The Pilots4U network has just announced the launch of its database. The Pilots4U database maps all open access pilot and demonstration infrastructures across Europe, with the aim of helping companies and research institutions operating in the bio-economy, gain easier access to testing facilities that can bring their ideas from development to the market. The Pilots4U database already contains 390 asset entries from 83 organisations in 19 countries and is growing week by week. The database can be searched for free!

To reach its full potential, companies and institutions operating in the bio-economy sector need support to develop their innovations into marketable products, which involves access to state-of-the-art-testing facilities that can scale-up their innovative processes from laboratory to industrial scale. Early collaboration with such facilities, offering access to a wide range of process equipment and experienced personnel, can substantially reduce costs, risks and development time and will enhance the chance to successful market entry. Many companies and R&D performing organisations however are not aware of or assume they do not have access to state-of-the-art industrial pilot and demonstration plants. Hence, the Pilots4U project set out to map all existing open access bio-economy pilot- and multipurpose demonstration facilities, with the aim of creating one easily accessible database for all actors operating in the European bio-economy.

This Pilots4U database is now live and can be searched free of charge here. The database comprises open access pilot and demo facilities offering equipment for the following bio-economy related technologies: industrial biotechnology, chemical and thermal conversion, purification and fractionation, pulping, material technologies, algal cultivation, anaerobic digestion and nutrient recovery. The database is easy to use and can be searched using the following criteria: country (location of the equipment), scale of the equipment; technology or technology area (predefined lists), and the service provider to which the equipment belongs.

Currently, the database already has 390 entries from 83 organisations in 19 countries and the Pilots4U network will continuously accept new asset entries for bio-economy pilot-scale equipment. If you are affiliated to a pilot and demo facility relevant for the bio-economy and not yet part of the network, please get in touch.

Furthermore, the asset information in the database will be used to identify any gaps in the provision of different technology sectors and regions, where additional investment could help, either in equipment or allied innovation support services.

This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s 'Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme', under Grant Agreement No 730052