• NatureWorks names Richard Altice new President and CEO: On 24 April, NatureWorks’ board of directors named Richard Altice as the company’s new President and Chief Executive Officer, replacing Marc Verbruggen, who led the company from 2008 to his retirement in 2017. Altice comes to NatureWorks from PolyOne Corporation where he was Senior Vice President and President – Designed Structures and Solutions. NatureWorks was the first company to offer commercially available low-carbon-footprint bioplastics derived from 100-percent annually renewable resources. Recently, NatureWorks reached the milestone of two billion pounds of Ingeo™ biopolymer sold globally via its comprehensive portfolio of 33 grades, which are converted into thousands of consumer and industrial products.

  • BBI JU announces a further € 115 million of funding to boost the development of EU’s bio-based industries sector: The BBI JU is the largest and most ambitious initiative ever launched in the EU to develop competitive and sustainable bio-based industries. With a total budget of € 115 million, the 2018 Call is the fifth in a total of seven for the period between 2017 and 2020 and is built around 4 strategic orientations: Feedstock, Process, Products, and Market uptake. The current Call moves away from a strict biomass feedstock ‘push’ based on historic value chains, towards a demand for biomass that enables processing in order to respond adequately to a ‘pull’ from the end markets. A total of 21 topics are included in the 2018 Call with 11 Research and Innovation Action (RIA) topics, 3 Coordination and Support Actions (CSA) and 7 Innovation Actions (5 DEMOs and 2 Flagships) while novel eligibility criteria have also been introduced. The deadline for submission of proposals to the BBI JU 2018 Call is 6 September 2018.

  • Braskem Green Plastic packs new line of Nutrella loaves: Braskem is now supplying bio-based PE to Nutrella, a brand of special loaves from the Bimbo Group – a world leader in bread making. The 100 percent recyclable biopolymer will be used in the packaging of the new line of Nutrella Viva loaves with germinated grains that follow the Clean Label movement. The Clean Label movement is driven by Brazilian consumers seeking foodstuffs made with natural, simple ingredients that are easy to recognize, understand and pronounce. The bio-based plastic packaging can be identified by consumers through the “I’m green” label, visible on the product. The resin of renewable origin captures and fixes 3.09 tons of CO2 of the atmosphere for each ton produced, collaborating to the reduction in the emission of the greenhouse gases, but maintaining all the technical and mechanical properties of the conventional plastic, of a fossil origin, which allows their use and recycling without the need for structural or operational changes.

  • EIB’s new financing initiative to unlock EUR 1bn of investment in agriculture and bioeconomy: The European Investment Bank (EIB) launched a new financing initiative that aims to unlock close to EUR 1bn of investment in the agriculture and bioeconomy sector. “This programme loan will address the market weaknesses that currently constrain many of the companies active in the agriculture and bioeconomy sector by accelerating and further mobilising private investments. With this single programme loan of EUR 400m, we can expect to support more than EUR 850m worth of investments in the sector across Europe“, said the EIB Vice-President responsible for bioeconomy, Andrew McDowell. The operation will be guaranteed by the EU budget under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which forms a central part of the “Investment Plan for Europe” of the European Commission under the Juncker administration.