As the end of the year approaches, I would like to thank you and the whole BBI JU community for the great things we have achieved together despite the challenges that 2020 has imposed on our professional and personal lives.
It has been a difficult year for all; however, when looking back, I realise that the creativity, flexibility and resilience of the entire bio-based sector have been exceptional.
It was moving to see in the early stages of the pandemic how beneficiaries of BBI JU projects mobilised to help their communities. Making ventilators and providing bio-based hand sanitisers and food to healthcare workers were only some of the many solidarity actions that BBI JU project partners launched throughout the year, on top of their daily project management.
Later on, I was happy to see another high-mobilisation example of the sector when BBI JU received a record number of high-quality project proposals for the 2020 Call. This call builds on many years of work that has resulted, among others, in more than 10 flagship biorefineries operating across Europe. Once more, the bio-based industries showed that not even a pandemic can stop our quest to make Europe greener and more sustainable.
This letter would not be complete without congratulating my colleagues from the BBI JU Programme Office for their dedication, resilience and motivation throughout this year. Together, we managed to adapt to a remote working environment in practically no time and deliver fully on our annual work plan. Our first virtual Info Day was an unprecedented success, and our five-weeks-long remote evaluation of the 2020 Call ran smoothly and efficiently. I am very fortunate to work with such an inspiring team, and I am personally thankful to every one of its members.
I want to thank all you, our stakeholders, for keeping in touch and for counting on us this year. We promise to continue working with the same dedication to deliver the BBI JU mission and vision.
For 2021, I wish health and happiness to you and your close ones. May the new year find us all well, wiser and united in our efforts to create a better planet.
Warm wishes and happy New Year!
Philippe Mengal, BBI JU Executive Director