representes companies involved in all fields of application of the biotechnology. Renewable Matter interviewed Isabel Garcia Carneros, Operations Director, on the role of industrial biotechnology to boost the bioeconomy.

Asebio – Asociación española de bioempresas, www.asebio.com/en/ index.cfm

What is the state of the art of industrial biotechnology in Spain? “Early Spanish initiatives to promote and encourage the bioeconomy, along with the existence of a developed bioindustry sector, existing market opportunities and an advanced cooperative system have created the optimal environment for our industry to flourish. Progress in the field of biorefineries, research into new production processes and improvements in chain values have allowed us to acquire the necessary knowledge to attain rapid advances, create new technologies for the utilisation of biomass and generate new market niches. “At the national level, a number of public bodies have aligned themselves with European policies and strategies. A favourable political framework is therefore being created for the establishment of biorefineries and the implementation of the bioeconomy in Spain. For instance, the Secretariat of State for Research, Development and Innovation, part of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, with the participation of the industrial, academic and scientific sectors, has published the Spanish Bioeconomy Strategy, which is designed to boost economic activity by improving competitiveness and sustainability

in production sectors, promoting and encouraging the development and the practical application of technologies resulting from collaborations between the science-technology system and private Spanish firms. At the core of the Spanish Strategy are the activities of the agriculture, marine, food and forestry industries and the efficient and sustainable use of products, sub-products and all waste produced by them – transforming waste into a new line of bioproducts, including bioenergy, for which industrial biotechnology is essential. “We should also note that the European Commission (DG GROWTH) selected the project presented by Andalusia to turn the region into a model for research and development of circular economy and industrial symbiosis systems. The objective being to make a more efficient and sustainable use of the resources and raw materials available, such as biomass and waste management.” What is the role of industrial biotechnology in developing the Spanish bioeconomy? “Industrial biotechnology provides a great opportunity to solve the current global challenges the international community is facing, offering potential solutions to the growing demand for food, animal feed, fuel and other materials. Industrial biotechnology enables us to develop higher yield solutions for a variety of products, while also reducing environmental impact. By incorporating this technological step forward, new products and production processes can be obtained, turning the so called ‘alternative’ materials

Renewable Matter #15  

Renewable Matter is the International Magazine focused on the changing relationship between Economy, Society and the Environment. It focuses...

Renewable Matter #15  

Renewable Matter is the International Magazine focused on the changing relationship between Economy, Society and the Environment. It focuses...