Bavaria’s “Region of Renewable Raw Materials”
Straubing is the Region of Renewable Raw Materials. Here, the Free State of Bavaria is clustering its activities and expertise regarding research, education, innovation, application and marketing in the field of renewable raw materials. By doing so, Straubing aims to become a leading flagship region in the rapidly growing field of bioeconomy. The bio-based resources needed lie directly at the door step. Resources that cannot be sourced from the fertile Gäuboden-area or the Bavarian Forest can be acquired via the modern inland port in Straubing-Sand – mainly from Eastern European markets.
The Danube Port Straubing-Sand specializes in biomass handling and logistics. By integrating resource supply and processing, it brands itself as “Green Chemisty Port”. On its “BioCampus” premises, it offers a business center, the “BioCubator” and ready-to-build-on industrial sites. Here, companies working along the biomass value chains, both transnational companies (TNCs) and start-ups, can benefit from attractive state-of-the-art laboratories, offices and business areas. Additionally, sites for growing tests and greenhouses for all kinds of plant-based resources are offered. The goal: developing a bio- and knowledge-based economy that can rely on sustainable, bio-based feedstock supply from indigenous sources as well as via waterway transport from the fertile alluvial banks of the Danube macro-region.
Distances between the Straubing Centre of Excellence for Renewable Resources including research departments by Technical University of Munich and the Fraunhofer IGB-branch BioCat and the BioCampus, the dedicated area for industrial upscaling and demonstration of research results right next to the Port are short, both in terms of proximity and cooperation. The “Renewable Raw Materials” cluster management supplements Straubing’s competences as a model region by supporting project development, networking and innovation processes.
This triple helix combination of sustainable resource availability, specialized infrastructure and scientific and entrepreneurial expertise depicts an ideal source for innovation and start-ups and, thus, a competitive advantage in Europe. Bioeconomy’s big players, such as ADM and Clariant, take advantage of this unique setting. ADM is converting thousands of tons of rapeseed into oil for first-generation biodiesel production on a daily basis. In its one-of-a-kind lignocellulosic ethanol demo plant, Clariant is testing different feedstocks and applications for its biotechnological Sunliquid process that converts agri-residues into bio-based fuels and chemicals. Just recently, the Bavarian Ministry for Economy has announced a strategic investment of €20 million to build a multi-purpose, multi-user biotech demo plant at the BioCampus premises - an investment that will further strengthen Straubing’s top position on the European bioeconomy and renewable raw materials stage.