Author: Louis Ferrini

The European Bioeconomy Network (EUBioNet) is a proactive alliance of EU funded projects dealing with Bioeconomy promotion, communication and support. The main goal is to maximise the efforts, increasing the knowledge sharing, networking, mutual learning, coordination of joint activities and events. The European Bioeconomy Network will work in close collaboration with the European Commission, to ensure that the objectives identified by the Bioeconomy Strategy update will be properly communicated, addressed and implemented.
RefreSCAR project

RefreSCAR project

This project ends on: 31/08/2027

RefreSCAR – Improved coordination of national and European bioeconomy research and innovation programmes in the ERA through strengthened SCAR Working Groups

The Standing Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR) is a long-standing committee of EU Member States and Associated Countries presided over by the European Commission. It has become a respected source of advice on European agricultural and wider bioeconomy research and has been a catalyst for the coordination of national research and innovation (R&I) programmes. It is supported in these strategic functions by SCAR Working Groups (WGs), including a Foresight Group, which provide domain-specific expert advice and input. RefreSCAR will strengthen the strategic functioning and capacities of SCAR WGs in order to facilitate the improved coordination of national and European bioeconomy R&I programmes. Through a toolkit of measures, RefreSCAR will provide robust scientific support to SCAR WGs through regular portfolio analysis of projects, expert studies and support for the SCAR Foresight process. Combined with practical administrative support, this will enable a better structured organisation, facilitation and reporting of SCAR WG activities in themes of relevance for Horizon Europe, the Common Agricultural Policy, European Green Deal, Digital Europe and the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies. In order to boost the participation of under-represented countries in SCAR WGs, a SCAR-Engage Programme will be developed involving tailored action plans, financial and peer-to-peer support, networking and knowledge exchange. Targeted support for communication and dissemination will immerse a broad audience of stakeholders in the activities of the WGs. Furthermore, RefreSCAR will cultivate connections between SCAR WGs, key actors in EU policy, practitioners and relevant EU and international initiatives through dedicated fora, helping to build a bridge between R&I, policy and practice. The outcome will be more impactful SCAR WGs that are better resourced and empowered to deliver strategic advice, contributing to a strengthened SCAR within the European Research Area.

Contacts:

Dr. Órlaith NÍ CHONCUBHAIR: refrescar@teagasc.ie

 CIRCULAR BRICKS project

 CIRCULAR BRICKS project

Project concluded

Circular Bioeconomy for improving agrifood VET institutes’ teachers’ skills and competencies

Biotechnology has the potential to reduce the impact of human activities in nature. By developing new bio-based production platforms towards a more efficient use of waste streams, a step forward in industrial circularity can be achieved.

To help train and educate the new generation of bioeconomy professionals with the necessary hard and soft skills, we need to rethink and improve our current educational model for the bioeconomy. This is the long-term ambition of Circular Bricks. Across Europe, some initiatives have already been put in place. However, there seems to be a lack of generalized and consistent schemes, especially with regards to the VET field. In order to address these needs, Circular Bricks will train VET teachers from the agri-food sector in order to make them able to educate their students (i.e. the future generation of circular bioeconomy professionals) with the necessary green skills which are required by the current and future industries operating in the European circular bioeconomy.
The project will develop innovative pedagogical material on circular bioeconomy related topics for VET teachers, keeping a train-the-trainer approach. Specifically, involved teachers will be provided with a thorough and practical approach to circular bioeconomy principles and their implementation in the agri-food sector, as well as with efficient tools for holding effective design thinking sessions and preparing learners to become true agents of change. At the end of the project, both teachers and students will have acquired new green skills and competencies, thus adding “circular bricks” to their know-how.

Contacts:

Piergiuseppe Morone: piergiuseppe.morone@unitelmasapienza.it

website: https://www.circularbricks.eu/

CHEERS project

CHEERS project

This project ends on: 31/08/2026

Producing novel non-plant biomass feedstocks and bio-based products through upcycling and the cascading use of brewery side-streams

Biotechnology has the potential to reduce the impact of human activities in nature. By developing new bio-based production platforms towards a more efficient use of waste streams, a step forward in industrial circularity can be achieved.

CHEERS is a new biorefinery concept, inspired on nature biodiversity (insect and microbial platforms), to sustainably and efficiently upgrade underused or waste side-streams such as bagasse, wastewater, CO2 and CH4 from bio-based industries into innovative bio-based products. CHEERS will help bio-based industries to improve their feedstock use efficiency and overall sustainability and competitiveness via upcycling and cascading use of biomass produced from their side-streams. CHEERS is developed as a modular solution where bio-based industries can configure their optimal combination by selecting among 5 novel biotechnological routes which generate 5 bio-based products for industrial applications, with attractive market opportunities: insect protein, disinfectant, microbial protein, ectoine and caproic acid. All value chains are based on new bioprocesses and/or innovative biofermentors combined with sustainable downstream processes, which will be validated at demo-scale at an industrial brewery. A min. 45% carbon footprint reduction will be achieved in each value chain. The evaluation of CHEERS impacts will consider go beyond the classic LCA and will cover broader impacts such as biodiversity and land use. The beer company MAHOU is project coordinator and exploitation leader jointly with 11 partners of 5 European countries, including technology suppliers, end-users and research entities. CHEERS will contribute to a “zero waste” biorefinery approach, fully aligned with the EU Green Deal, Circular Economy Action Plan and Bioeconomy Strategy, and foster the understanding of biotechnology-based value chains through the engagement of relevant actors, from small bio-based industries to consumers.

Contacts:

Andrea León Tarife: andrea.leon@innovarum.es

website: https://cheers-project.eu/

Model2Bio project

Model2Bio project

This project ends on: 14/06/2024

MODELLING TOOL FOR GIVING VALUE TO AGRI-FOOD RESIDUAL STREAMS IN BIO-BASED INDUSTRIES

Every year, 41 million tonnes of food are wasted in the European Union during processing. This affects the economy, the environment and our communities. Transport, treatment at waste sites and landfilling drive up management and operational costs, while rotting food at landfills emits greenhouse gases.

What is considered waste and discarded, often still contains industrially valuable compounds. Model2Bio will develop a predictive model to help agri-food companies identify, select and reuse organic waste streams. To identify the most economic and environmentally friendly solutions for waste streams, the model will consider stream composition, volume, transformation as well as logistics, business cases and social aspects. The project started in May 2020 and will run until October 2023.

Behind this EU-funded project are think-tanks, research centres, technology developers, universities, industry (mainly small and medium-sized businesses) and clusters from across Europe.

Contacts:

Tamara Fernández, Coordinator: tfernandez@ceit.es

website: https://www.model2bio.eu/

STAR4BBS project

STAR4BBS project

This project ends on: 31/08/2025

Sustainability Transition Assessment Rules for Bio-Based Systems

STAR4BBS is a three-year multidisciplinary and multi-actor collaborative project, involving six partners, four associated partners and one linked third party. The overall aim of STAR4BBS is to maximize the potential of Sustainability Certification Schemes (SCS) and labels to support a successful transition to sustainable bio-based economy. At the core of the STAR4BBS project is the development of indicators and a new monitoring system for assessing the effectiveness and robustness of existing international and EU SCS, B2B labels, and related traceability systems applicable to biological feedstock and bio-based materials and products. This information will create the foundations to support achieving the much-needed harmonization between schemes and transparency in global and EU trade flows. Through the developed new monitoring system, existing SCS and labels will be analyzed, and the results, as well as additional research on certified and uncertified trade flows and on the impacts and costs and benefits of certification and labels, will substantially increase understanding of the potential of these schemes to contribute to policy and industry sustainability goals and will build awareness of the differences between the schemes. The project will involve important stakeholders (including scheme owners, policy makers, and industry) in the design of research and the monitoring system and in the development of practical recommendations emerging from the research and analysis in order to ensure that the project achieves its ultimate goal. In particular, an increased uptake of the most effective SCS and labels by the biobased industry will support the development of circular, climate-neutral, sustainable biobased systems that will mitigate climate change, increase resource efficiency, preserve and restore ecosystems, biodiversity, natural resources, and the quality of air, water and soil.

Contacts:

Luana Ladu – Project Coordinator: Luana.ladu@tu-berlin.de

website: www.star4bbs.eu

Engage4BIO project

Engage4BIO project

This project ends on: 30/09/2025

Better understanding, intensified engagement, training and development in regional bio-based systems

Engage4BIO will strengthen circular, sustainable bioeconomy and sustainable regional development through engaging quadruple helix actors – taking into account their diversity of societal, economic and cultural perspectives from five regional bio-based systems in processes of design thinking, co-creation, (re)training and skills development. Based on their regional specificities (availability of biomass feedstock, level of technology, planetary boundaries and social capital) activities will be co-created, performed and shaped to their best advantage for each region.

Contacts:

Dr. Maria Schrammel: schrammel@zsi.at

website: www.engage4bio.eu

BIOLOC project

BIOLOC project

This project ends on: 30/09/2025

Biobased and social innovation to revitalise European local communities

BIOLOC project is funded by European Commission, and it promotes social innovation and inclusion as enabling factors to accelerate the transition to circular bioeconomy and thus contributes to revitalizing local communities in 12 European regions in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. Through extensive interdisciplinary research and cross-sectoral analyses, BIOLOC will elaborate on concepts and solutions that will trigger positive cascading effects on communities by fostering a participatory and inclusive approach to develop resilient innovative biobased activities open to the contribution of socially disadvantaged or marginalised groups. In this way it will deliver innovative and inclusive business models and drive the establishment of permanent public-private multistakeholder hubs to pioneer a social trialogue on innovative and inclusive circular bioeconomy as a leveraging factor for sustainable and resilient local communities.

Contacts:

Mr. Peter Canciani, Project Manager: canciani@cei.int

website: https://bioloc.eu/

BIOTRANSFORM project

BIOTRANSFORM project

This project ends on: 31/03/2025

Circular BIOeconomy TRANSFORMation for regions by enabling resource and governance networks

BIOTRANSFORM provides European policymakers with an adequate assessment and policy development framework, knowledge base and expert support ecosystem to accelerate the transition from linear fossil-based systems to circular biobased systems. It is therefore operating at the interface between the circular economy and the bioeconomy transitions. In this way, BIOTRANSFORM equips policymakers with the tools to set informed priorities that serve environmental, economic, and social goals, being actionable, future-proof, and align with supply-and-demand trends in related industries and value chains. BIOTRANSFORM’s “assessment package” will be tested by and provided for European policymakers, which will include 3 complementary tools: (i) resource flow analysis tool including circular innovations, (ii) a cutting edge quick environmental, social and economic assessment tool, and (iii) a logistics management tool. To achieve this, BIOTRANSFORM develops and tests its framework to establish and roll out circular bio-based systems by applying a multi-actor approach around 6 regional cases: Andalusia (Spain), Northern Burgenland (Austria), Western Macedonia (Greece), Finland, Charles Spa Region (Czech Republic) and North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany). These regional case studies represent several important industries and scenarios for Europe such as: forestry, agri-food, lake ecosystems, lignite and minerals, and chemicals. Action roadmaps will consider specific regional available resources and infrastructures, conversion pathways, logistics, current policies, strategies, and access to finance. In other words, BIOTRANSFORM builds on the concept of regenerative bioeconomy value cycles by tapping into what is there already and connecting the dots. In this concept, carbon is stored and nutrients are recovered. This concept shall be upscaled and replicated to many further European regions to achieve Europe’s ambitious goals.

Contacts:

Jussi Lahtinen: jussi.h.lahtinen@vtt.fi

website: https://www.biotransform-project.eu/

SCALE-UP project

SCALE-UP project

This project ends on: 30/08/2025

Concepts, tools and applications for community-driven bioeconomy development in European rural areas

The overall goal of SCALE-UP is to support regional multi-actor partnerships, consisting of private businesses, governments and policymakers, civil society organisations, and researchers in identifying and scaling-up innovative and sustainable bio-based value chains that build on regional resources.

Through its approach, SCALE-UP will adapt, implement and evaluate tools to help regional actors to overcome the apparent bottlenecks towards fully exploiting bioeconomy potentials in their region.

A four-phase methodology will:

i) establish existing knowledge and set the stage for further research, as well as create six regional platforms with local stakeholders;

ii) facilitate cross-regional transfer of knowledge and demand-driven capacity building, and provide support to multi-actor partnerships to carry out market assessments and business model designs;

iii) create a pan-European ‘Community of Practice’ to facilitate sharing good practices and lessons learned across European regions; and

iv) disseminate and exploit project results in collaboration with key stakeholders.

In addition to the focus on increasing capacity and knowledge on the bioeconomy among relevant actors in the regions, a key feature of SCALE-UP is the business development programme to be applied by the local communities.

With an emphasis on the principles of co-creation, transparency and open innovation, the project will provide advisory support to innovators and regional stakeholders to assess market conditions, elaborate business plans and identify compatible funding sources for 12 bio-based solutions.

Contacts:

Holger Gerdes: holger.gerdes@ecologic.eu
Zoritza Kiresiewa: zoritza.kiresiewa@ecologic.eu

website: http://scaleup-bioeconomy.eu/

BlueRev project

BlueRev project

This project ends on: 31/08/2025

Revitalisation of European local communities with innovative businessmodels and social innovation in the blue bio-based sector

The aim of the EU-funded BlueRev project is to encourage innovation in local communities by focusing on “blue” sustainability and creating positive environmental impacts.

To that end, it will establish three pilot regions in Europe, where it will focus on introducing meaningful changes across specific value chains in the blue bio-based sector.

The project will employ existing or advanced monitoring systems to assess the effectiveness of the value chains and come up with ways to improve governance frameworks and business models in the blue bio-based sector.

Engaging all relevant actors via awareness-raising communication campaigns, BlueRev will promote socially and environmentally responsible behaviour, facilitating the transition of local communities towards sustainable blue economy models that can be adopted across Europe.

Contacts:

Alessio Livio Spera: spera@apre.it
Claudia Iasillo: iasillo@apre.it

website: https://www.bluerevproject.eu/