Welcome to the first Pilots4U newsletter! This newsletter will give you an update on the activities and achieved results of the project during its first 17 months.
In October 2018, DG for Research and Innovation presented the new Bioeconomy Strategy of the EU. The new strategy contains five objectives:
- Ensuring food and nutrition security;
- Managing natural resources sustainably;
- Reducing dependence on non-renewable, unsustainable resources whether sourced domestically or from abroad;
- Mitigating and adapting to climate change;
- Strengthening European competitiveness and creating jobs.
These objectives will be achieved by employing three main action areas:
- Strengthen and scale-up the bio-based sectors, unlock investments and markets;
- Deploy local bioeconomies rapidly across Europe;
- Understand the ecological boundaries of the bioeconomy.
Although the Pilots4U project started 16 months before the launch of the new strategy, it is already gearing up to drive the action areas for the new Bioeconomy strategy, especially with regard to action 1 and 2.
Pilots4U is making a Europe-wide map of all pilot and demonstration infrastructures that are open access: equipment ready to scale up at the fingertips of each entrepreneur. The Pilots4U database allows the entrepreneur to look for pilot facilities close-by, or for facilities specialised in certain bio-economy disciplines. This immensely simplifies the scale-up of new bio-based processes by eliminating the hassle and stress of hardware investments and of finding staff with scale-up expertise at this stage of the process. Worrying can be postponed until the process is techno-economically proven at larger scale, when regulatory hurdles have been taken, the business case is largely de-risked, and a production facility has to be built. Open access pilot facilities can thus be regarded as shared investments in pilot equipment and expertise that is required once per innovation and therefore are a cheaper, faster, better and stronger way of scaling up:
Cheaper and faster because the entrepreneur does not need to invest in equipment and expertise;
Better as an open access pilot/demo facility has plenty of scale-up expertise and aims to improve the process techno-economics; and
Stronger as the entrepreneur is added to the network of the scale-up facility that consists of innovators from all types of sectors.
I hope you enjoy reading this newsletter as much as we enjoyed its preparation. I hope this newsletter can convince you to join the network either as an open access facility owner or as a user of open access facilities to bring your innovation to the next level.