EU publications: Bio-based products

From idea to market “15 EU success stories” - Study

Bildschirmfoto 2019-03-18 um 12.46.53The bio-based sector is amongst the most thriving sectors in the European bioeconomy. Industry players in this sector use biological resources (including residues and waste) to make innovative greener value added products. This nascent sector is somehow still small compared to more traditional ones but it is undergoing rapid developments. Developing and commercialising innovative bio-based products – would they be new product types or aim to replace fossil-based equivalents – demand pursued Research & Innovation efforts and is influenced by a certain number of critical factors such as access to finance, market developments (including oil prices), feedstock availability or the regulatory framework (including climate action). To progress from the initial concept to a commercial product is thus a journey with many steps and challenges.

The aim of this study report is to analyse this journey – which was successful – for 15 EU innovative bio-based products. These 15 success stories deliver on at least one of three following success criteria: profitability, market entry or mobilisation of critical external finance. The 15 success stories span over nine EU Member States, and cover a wide range of products and technologies, most of which have been on the market for only a few years. Two-fifths of these products were developed by large companies, an equal amount by SMEs, and one fifth by micro-enterprises. In two-thirds of the companies, bio-based activities are at the core of their business. Each success story is presented within the report in a factsheet, which provides detailed information about it as well as insights on its drivers of success and on how it responded to risks it faced.

Publication details

Published: 2019-02-25

Corporate author(s): Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (European Commission)

Personal author(s): COWI; Bio-Based World News; Ecologic Institute

Themes: Environment policy and protection of the environment, Industrial policy

Subject: biomass , ecology , environmental impact , environmental industry , industrial policy , innovation , market , multinational force , plastics , product life , report , sustainable development



Catalogue number


Download the study ‘Bio-based products – From idea to market’: KI0718113ENN.en


Publications Office of The European Union, press release, 2019-02-25.


Bio-Based World News
Ecologic Institute
European Commission
European Union