The H2020 PANACEA project is coming to an end in April 2021. For more than 3 years, the 18 European partners – from 10 countries – have been sharing their experiences on non-food crops in order to identify ways to increase the contribution of these crops in agriculture and the European bio-economy. Connecting biomass producers with processors in new value chains, transferring knowledge including the sharing of first operational examples of developments, are essential factors in mobilising biomass for these new uses.
In addition to the necessary climate adaptation, non-food crops must be of mutual interest to producers and consumers of resources. Beyond the technical-economic and agronomic interests of farmers, the ecosystemic services provided by these crops will be essential in the future. The guarantee of a perennial, structured and secure commercial outlet is also crucial.
As for downstream valorisation, the main obstacle is the control and predictability of production costs. To overcome this, it is necessary to work towards secure planning of quantities and homogenisation of the quality of the raw materials delivered. Communication is an important instrument for stimulating demand and building a positive image of products from non-food crops.
The regulatory framework must also provide incentives and be sustainable with regard to the various players to encourage the competitiveness of new sectors.
French partner Arvalis – Institut du Végétal, through its research work on the production of biomass for non-food uses is fully involved in this transition movement. Research projects and thematic networks are strong instruments to structure these exchanges between stakeholders. This is notably the role of the French Bioeconomy Cluster (IAR) to which ARVALIS has belonged since its creation. The mission of this cluster, which gathers more than 400 members, is to strengthen and support the competitiveness and industrialisation of companies through innovation. It also aims to promote the bio-economy sector and its players (from upstream agriculture to the marketing of finished products: agricultural cooperatives, research institutes and universities, companies, public players, etc.). The IAR bioeconomy cluster works on all themes related to the production and development of biological resources (agriculture, forestry, marine resources or co-products and residues) for food, industrial and energy purposes.
The IAR’s activities are intended to be highly operational, as evidenced by the recent launch of the B to B Agrobiobase platform, which aims to inform and facilitate contacts between actors in value chains. The site hosts product sheets and thematic dossiers that provide additional information on hundreds of bioproducts and application markets: market data, gains in use, applications, technical characteristics.
For more information
IAR Cluster: https://en.iar-pole.com/