At NNFCC we
take pride in our ability to interpret and articulate the twists and turns of
the emerging bioeconomy, understanding the impact of innovation and how
policies changes affect market development.
As a rule, we
don’t believe in coincidences; we work to understand cause and effect, often
looking for potential unintended consequences in new bioeconomy policies. As
the American science-fiction writer Emma Bull says, “Coincidence is the word we
use when we can't see the levers and pulleys”.
comes to NNFCC staff and business partners, it appears there are a few
unexpected levers and pulleys at work!
completed a recruitment round and were able to add two talented scientists to
the NNFCC team. Recent York graduate Robert (Bob) Horton joins us as a
research analyst and Lucy Montgomery joins the team as a consultant after
working most recently at the Austrian Centre for Industrial Biotechnology (acib
Lucy will join the NNFCC team working to support bioeconomy
innovation in SMEs through an Interreg North West Europe project called BioBase4SME. BioBase4SME provides
a range of professional services such as market analysis, life cycle analysis
and technology scale up to SMEs from North West Europe developing bio-based
We noticed a coincidence. We have another Lucie (Dr Lucie
Pfaltzgraff) on the project and, unbeknown to NNFCC, Lucy and Lucie were both
at school together. Although they didn’t know each other at school, they were
both educated at the European School of Luxembourg (ESL), a small school in a
Surprisingly, the coincidences didn’t stop there. The
BioBase4SME project is supplied by several partners from across North West
Europe, including the Belgium materials research centre, Materia Nova. In the project, Materia
Nova offer their expertise and knowledge in life-cycle assessment allowing SME
to better understand the sustainability profile of their bio-based products. At
Materia Nova the project is coordinated by Guillaume Wegria, also alumni of the
Finally, to round off our micro network of ESL alumni
working to enhance Europe’s bioeconomy, we have Barbara Mendes-Jorge, a
contemporary of Lucie Pfaltzgraff, now working at Brussels-based Sustainability Consult. As a leading
bioeconomy communications agency and outspoken advocates for the responsible
development of emerging technologies and start-ups, Sustainability Consult play
an important role in bioeconomy development. In partnership with Sustainability Consult, NNFCC can offer tailored packages around business
development, market studies and translating science for business.
Although we’re unable to explain the levers and
pulleys behind this coincidence, we’re delighted that the promise and opportunities
of the bioeconomy are attracting talented people to the area. Possibly the
school’s strong focus on international cooperation, an item crucial in the
success of the bioeconomy, provides a partial explanation?