Converting biomass into valuable products can and will have a large impact on the transition towards a circular biobased economy. New value chains are needed where sustainable minded companies and institutes collaborate in R&D and in implementing exciting new innovations. That is what I want to contribute to.
As Program Manager Biorefinery at Wageningen Food & Biobased Research I support, guide and accelerate innovations in the Circular Biobased Economy. Together with the enormous knowledge base of my colleagues at Wageningen University and Research.
A crucial approach towards utilization of biomass is to use the functionalities already present in the plant material. By using mild pretreatment and refining techniques we can unravel the different components and use them as raw materials for all kinds of valuable products. From bioplastics to organic fertilizer and from grass paper to food-protein from sugar beet leaf.
Within the Biorefinery Program we connect and combine the various expertises on biomass pretreatment, fractionation and conversion with economic and impact evaluations. Not just with world-class researchers but also with state of the art facilities on lab and pilot scale.
But innovation is more than R&D and technology. Value creation can only be achieved when cooperating with the right stakeholders in the value chain towards economically viable solutions which have a real impact on the challenging but exciting transitions.
Throughout my working career I have worked on realizing sustainable technological innovations. Initially in the petrochemical and water treatment industries and the last 10 years in the biobased economy. As consultant biobased at KplusV I supported organizations in developing their technological innovations by finding financing and research partners and setting up development projects. In addition I was actively participating in Stichting Kiemt, ISPT and Biobased Business Accelerator. In my previous job as R&D Manager at NewFoss I developed a viable biorefinery concept based on grass residues and agricultural sidestreams producing valuable products such as paper and cardboard, insulation panels, fertilizer and substrate media.
Currently I am representing Wageningen UR in CIRCLES, a consortium of organizations in East NL stimulating implementation of circular innovations.