Towards a biobased economy: opportunities for innovative Dutch business models for waste flow-based products from the agroforestry sector in Northern Spain

1 mei 2017
31 oktober 2017
VH 7: Duurzame landbouw, water- en voedselvoorziening

In the Netherlands the business community is pretty active in the biobased economy because it offers plenty of economic opportunities. Innovation and chain development are stimulated towards the development of the bi-obased economy, bioenergy and to biobased materials. The Netherlands is strongly investing on improving inno-vative business and development, developing business cases and removing obstacles of non-technical origin. Importantly, the Dutch business community have recognised that many activities will depend on biomass imports as domestic production is mostly limited.

In the Netherlands there is a large demand for biobased biomass, and it is estimated that in the year 2030 about 60-70% of the required biomass will have to be imported. The Dutch Platform Biobased Raw Materials has emphasised the importance of the imports of biomass, and has focused on developing guidelines for transition paths, where international cooperation with biomass-producing countries is essential.

The Netherlands has identified Spain as an important provider of biomass resources (19 million ktoe), Spain holds the third position in European ranking of biomass potential. The autonomous community Galicia is the most important forest region in Spain, where the agroforestry sector has been considered as an alternative to yield economic benefits as well as to bring ecological advantages. However, the potential of Galicia as a pro-ducer and supplier of (waste flow) biomass is underdeveloped and underutilised. There is a need for a better un-derstanding of the potential business models that Dutch companies and Spanish stakeholders can apply to devel-op a biobased value chains that lead to the triple bottom line of People, Planet and Profit. To realise this goal, our project focuses on identifying the linkages between the Galicia agroforestry sector and the Dutch biobased industries, and explore the potential business opportunities towards the strengthening of both the local and the Dutch biobased markets. To achieve the latter we centred on the following questions:

I. What are the potential new business models that can be applied for a profitable and sustainable biobased chain from the waste flows of the agroforestry sector of Galicia for a steady production and supply to the local and the Dutch markets, leading to a sustainable transition path?
II. What are the institutional frameworks required to develop new and profitable biobased value chains within the agroforestry sector in Galicia?


Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences

Arno de Snoo
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Susan van der Giessen
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