German chems industry welcomes €2.4bn strategy for bio-economy

10 November 2010 18:00  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--Germany’s chemical industry is welcoming a plan by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to spend €2.4bn ($3.3bn) over 6 years to 2016, on a “national research strategy for the bio-economy 2030,” industry group VCI said on Wednesday.

The government’s strategy, disclosed earlier on Wednesday, would focus on research into using biological resources – in particular biomass from plants, as well as microorganisms – as raw materials in the chemical, pharmaceuticals, paper, leather, food, agricultural and energy sectors.

It was an attempt to help transition Germany’s industrial producers away from their reliance on oil and gas-based energy and feedstocks, the government said. It added that Berlin’s national strategy was the first of its kind worldwide.

German chemical producers trade group VCI, and its biotechnology industry affiliate DIB, welcomed the initiative.

DIB general manager Ricardo Gent stressed the increasing importance of biomass as a basis for bio-technological and chemical processes to make chemicals and pharmaceuticals, as well as food and animal feed products.

He appealed to Germany’s politicians to act quickly now to help remove obstacles to further the development of biotechnology.

Key objectives for the government should include a set of rules for raw material supplies in the biotechnology sector, as well as a common framework for permitting genetically modified organisms (GMO) in Europe, DIB said.

According to DIB, Germany’s bio-tech sector included over 650 companies and over 200 public research facilities.

More information about Germany’s strategy for the bio-economy is available, in German, in a special section on the website of the country’s federal research and education ministry.

($1 = €0.71)

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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