Innovation, the Dutch disease

Figureheads of the top sectors, 2011

Once, Dutch Lagerwey wind turbines were the best and most innovative, but did that lead to a major wind turbine industry? No, that branch is in the hands of the Germans and Danes. And solar energy? The Netherlands were among … Read more

Europe hesitates and lags behind

‘You always want to employ the perfect technology right away’, the Americans mirrored us, Europeans, at the occasion of last week’s EFIB final debate, in Düsseldorf. Where EFIB is the acronym for: European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology and the Biobased … Read more

The European Commission’s alcohol problem

The European Commission may renounce its former renewable fuel directive, and plans to lower the required renewable fuel percentage from 10 to 5%. The ethanol industry is furious, and accuses the Commission of an ‘irresponsible U-turn on biofuels policy’. Could … Read more

Top sector policy, a mission impossible?

Government should invest more in innovation in businesses, and less in fundamental scientific research. That is the shorthand notation for the new Dutch innovation policy, ‘top sector policy’. But this policy meets with difficulties, while financing research is increasingly unclear. … Read more

Europe’s bioeconomy: this year is decisive

That is Nathalie Moll’s opinion, secretary-general to Europabio, the Brussels lobby branch of Europe’s biotechnological industry. Industrial biotechnology is growing fast, and is selected as one of six Key Enabling Technologies for a greener and more sustainable Europe. The European … Read more

Cosun and the unbeatable beet

For Cosun, the beet is exceptionally suited as a starting point in the bio-based economy. ‘The sugar beet has by far the highest yield in the Netherlands (and elsewhere), and carries the highest income to the farmer. Even algae do … Read more

Regulation as a bottleneck

Ancient regulation might stand in the way of biobased economy development in many forms. These bottlenecks differ among countries; here we offer an overview with some examples. Waste regulation Waste regulation is intended to serve public health. Manure and offal … Read more