Retrospective of The Collaboration Plan(t)

Amid fine farmland in the Southwest of the Netherlands, around 30 people gathered to attend Interreg’s BioBase4SME event ‘The Collaboration Plan(t)’. This event was jointly organized by project partners REWIN and the Biobased Innovations Garden. The theme of the event was ‘biobased value chains starting on land’, or summed up: #happyplanting

First Cor van Oers explained the activities of the Biobased Innovations Garden, host of the event, then, three crops were introduced to the public by different speakers. Walter de Milliano, a plant pathologist, spoke about sorghum which is a crop indigenous to Africa.

The next speaker was Terry Barman, who shared a presentation on hemp and the applications of this specific plant that he has developed. He was followed by William Cracroft-Eley of the Terravesta company,who shared his views on the possibilities of miscanthus. Cracroft-Eley coordinates the entire miscanthus value chain, which means he guarantees contracted farmers a certain price for the crop and trades with the customers.

Next, Marieke Bruins of WUR gave a presentation on biorefinery. She shared examples of projects she works on and was refreshingly straightforward about the challenges she encounters. Finally, REWIN’s financial specialist Mathijs van Campenhout informed the attendants about funding options for these kinds of complex value chains.

We wrapped up the day with an interesting walk through the Biobased Innovations Trial Garden, where we could examine the three crops discussed earlier; sorghum, hemp and miscanthus. We also looked at sweet potatoe, quinoa, yacon and much more.

All and all, we can look back on a day filled with interesting biobased crop applications and much interaction. I love it when a Plan(t) comes together!!

Roel Koevoets
Business Developer Biobased Economy
REWIN West-Brabant