Embarking on Bioeconomic Advancements: Insights from Mirjan Švagelj, ACIES BIO Innovator

In the intricate landscape of the European bioeconomy, we delve into the profound insights shared by Mirjan Švagelj, a key figure in ACIES BIO, shedding light on applied research and development (R&D) activities, technology transfer, and the nuances of effective communication within this dynamic sector.

Unveiling Applied R&D Dynamics: Catalysts for Progress

Mirjan unravels the state of applied R&D activities and tech transfer in Europe, emphasizing the pivotal role of ongoing research in supporting technology transfer. His insights underscore the robust funding available for technology development in Slovenia, while acknowledging the challenges stemming from its size and diverse focus.

Scaling Challenges: Bridging Gaps in Resources and Expertise

The conversation pivots to challenges in scaling technologies, with Mirjan pinpointing issues related to equipment and human resources. Funding for equipment proves to be a hurdle, and Mirjan emphasizes the necessity for skilled personnel to operate pilot plants continuously.

Navigating Examples: A Tapestry of Success and Caution

Mirjan illustrates a successful project with Genomatica, showcasing the successful scaling of technology for nylon precursor production. However, he also shares a cautionary tale involving collaboration with a cash-strapped academic partner, underscoring the importance of meticulous preparation and communication in tech transfer.

Open-Access Pilot Plants: Accelerating Bioeconomic Deployments

Mirjan emphasizes the critical role of open-access pilot plants in hastening the deployment of bioeconomy technologies across Europe. Demo plants, according to him, play a crucial role in proving scalability, especially for smaller companies facing challenges in establishing their pilot facilities.

Industry-Academia Dynamics: Collaboration Complexities

The dialogue touches on industry and academia collaboration, with Mirjan acknowledging their collaboration on early-stage R&D. However, he notes the challenges in tech transfer with academia, primarily due to confidentiality issues surrounding cutting-edge technologies.

Sustainability Mandate and Technology Roadmaps: A Call for Analysis

Mirjan underscores the significance of sustainability in their technologies, emphasizing the need for techno-economic and footprint analyses. Regarding technology roadmaps, he mentions EU programs like Horizon 2020 but expresses scepticism about the current model's effectiveness in Europe.


Embarking on Bioeconomic Advancements: Insights from Mirjan Švagelj, ACIES BIO Innovator