Bad news for green chemistry and industrial biotechnology proponents in Europe. According to this article from ICIS Chemical Business, Europe is losing ground when it comes to bio-refinery R&D and infrastructure because of decreasing funding and resources.
The opposite is happening in the US where the former Bush administration drove large funding for biofuels R&D, and the Obama administration is expected to increase target output for biofuels. The same increased funding is said to be happening in China because of their 5-year growth plan.
ICB says construction of demo plants in the EU is trailing the US by a long distance. Because of generous R&D funding from the US Department of Energy and Department of Agriculture, the article said that European companies are instead going offshore to work on development projects bringing with them European technologies on biorefineries and their raw materials.
It is of note that big European chemical companies usually participate in the funding of biorefinery developments in the region. With the current bleak chemical landscape and companies cost-cutting left and right, this is probably another blow to the European bio and green chemical industry development.