Launch of the first NRP 66 forum

An initial meeting ("Bio-refinery: chemical and energy utilisation of wood resources in Switzerland") will take place at the end of 2013. It has the objective of identifying the issues and establishing a new network of stakeholders for bio-refinery in Switzerland. This hearing follows up a preliminary survey conducted among several researchers engaged in NRP 66.

The survey and current studies show that Europe has little experience in the field of bio-refinery and few pilot bio-refinery facilities with advanced technologies that use wood residue or wood as a raw material. In Switzerland, a network of bio-refinery stakeholders no longer exists, and one has to question the chances and risks linked to the promotion of such technologies. Moreover, political acceptance in Switzerland is low and only ecologically flawless products will benefit from tax relief in the future. However, the main chance for bio-refineries in Switzerland seems to be the availability of species such as beech, which have potential due to their interesting lignin structure. Rather than developing an energy product with low added value, Switzerland should therefore consider becoming an exporter of bio-refinery technologies with high added value. NRP 66 aims to discuss these questions firstly in the form of an initial meeting with experts, industrial researchers, politicians and decision-makers. The results of this initial meeting should serve as a basis for developing a "Swiss bio-refinery concept" and facilitate the transfer of research findings of NRP 66.