"This competition represents a novel approach for the public sector to spur investments. We expect this competition to speed up various biorefinery investments in Finland in the coming years", said Minister of Economic Affairs Jan Vapaavuori, who opened the competition.
"Biorefineries, which refine biomass efficiently and in a versatile manner into materials, chemical products, and energy, have a key role in the creation of new bioeconomy business activity.
In a decision in principle on 8 May 2014, the Government decided to organise an open international competition for the launch of new biorefinery concepts and the promotion of investments.
The competition aims at seeking proposals for a new-generation biorefinery to be set up in Finland. It should be a commercial scale installation, which includes new technology that is not yet in commercial use. The refinery can also be a demonstration plant, whose technology or products have significant business potential. The aim of the competition is to lead to investment planning, and to investment that takes place in Finland.
The winner of the competition will be announced in February 2015. The first prize is EUR 100,000. In addition, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy is collecting a financial group comprising public entities to coordinate and assist in the acquisition of public funding for the best three entries. Private capital will nevertheless have a leading position in the proposed projects.
"Public money will be a catalyst in this, and we believe that it will increase the desire of companies and private investors to make biorefinery investments", Vapaavuori observes.
The competition was opened on 4 June 2014 and proposals will be accepted through 4 December 2014.