March 15, 2021

Portugal in prime position to lead Europe’s bioeconomy transformation

Source: Bio-based Industries Consortium

Report from the Bio-based Industries Consortium concludes that Portugal has the consitions to become a leader in the bioeconomy.

A report by the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC), the main European association in the sector, of which A4F Algae for Future and Biotrend are members, concludes that Portugal has privileged conditions to become a leader in the European bioeconomy.

“Portugal has economic power, innovation and biomass raw material to rapidly expand bio-based industrial activities, at regional and national level, and become a strong partner in the European bioeconomy”, reads in the BIC report, developed in collaboration with the portuguese Government and members of the association, which identifies opportunities for a transition to the green economy and sustainable development

Based on this in-depth exploration of Portugal's agri-food, forestry and marine sectors (algae, aquaculture and fisheries), as well as the food and beverage, pulp and paper and remaining forestry industries, the study highlights the potential of Portugal to become Europe's Green Deal champion.

The bioeconomy sector in Portugal contributes almost 20 billion euros to the national economy and the BIC study points to the existence of new opportunities to fast-track green economic growth in the country.

“The sustainable bioeconomy is taking on an increasingly crucial role in Portuguese and European society. Now is the time to realise the benefits of this model and identify the best opportunities and solutions to support companies in creating more sustainable products and services”, comments João Pedro Matos Fernandes, Portugal's Minister for the Environment and Climate Action.

Despite its relatively small size, Portugal has a variety of climates and ecosystems, from the forested northern hills to the dry southern plains and from the Atlantic coast to the mountainous interior, it is read in the work, according to which Azores and Madeira add bio(diversity) to the country.

BIC notes that Portugal's EEZ, extending from the Mainland to Madeira and the Azores, includes a considerable portion of the Central-North Atlantic Ocean. If the request made to the United Nations to expand its continental shelf is accepted, "the country would increase its territory to 3.8 million square kilometers (3% of which is terrestrial), becoming one of the largest countries in the world" .

The agri-food, forestry-based, marine-based (fisheries, algae and aquaculture) and chemical industries are highlighted in the study as “among the strong drivers of Portugal's economy”.

The consortium represents the private sector in the 'Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking' (BBI JU), in a European Union public-private partnership totaling € 3.7 billion, that includes more than 240 members covering the entire value chain in this sector, from primary production to the market, across multiple and diverse sectors including agriculture and agri-food, aquaculture and marine, chemicals and materials, forestry, pulp and paper, technology providers and waste management and treatment.