New study by BBI JU analyses the landscape of SMEs in its projects

02 December 2019

The new report highlights the relevance of the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) in offering unique opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to de-risk their investment in the bio-based industries. BBI JU also provides a unique opportunity to scale-up their technologies, access markets and get recognition, while protecting the ownership of their technologies and know-how.

SMEs employ two-thirds of the workforce of the non-financial business sector of the EU. Moreover, they are important drivers for innovation and technology development in the still fragmented bio-based industrial sector in Europe. Consequently, SMEs have also played an essential role in the BBI JU projects since the beginning: 471 is the number of SME beneficiaries in BBI JU projects between 2014 and 2018. In fact, this JU shows an SME participation of 41%, well above the target of 20% established in Horizon 2020.

As Carlo Pettinelli, Director for Consumer, Environmental and Health Technologies at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, wrote in the foreword of the study, the high participation of SMEs ‘is strong evidence of how BBI JU creates opportunities for SMEs to scale-up their technologies, get access to the market and find new business opportunities in the bio-based economy. It is also strong evidence of why SMEs are in fact “unavoidable” enablers for the development of the bio-based sector.’

The analysis shows that SMEs have a prominent and varied role in the bio-based industries, providing specific expertise, innovation and technology development, which makes them essential for the projects and the sector. SMEs are enablers for the generation of new products and processes by generating new knowledge, supplying customised technologies and services for testing, data analysis and validation.

BBI JU enables securing funds that are crucial to boost success among SMEs in the bio-based industries field. Moreover, what sets BBI JU apart is the creation of unique opportunities for SMEs to participate, cooperate, develop their knowledge and establish cross-sector connections to find new business opportunities in the bioeconomy.

The report consists of two parts: Part I presenting the statistical analysis of SMEs participating in BBI JU projects and Part II showcasing stories and relevant results from SMEs beneficiaries. The findings of this analysis will provide input for the preparation of the SME participation strategy in line with the new EU SME strategy in the context of the European Green Deal.

Read the report here.