There are currently no events within the BIG-Cluster initiative planned.
“The Oater” team prevails in final of the G-BiB 2022
In 2022 the final of the G-BiB enriched the programme of the CLIB International Conference and offered all visitors an insight into the two finalist ideas "Methylation (im)possible" and "Oater". The expert jury consiting of five experienced investors had a tough job choosing a winning team. The final award and 5.000 Euro prize money sponsored by the Global Entrepreneurship Centre went to the team "Oater" for their technology to procued freshly fermented milk directly on the shelf. Find out more about the finalists and the final in the full press release.
Platform for insect protein wins international G-BiB competition 2020/2021
In this year’s final of the Global Biobased Businessplan (G-BiB) competition three young and innovative teams from across Europe competed to be awarded the winner 2020/2021. After nearly half a year of developing their business, taking masterclasses to improve both their business case and their competences to bringing across their message, and being individually mentored by the experts, the international final was held as a virtual event with more than fifty participants ranging from big industry, through venture capitalists to bioeconomy experts from universities and consultancies. The UK-team InsBio was awarded as the winning team by the expert jury under the direction of Stefan Fasbender from the High-Tech Gründerfonds, the Seed Investor in Germany, who sponsored the award of this year’s competition. Find out more about the finalists in the full press release.
Finalists for the Global Biobased Businessplan Competition have been determined
G-BiB logo The G-BiB brings forth great and innovative ideas for biobased products and processes every year. This year eight student teams with very diverse business plans took the chance to learn how to think and work as an entrepreneur and accepted the challenge to compete with others for the final award of the G-BiB. On Wednesday, 13 January three national semi-finals in Germany, the United Kingdom and Finland took place and expert juries listened to the short pitches, asked questions on all individual parts of the business ideas, and then chose one national winning team per country. Find out which teams will participate in the final by expanding this news section by clicking.
BioInterio Logo For Germany the team BioInterio will have the chance to attend the final. BioInterio comprises a team of six researchers, Balaji Subramanian, Chellapan Vigneshwar, Deepak Sundar, Henry Stehle, Maryam Sodagar and Naveen Dhayanithi from the RWTH University in Aachen, led by mentor Dr. Christopher Greb. They have determined a way to turn the banana fiber, a cultivational waste material, into a natural alternative for producing biodegradable automotive components targeting the European market.
InsBio Logo For the UK the team InsBio was awarded to attend the final. InsBio are developing a platform process technology to generate feedstock for production of Black Soldier Fly larvae (BSFL) protein. Their proprietary process converts inedible, inexpensive and abundant agricultural residues (millions of tonnes annual surplus) into an edible BSFL feedstock, facilitating BSFL production on a scale unachievable with current feedstocks to meet the ever-growing market deficit of protein.
Life2Balcony Logo For Finland the team Life2balcony will participate. Life2balcony is a team of plant scientists from the University of Turku, developing a cloud-connected plant growth cabinet with microclimate control, the first of its kind that can be kept outside on balconies in wintertime, sparing indoor living space and providing fresh vegetables around the year. Growing vegetables at home reduces packaging material and cuts on food transportation. The cabinet constantly collects sensory data, providing a basis to improve energy efficiency and plant yield in the future.
HTGF Logo Those three teams will compete against each other during the international final on 17 February 2021. The final will be open to the public to listen to the pitches of all three teams and network with the young entrepreneurs. Registration is already open and free of charge. The winning team will receive a final award kindly sponsored by the High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF).
G-BiB 2020/2021 - registration open
G-BiB logo The Global Biobased Bussinesplan Competition G-BiB enters a new round. The BIG-Cluster member CLIB - Cluster industrial biotechnology will run the competition in Germany together with Smart Chemistry Park in Finland and the THYME project in the United Kingdom. Students from all disciplines and degrees are invited to register with an idea for a biobased and sustainable product or process until 10 October 2020. All information can be found here.
Looking ahead to the new innovation agenda
The BIG-Cluster partnership published a short document looking ahead to the new innovation agenda. In February 2021 the new innovation agenda stating the aims and targets of the partnership in the coming years will be published. To give you an inisght on the development of the biobased industries and the netowork within BIG-Cluster since the first agenda was published in 2014, the short preview was published. Download the preview here and enjoy reading.
Student team from Stuttgart wins G-BiB 2019 for the production of new and sustainable surfactants
The student team EBS - Engineering Biosurfactants wins the G-BiB 2019. They receive a free sparring day the the High-Tech Gruenderfonds and 7,500 euros in prize money sponsored by Henkel to pursue their bussiness idea.

photo of G-BiB award winners EBS - Egineering Biosurfactants Surfactants can be found in many products of everyday life, according to a Ceresana market study, worldwide sales in 2016 were 31 billion US dollars. The team of three students, Amira Oraby, Fredy-Wsbaldo Baron-Nunez and Thomas Galonska from the Fraunhofer IGB in Stuttgart, led by mentor Dr. Susanne Zibek, has developed the fermentative production of two biosurfactants from renewable raw materials that are not yet available on the European market. Their company EBS - Engineering Biosurfactants is to be founded next year and will offer surfactants that can be tailored to customer requirements. This idea convinced the jury of experienced investors and venture capitalists in the G-BiB final on 04 September and won the G-BiB Award.

photo of German G-BiB semifinal teams, jury members and coordinators. They prevailed against the teams LignoPure from Hamburg and Innovived from Leuven. LignoPure extracts lignin from biomass under chemical-free conditions and thus produces a high-quality and multifunctional biopolymer with many possible applications. Innovived has developed the production of a sustainable 3D print filament from cigarette filter waste and thus contributes to the reduction of plastic waste in nature.The final award - consisting of a sparring day at High-Tech Gruenderfonds, one of Germany's leading pre-seed investors, and 7,500 euros in prize money sponsored by Henkel - is intended to help the young team pursue their idea further.

»All three teams deserved to be in the finals and presented great, innovative ideas, and I'm sure we'll hear a lot more from them«, said project assistant Annika Thamm. Katrin Kriebs added: »I am very happy for EBS that they can use the award to advance their idea and I would like to thank HTGF and Henkel for making the award possible.«

Sustainable surfactants and clean lignin are being selected as German finalists for this year’s G-BiB competition
Three student teams from Hamburg, Stuttgart and Aachen, each with an innovative and sustainable business plan, competed on 08 July in the German G BiB semifinal.

The expert jury members Prof. Dr. Detlev Riesner, European business angel and founder of Qiagen, Tobias Faupel, investment manager at the High-Tech Gruenderfonds, Achim Roth, leader of the 2nd Chemical Division, and Mustafa Oezbir, biofuels trader, both at Mitsui & CO Deutschland, challenged the teams with questions after their pitch and then discussed to decide, that LignoPure from Hamburg and EBS from Stuttgart will have the chance to win the final award during the international final. photo of German G-BiB semifinal teams, jury members and coordinators.
LignoPure is extracting lignin from biomass under chemical free conditions and thus producing a high value, multifunctional biopolymer for multiple markets as food, cosmetics and materials. EBS – Engineering BioSurfactants will produce biosurfactants from sustainable feedstocks and is targeting the high value cosmetics market at first before expanding the larger surfactant markets. They will be competing with the Belgian team Innovived, producing a sustainable, biodegradable 3D-print filament from waste cigarette butts, on 04 September during the CLIB Networking Day held at the Henkel headquarters in Duesseldorf.

»All three German teams came up with very innovative ideas for bio-based products and gave excellent pitches during the semi finals. I am happy to see the entrepreneurial potential we find in our German universities and I am looking forward to the finals.« Katrin Kriebs, project coordinator of the G-BiB at CLIB

G-BiB trained 7 student teams in entrepreneurial skills
photo of G-BiB masterclass in Germany. All seven teams registered for the G-BiB 2019 in Germany and Belgium attended the masterclasses held in Duesseldorf and Gent and Leuven.Experts in developing business cases, pitching in front of investors and communication with the press took the time to train the students and give feedback to each business idea and pitch, individually.

»The suggestions and feedback of the masterclass helped us a lot to continue writing our business plan. Not only the exchange with mentors, but also the exchange between the start-ups helps to advance our innovative idea in an entrepreneurial way.« Stefan Boersting, LignoPure.
After the masterclasses have successfully taken place, the students will now further elaborate their business cases for a biobased product or process and write a full business plan which will be presented to expert juries in July. The best national teams will have the chance to attend the international finals held on September 4th during the CLIB Networking Day at the Henkel Headquarter in Duesseldorf, pitch their idea and win a final award.

BIG-Cluster MOOC "Biobased Products for a Sustainable (Bio)economy" closed

This week the partners of the BIG-Cluster project CROSSBEE met for a final project meeting to evaluate the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) ever produced by a consortium of nine partners. They decided on re-running the course and providing the publicity with all material for free.

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Global Biobased Businessplan Competition kicked-off in Duesseldorf

26 participants from Germany and Belgium came together in Duesseldorf for the first meeting of the 2019 G-BiB. Four teams from Germany and three teams from Belgium will take the chance to learn about business plans, pitching and communication and will compete to win the final award in September 2019.

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BIG-Cluster MOOC "Biobased Products for a Sustainable (Bio)economy" started

map of BIG-Cluster institutions involved in the MOOCThe MOOC on biobased products produced by nine partners from the BIG-Cluster region has started on 16 January 2019. More than 1400 students from all over the world can now listen to experts in bioeconomy and discuss with other learners about how to built a sustainable economy. The seven modules will be opened up one after another until 06 March 2019, when the course will end. Learners interested in signing in, are still very welcome, as all modules will stay open until the end of the course.

Find out more and sign in!

Joint Massive Open Online Course "Biobased Products for a Sustainable (Bio)economy" launched

Picture of MOOC course imageThe joint MOOC produced in the BIG-Cluster project CROSSBEE - CrossBorder BioEconomy Eductation - is now online and free for registration. In this 7 week course the learners will find out what it takes to produce a sustainable product made from biobased resources and what to consider when bringing this product to the market. Nine different institutions from the three BIG-Cluster countries were involved to produce the first ever MOOC on basic knowledge about bioeconomy. The MOOC can be attended for free.

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Flanders' first and only pilot line of bio-aromatics from lignin/wood

Recently, Biorizon co-initiator and BIG-Cluster partner VITO has launched the EFRO LignoValue Pilot project. By Q1 2021, this € 4.3 million project must result in a functioning pilot line in Flanders for the production of bio-aromatics from lignin/wood. The pilot meets the needs of various companies that have expressed an interest in innovative molecules and a willingness to carry out application testing..

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ALIGN project launched: Developing bio-based aromatics from lignin

Over the next three years, the eight project partners Axxence, CLIB2021, Fraunhofer CBP, KU Leuven, LXP Group, Phytowelt, UPM and VITO join forces to develop “Aromatics from LIGNin”. Phenolic resins will be applied for the production of high-pressure-laminates as well as natural vanillin for food and beverages. The German project partners will receive 1.3 m EUR from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

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New project BioCOnversion: From emissions to a valuable feedstock for plastic precursors

The new project BioCOnversion unites multidisciplinary expertise from academia and industry in a cross-border consortium to make CO-containing process gases available for the production of added-value chemicals. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funded € 1.5 million to develop an innovative bioprocess to convert syngas into a defined plastic precursor by evaluating different technology approaches. The three years project coordinated by the open innovation cluster CLIB2021 has been kicked-off end of May 2018 and is element of CLIB’s internationalisation strategy within the cross-border BIG-Cluster initiative of the regions of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Netherlands and the Belgian region of Flanders.

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Bio-Innovation growth mega-Cluster (BIG-Cluster) pushes cross-border collaboration in developing the Bioeconomy

The BIG-Cluster Stakeholders Meeting, held on 12 June in Eindhoven, illustrated the vivid knowledge exchange and cross-border collaborations under the umbrella of the BIG-Cluster. Diverse innovation projects bring together high-level experts from Flanders region of Belgium, The Netherlands and the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia in the value chains “Aromatics from woody biomass”, “C1 gases to chemicals”, “Aviation fuels from various feedstocks”, and the horizontal topic “Circular economy education”.

„The BIG-Cluster initiative has started in 2013. Today, we look back on a success story as the 10 project pitches have impressively demonstrated. They build a sustainable base to expand the close collaboration of the three BIG-Cluster regions.” said Willem Sederel (Biobased Delta), as the chair of the day.

100 experts from large companies, SMEs, academic institutes and universities as well as networks, attended the matchmaking event and developed roadmaps on the BIG-Cluster value chains “Aromatics from woody biomass”, “C1 gases to chemicals”, and “Aviation fuels from various feedstocks” in parallel workshops.

Manfred Kircher (CLIB2021), moderator of the workshop “C1 gases to chemicals”: “The innovative power of the trinational cooperation is unique.”

According to Luuk van der Wielen (BE-Basic) “we do not have much time to develop the bio-based economy towards scale-up because of the rate of global warming and the scale of the transition.”, the participants agreed that all stakeholders need to work together and build new value chains supported by the government(s) to facilitate large investments.

Ludo Diels (VITO) emphasizes the three regions will benefit from the bio-based economy. Developments will speed up if we manage to make the borders vanish and create new value chains in Europe.

The meeting revealed starting points for new collaboration topics and cross-border research & innovation projects. The cross-border activities under the umbrella of the BIG-Cluster will be intensified in the future.

The next Stakeholders Meeting in 2018 will further foster biobased economy in the BIG-Cluster region.

News on the Brazilian branch edition of the Kick-off G-BiB competition

After a successful kick-off of the Global Biobased Business Competition (G-BiB) involving German and Dutch teams, which had previously occurred on January in Wageningen (The Netherlands), last Friday, March 10th, Brazilian teams had the opportunity to officially kick-off and engage the competition. Among the 19 Brazilian teams enrolled, 15 are from the State of São Paulo (USP, UNESP, UNICAMP, CTBE and UNITAU), 2 from Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), 1 from Minas Gerais (UFMG) and 1 from Ceará (UFC). Teams gathered at three sites in São Paulo (UNICAMP, USP and UNESP) and interacted live through a videoconference, while teams that could not be present interacted online.

Glaucia Souza from the BIOEN, FAPESP Program for Research on Bioenergy welcomed all the participants and briefly presented the role of BIOEN on R&D and innovation in Brazil. Patricia Osseweijer then presented BE-Basic organization and activities in the world, including actions towards innovation and the organization of the G-BiB competition. Next, each team pitched its idea in a meeting conducted by Patricia Osseweijer live at the USP site and Heitor Cantarella (from BIOEN) present at the UNICAMP site.

Each team has the final challenge of writing an innovative business plan, based on a project for the sustainable production of bio-renewable products such as biofuels and biomaterials, or solutions to support the development of these products. To close the meeting, a video was presented to introduce the team competitors on relevant issues to be considered when developing a solid business plan. The video was the same presentation that happened live during the European G-BiB kick-off, performed by Jeroen Veenenbos, from Erasmus Center Entrepreneurship, who gave a number of very interesting examples of business plans which were successful and others which failed.

In the next step of the competition, a master class will be offered to the teams, scheduled for May 9th for the Brazilian teams and on April 19th and 26th for the Dutch and German teams respectively, focusing on developing their final business plan to be submitted for the semi-finals. G-BiB competition will offer up to € 10.000 in prizes for the best business project. The overall final will be in São Paulo with the results announced in October at the next edition of the Brazilian Bioenergy Science & Technology Conference (BBEST 2017) in Campos do Jordão.

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Successful Kick-off G-BiB competition

The Kick-off of the first edition of the Global Biobased Business competition (G-BiB) for the German and Dutch teams took place last Tuesday at Wageningen University. This interesting and instructive, but most of all inspiring event marks the beginning of the G-BiB for the two German and five Dutch teams with members from all over the world.

After a short welcome, Manfred Kircher (Chairman Advisory Board CLIB2021) inspired the teams to ‘think out of the box’ giving many examples of new feedstock and business opportunities. Kirsten Steinbusch (CEO DAB) presented Delft Advanced Biorenewables, that offers a patented scalable (bio)reactor technology and shared her views on developing her business. A great biotech business example for the students which resulted in many questions and tips.

During the kick-off all the teams pitched their idea and motivation under supervision of Patricia Osseweijer. Prior to the event all team were asked to fill in a Sustainable Entrepreneurship Scan, developed by Lisa Ploum (Wageningen University), who also presented the promising results: average score was higher than usual.

The final challenge for all the teams is to write an innovative business plan based on a design for sustainable production of biorenewable products such as biofuels and biomaterials or partial solutions that will support developing those products. To give the students an idea about a solid business plan, Jeroen Veenenbos from Erasmus Centre of Entrepreneurship, welcomed the students in the world of business giving them many examples of successful and failed business plans. This was an eye opener and a challenge for many students.

The teams will follow a master class in April focussing on developing their business case and by the end of May they will have to submit their business plans. At this moment a similar process is ongoing for the teams in Brazil.

The semi-finals for all the country’s will be held in June and the finals in October during the 3rd Brazilian BioEnergy Science and Technology (BBEST) in Campos do Jordão, Brazil. The final award of €10.000,- will be provided for by Corbion to further enrol the business plan.

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