VTT Has an Essential Role in EU’s Circular Bioeconomy Partnership Scientific Committee

Merja Penttilä

VTT’s research professor Merja Penttilä has been appointed as a member in the Scientific Committee of EU’s new Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE JU). CBE JU funds circular bioeconomy projects as part of the Horizon Europe framework program.

CBE JU is a two billion euro sized public-private partnership which enables European circular bioeconomy projects in 2021-2031. It follows the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) partnership which funded in total 142 projects in years 2014-2020. 

VTT’s research professor Merja Penttilä was chosen as a member of CBE JU’s Scientific Committee. “There are fifteen members in the committee, from all over Europe and with different backgrounds. Each member brings different expertise to the table. This makes the co-operation very inspiring”, describes Penttilä her work in the committee.

Circular bioeconomy innovations are needed in order to reach climate objectives

CBE JU does important work to enable the shift from fossil to renewable and recyclable raw materials, especially in developing processes for production of chemicals and materials. It plays an essential part in reaching EU’s climate objectives set for the year 2050. At the same time it generates new business and economic growth in Europe.

CBE JU’s central goals are to accelerate the innovation process, to fund bio-based R&D, to create market demand for bio-based solutions, and to ensure environmentally friendly operations for bio-based industries.

Scientific Committee membership provides access to the heart of circular economy innovation. Furthermore, it offers a way to promote impact in reaching the climate objectives. According to Penttilä, it is important for CBE JU to emphasize the innovation process and utilize new technologies: “besides working towards the grand political, economic, and environmental goals, it is very crucial to focus on the core of innovation.”

Partnership gathers together diverse players

CBE JU has a central role in combining various approaches to circular economy. On one hand, it brings together the technological, regulatory, and commercial aspects of bioeconomy. On the other hand, it connects various players and enables their collaboration in multiple projects. It also strives for expanding the bioeconomy value chain by attracting diverse companies and communities. 

Penttilä tells about CBE JU’s role in the research field: “It is essential for CBE JU to reduce the risks for companies to engage in bioeconomy business. CBE JU invests in interesting circular bioeconomy projects and development work. This way new kinds of companies can get onboard and start creating the market in this domain.”

“My nomination in the Scientific Committee of CBE JU is an honor also for VTT and Finland. It provides a way to have impact in circular bioeconomy development and also to bring Finnish know-how to good use”, sums Penttilä.

Merja Penttilä
Merja Penttilä
Our vision beyond 2030

Every phase of a product’s lifecycle from raw material to end product as a part of recycling needs to be understood as well as possible. In this way, we can save important natural resources, reduce emissions and create new markets.