Michael, congratulations on the progress with the announcement of a second closing and the raising of another Euro 93 million of commitments to the development of the bioeconomy in Europe.
It can clearly be seen that there is growing interest for sustainable financing. From your perspective, what are the most promising growth areas in the circular bioeconomy?
ECBF invests in exciting bioeconomy companies with high potential for innovations,
favorable returns and a favorable sustainability profile. Currently, we see a lot of traction in the alternative protein field, several companies with various approaches have successfully introduced products into the market. Biologicals for crop protection as well as textiles recycling are investment fields that should experience growth in the future.
Thanks for being moderator on the Sustainable Financing Panel at the Forum 2020. Did you have any specific takeaways from the panel discussion?
The panelists shared a lot of highly interesting insights. My key lessons learned are that sustainability is top of the agenda everywhere thereby creating significant business and financing opportunities within the bioeconomy. Furthermore, Europe, with its Green Deal Initiative, aims at being at the forefront of the transformation towards more sustainable societies. It also became very clear, that generally accepted principles of accounting for sustainability would be welcomed by investors.
We are looking forward to seeing you as a moderator the Forum 2021 in Brazil as well. What are your expectations for the coming year?
Of course, it will be a great privilege for me to serve again as a moderator of the Forum. There are many lessons to be learned by moderating the exchange of experiences, knowledge and good practices. Since the event will be hosted in Brazil, it would be great for the participants to learn more about what is going on in this country and the LATAM region, which is rich in natural resources and one of the most biodiverse. As a result of the global COVID crisis the bioeconomy has recently gained even more attention, especially since new products and technologies will create regional supply chains making the economies more resilient with regard to external shocks. Last but not least we are confident that our fund, the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund, will continue to attract new investors. The Fund remains open for new investors until August 2021. In parallel, we are working intensively on identifying promising targets and preparing for great investments.