Despite the travel restrictions and the pandemic, this week (9 July 2020) the global biomass community demonstrated all its liveliness, creativity, and commitment, with an outstanding participation to the e-EUBCE 2020 (28th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition).
In the last four days, more than 1,550 experts from research, industry and institutions spread across 87 countries, contributed to the success of the first-ever fully virtual biomass conference and exhibition, providing more than 540 presentations and moderating 65 webinar sessions in total.
Just like it was for all the EUBCE events in the past, the conference sessions and the exhibition were always animated by participants from near and far, in some cases even from opposite sides of the world and time zones, speaking and listening to live presentations, watching slideshows, asking and replying questions through their screens at the same time.
On Monday 6 July, the virtual opening session totalled over 1,530 attendees, the exhibition scored 1,784 visitors on one day. European policymakers rated the conference as highly relevant for the current European political agenda. Economic recovery and climate policy are both top priorities for them, and this year’s EUBCE has been dedicated to it.
Claudes Turmes, Minister for Energy of Luxembourg, recorded his videomessage for the conference from a forest, underlining how important the bioeconomy is for European citizens. He places bioeconomy as a cornerstone for making Europe more resilient and points how the climate urgency requires us to not loose time. (watch video).
Maria Gracia Carvalho, former Minister of Energy of Portugal and currently Member of the European Parliament, welcomed the conference -which she was chairing last year- as a wonderful contribution for creating the vision for a real Green Deal, by integrating the first time the aspects of bioeconomy in the conference. (watch video).
During the closing session, Nicolae Scarlat, Conference Technical Programme Chair, resumed the key take home messages from the conference: the European Green Deal and the Recovery Plan represent a great opportunity to recognize a key role to sustainable bioenergy as an essential contributor to achieving the climate target. Ensuring the sustainability of biomass supply and a stable long-term policy framework are necessary to boost investments for the deployment of bioenergy.
We missed the feeling of the physical conference just as much as you all missed your colleagues and friends, such as the applauses after each speech, the chatting during coffee breaks, the hugs and handshakes, said Heinz Ossenbrink, EUBCE ExCo Member and facilitator of the e-EUBCE addressing the attendees, nevertheless we succeeded in giving as much human touch as possible and never left anyone alone behind their screens.
Next year the EUBCE will hopefully go back to its traditional physical format, in Marseille (France) from 26 to 29 April 2021.
The e-EUBCE interactive platform and all its multimedia content will be available for viewing until September 2020.
This year for the first time the EUBCE was organized as an entirely virtual conference and run from July 6 to July 9, 2020.
The EUBCE 2020 is a leading platform for the biomass specialists. The conference programme addresses topics from biomass to bioliquids and biofuels for heat and electricity, transport, and biobased products. It covers all the aspects of each value chain, from supply and logistics to conversion technologies, from industrial application of research results to impacts on the environment, from market and trade aspects to policy strategies, not least to the role of biomass as a source in integrated energy systems.
The EUBCE is supported by European and international organizations such as the European Commission, UNESCO – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – Natural Sciences Sector, WCRE – the World Council for Renewable Energy, EUBIA – the European Biomass Industry Association, The Central European Initiative, The Global Bioenergy Partnership and other organisations.The Technical Programme is coordinated by European Commission, Joint Research Centre.
The interactive platform and its content will be available for viewing until September 2020.