World BioEconomy Forum

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The Bioeconomy celebrates nature

First World BioEconomy Forum at Ruka, Finland
September 11-13, 2018


The very first World BioEconomy Forum will be held in Ruka, Finland 11-13 September. The Forum will bring professionals from the leading edge of the bioeconomy for face-to-face dialog in the one of the world’s most exquisite areas of outstanding natural beauty.


We are pleased that the World BioEconomy Forum has been noted in RISI's Power List 2018! This is the very first time an event like this focuses exclusively on BioEconomy. 
See RISI's Power List 2018 here >>

At the top of RISI’s Power List is the Chinese Government. At the Ruka forum you will also meet top officials from China, including H.E. Mr. Chen Li, Chinese Ambassador to Finland, as well as hear direct input from the provincial Government of Hainan

Comments from the Panelists

Mark Rushton, Forum's overall moderator, has been interviewing yet more panelists on their expectations for the upcoming event. This time the focus is on the topic Circular Bioeconomy - Minimizing losses

See what panelists Tony Duncan, Heli Virkki and Pramod Chaudhari have to say about their topic and this year's event:

Tony Duncan, CEO of Circa Group Pty Ltd, voted Most Innovative Bioeconomy CEO 2017 by the readers of Il Bioeconomista
In your opinion, and from where you are positioned, where are we now in relation to the perfect circular economy? 

The economy we’ve inherited is primarily a linear one, and trying to reshape even a single supply chain is very difficult. I would say that as with the move to safer and more sustainable products and processes, the opportunities are becoming clearer and certainly the discussions we are having with potential partners indicate, at a minimum, a growing sensitivity to the issue.  
Turning a traditionally rigid linear supply chain into a more flexible circular supply chain is a non trivial task and the effort required to bend and join up the two ends through new processes and materials is different for each sector.  Pressure from consumers and governments is certainly providing impetus, although right now most value/supply chains appear to be some distance from optimal. And for Circa, that’s an opportunity.
The sectors we work with - primarily pulp and paper, agricultural processing and specialty materials - are industries where there has been considerable positive change over the past 30-40 years to reduce waste through the development of new products and processes to maximise raw material and by-product opportunities. Light weighting, better barrier protection and safer products and processes have been consistent drivers of change. 
What strategies are needed to be put in place to get to the final destination? 

Consistent with many others, Circa’s view is that this is a journey rather than a destination. It is about new products, new processes and new business models across millions of businesses. Some of these opportunities are driven by technology and new discoveries - others are driven by customer demands meeting the entrepreneurial skills to recognise and take the risks needed to chase these opportunities. Other opportunities arise as government regulations (e.g. REACh) provide new landscapes to challenge traditional process and product thinking.
In your opinion, how will the event in Ruka help to make a difference to forming strategies for a circular economy? 

Not sure yet - ask me again on the 14th September. 

Heli Virkki, Senior Manager, Bio2X Product Portfolio, Fortum
In your opinion, and from where you are positioned, where are we now in relation to the perfect circular economy? 
The first small and average-sized industrial players have been set up and selected innovations have been commercialized. The road has been paved for the larger initiatives to commence. However, the gap between the small- and large-scale ventures is rather wide still due to questions related to sustainable resource utilization, conversion infrastructure as well as market development. The value chains are long and it takes time for them to establish.
What strategies are needed to be put in place to get to the final destination? 
I think the Bioeconomy as a concept has to become a norm itself in the everyday society and override the fossil-based consumerism. In order to get there, various infrastructures have to develop further in targeted waste collection and industrial-scale reuse systems. The national baseline, as in availability of resources and the economical restrictions should be considered case by case and regionally. What is feasible and doable in the Nordics represents a different set of actions compared to, for example, the best measures to be taken in India. Generally, I think, one of the key points will be to identify and implement novel value chains combining new players and functions across the conventional industries.
In your opinion, how will the event in Ruka help to make a difference to forming strategies for a circular economy? 
Time is of essence. I wish the coming discussions and viewpoints will highlight the urgency of advancing this subject and then, coming up with tools and ways how to make it real and visible in society and industries. For this reason, I think this is an excellent opportunity for joint discussion between the various stakeholders in society.

Pramod Chaudhari, Executive Chairman of Praj Industries Ltd
In your opinion, and from where you are positioned, where are we now in relation to the perfect circular economy? 

As one of the global leaders in the bio-technology space, concept of carbon cycle is very central to Praj's business endeavors. By deploying unique business model of Innovate-Integrate-Deliver, Praj has over 750 references across 75 countries spanning 5 continents. For over three decades Praj’s offerings in biofuels and renewable chemicals in the form of EPC (Engineering- Procurement -Construction) solutions have found widespread acceptability in the global market. 

From our belief, positive impact of circular economy on Socio-Economic and Environmental aspects bodes very well with all stakeholders. While biofuels have made significant headway globally, renewable chemicals are slowly but surely finding increasing acceptance. Technology commercialization of bio-products is still a work in progress and to that extent we still have some way to go to attain a perfect circular economy. 

What strategies are needed to be put in place to get to the final destination? 

Major strategies to get to final destination among others are:
  1. Conducive policy framework for main-streaming use of bioproducts, at Government levels.
  2. Facilitation of eco-system build up (technology providers, developers, investors, farming community, Govt. and consumers)
  3. Aggressive promotion of bioproducts highlighting features and benefits at large to create sustainable market demand eg. WBEF
  4. Partnership between Industry-Academia-Investors to accelerate technology commercialization
  5. Deepening engagement with the farming community to create awareness and eventually employment and entrepreneurship in rural areas
In your opinion, how will the event in Ruka help to make a difference to forming strategies for a circular economy? 

WBEF at Ruka will help in several ways and some of them are as below:
  1. Bringing stakeholders around the world on a common platform for ideation.
  2. Identifying and bridging gaps en-route technology development.
  3. Sharing of best project practices and operations know-how across regions to de-bottleneck plaguing issues.
  4. Evolving guidelines for conducive policy framework for creating market traction.  
  5. Core & Satellite effect - triggering regional events of similar nature to keep momentum going.  

Register now to hear more thoughts from these and 25+ other speakers
Main Sponsors of the Event
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