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Message from the Industry Committee Coordinator

Industry, the bridge between Research and Policy

Bioenergy at the crossroads

The last years the research community has accomplished significant progress in all fronts of biomass and bioenergy with key breakthroughs in several areas. In parallel the guiding principles on biomass sustainability raised ethical, trade, business-related, and policy issues associated to biomass availability, competition amongst the different uses of biomass as well as endless discussions on the complex issue of land use raising uncertainties in the mind of consumers, the civil society and the policy makers. The research community appears divided especially when modelling and predictive work is concerned ensuing in further confusion for the stakeholders.

Simultaneously it is recognised by all that biomass and bioenergy is the main avenue that has to be driven upon if we are to attain the European and global climate change targets that have been set.  In this bewilderment there is no silver bullet to guide us through the muddle.

Only the biomass & bioenergy industry can bridge the gap by undertaking reliable and well reasoned investments with social responsibility and political accountability. Indeed, in parallel with the above, the industry has taken the lead assuming responsibility of the progress realised by the research community and invested in the deployment of new processes, identified new value chains and constructed new plants invigorating the biomass & bioenergy scene in the EU and beyond. The industry has been engaged directly in the social and policy debate in an effort to rise above the muddle and provide clarity and guidance to the stakeholders and the community as a whole. At the end of the day, it is only the industry that is accountable to the consumer and the society!

It's perhaps the first time that the biomass and bioenergy industry has wrought such a pivotal role in such a complex debate but also the only stakeholder that can steer the way out of the muddle. With this, I invite the biomass and bioenergy industry to participate in the debate during the 2014 EU BC&E by showing how the above issues can be dealt with, dependably and consistently.

Kyriakos Maniatis
Industry Committee Coordinator
European Commission, DG ENER