For many decades, Europe has enjoyed growth of wealth and wellbeing, based on intensive use of resources. Today, sources of energy, minerals and metals, as well as water, fertile soil, biomass, biodiversity and others are all under pressure, as is the stability of the climate system. While some people already worry about peak oil and the end of cheap energy, it seems that other resources like fertible soil and potable water are "peaking" even faster. In this document a new biomass conversion process called hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) is presented, which has the potential to convert organic waste into a hydrophobic solid of reduced mass and increased fuel value (hydrochar) to provide at least renewable energy and/or increase soil organic matter. As with every emerging technology, hydrothermal carbonization is currently hardly a competitive stand alone process on the open market. But if the process can be implemented in an existing infrastructure e.g. compost plant, sewage plant or other businesses which are confronted with large amounts of wet organic waste, HTC is already today a financially feasible process. Altogether, HTC offers not only a new green and sustainable technology for the treatment of biowaste. It is a promising research and development field leading to new functional materials based on renewable resources.