Category: Regional potential, bioeconomy strategies and action plans

BRANCHES project

BRANCHES project

This project ends on: 31/12/2023

BOOSTING RURAL BIOECONOMY NETWORKS FOLLOWING MULTI-ACTOR APPROACHES

BRANCHES aims to implement the implementation of new cost-effective technologies; mobilize more biomass and create innovative business opportunities in rural areas by improving and strengthening the links between bioeconomy practice and science. The project will ensure communication through the two-way flow of information for the transfer of ideas and technologies between scientists and professionals from agriculture and forestry in rural areas. The valuable knowledge produced by research and development should always be shared far beyond the scientific community.

BRANCHES will integrate selected knowledge on forest and agricultural biomass supply chains with available innovative technologies and best practice cases for bioeconomy solutions with bioenergy conversion systems in a wider bioeconomy context. In all EU countries, existing strategies and best available technologies will be presented in easily understandable formats through the national thematic networks launched by BRANCHES. The results of cooperation between national thematic networks are expected to have a widespread impact on professionals in European rural settings.

BRANCHES will
  • summarize, share and deliver existing best practices and research findings;
  • increase the implementation of new cost-effective technologies;
  • mobilize more biomass and generate new business opportunities in rural areas by improving and strengthening the link between practice and science of the bio-based economy;
  • trigger information flows on new opportunities and technologies for farmers and forestry operators;
  • highlighting the entrepreneurial needs and elements relevant to professionals by gathering experiences from research and development and collecting practices implemented by professionals;
  • Promote the bioeconomy and rural development through new bio-based initiatives through networking and participatory research methods to showcase best practices and cost-effective technological solutions.
Key tools
  • Selected knowledge on forest and agricultural biomass supply chains will be integrated with good practice cases and new technologies available for bioenergy conversion in a broader bioeconomy context;
  • The requests and needs of professionals will be collected through a series of workshops and meetings;
  • In all EU countries, existing strategies and best available technologies will be summarized and shared across five project countries (Finland, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain).
  • Thematic networks will be launched by BRANCHES and 5 other collaborative networks established in Portugal, Lithuania, Latvia, Czech Republic, Slovakia.

Contact:
Sofia Manelli
email: presidente@chimicaverde.it
website: https://www.branchesproject.eu/

SMARTBOX project

SMARTBOX project

This project ends on: 30/04/2023

Selective Modifications of ARomatics through Biocatalytic Oxidations

Relying on the advanced engineering platform, SMARTBOX will develop the one-enzyme conversion of HMF into FDCA and intermediates, and the one-enzyme conversion of lignin monomers into a potential biobased building block for polycarbonates and vanillin. By adopting a 1-enzyme FDCA production process, the associated production costs and carbon footprint are expected to decrease significantly compared to SOTA chemical oxidation methods. The unique feature of SMARTBOX is that reductive catalytic fractionation (RCF) will be used to selectively produce specific lignin monomers from biomass in near theoretical yields. The structural similarity of the resulting monomers with the SMARTBOX building blocks allows the development of high-yielding processes with only one enzyme. Due to the smart combination between oxidative biocatalysis and RCF, the production of added-value bio-aromatics will proceed with higher yields than the state of the art.

Contacts:

Tanja Meyer
SMARTBOX Coordinator
Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant
tanja.meyer@bbeu.org

Website

Founding source: BBIJU Research & Innovation Action

Talent4BBI project

Talent4BBI project

This project ends on: 31/08/2026

Talent4BBI, the first industry led PhD MSCA programme is being led by BiOrbic, the Bioeconomy SFI Research Centre located in University College Dublin (UCD). Talent4BBI brings together 10 industry and 7 academic partners across 8 Member States and 1 Associated Country with the aim of training a cohort of 11 highly skilled industry-ready ESRs equipped to lead the future of the European bio-based industry sector. The programme provides a unique opportunity for Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) to develop key skills, competencies and experience required by the bio-based industries through a targeted programme for future bioeconomy leaders. During the 60-month programme duration, the 11 ESRs will undertake PhDs of 48 months cohosted by industry and academia. The ESRs will be recruited and co-hosted by a consortium of 16 partners across 8 Member States and 1 Associated Country (7 universities and 9 leading bio-based industries) with a wealth of collective experience in training talented mobile researchers. 3 additional industry partners will also contribute their expertise to the PhD training programme.

The programme structure offers a unique opportunity for graduates to thrive in an industrial and academic research setting and enhance the ESR career opportunities in line with the MSCA COFUND work programme objectives.

Talent4BBI’s selection process will be guided by principles of openness, transparency, merit, impartiality, and equality for the ESRs. Talent4BBI will impact the European Research Area through developing a uniquely qualified and career-driven talent pool, driving effective cooperation between industry and academia, and boosting the development of bio-based industries.

Contacts:

Prof. Kevin O’Connor – Programme coordinator
Cathy Quinn – Programme manager

email: Talent4bbi@biorbic.com

Founding source: Talent4BBI project is cofounded by H2020-EU.1.3.4., H2020-EU.1.3.

Website

 BeUBio project

 BeUBio project

Project concluded

BeUBio – targeting youth in the Baltic Sea Region for the SDG:s and Bioeconomy

This platform was designed to collect stories of young people whose business ideas, jobs and other activities lead the way towards a different and more sustainable economic path. With a variety of different examples, young people from across the Baltic Sea Region, inspire new ways of making business while having a positive impact to the environment and society. The overall aim is to build a community of like-minded people, by sharing our stories and inspiring each other.

This initiative comes from the BeUBio project, a collaboration between different partners across the Baltic Sea Region pushing for youth participation in the transition to a bio-based economy, and create synergies with other actors and initiatives addressing the SDGs.

Contacts:

Swedish Board of Agriculture:
Fredric Nilsson, Fredric.nilsson@jordbruksverket.se
Hans-Olof Stålgren, Hans-Olof.Stalgren@jordbruksverket.se

Nordic Council of Ministers Lithuania:
Helén Nilsson, helen@norden.lt
Lina Janusauskine, lina@norden.lt

Client: The Swedish Institute

Website

 WeReLaNa project

 WeReLaNa project

Project concluded

Value creation networks for the use of residues in and from agriculture and the food industry as an innovation engine for the bioeconomy

Project Objective

The overarching goal of the “WeReLaNa” project is to open up innovation spaces for the use of residues from agriculture and the food industry – initially in the project region of Upper Franconia, but taking into account transfer potentials for the whole of Bavaria – as well as the networking of stakeholders along the relevant value chains or networks.

In keeping with the cross-sectoral character of the bioeconomy, the three project partners Chemie-Cluster Bayern, Cluster Ernährung and Umweltcluster Bayern bundle their knowledge and address a concrete, cross-cluster innovation topic. Through the exchange of know-how from the recycling and chemical industries to agriculture and the food industry, companies are sensitized to the topic of bioeconomy and bio-based business models and processes. The involvement of cluster members and other stakeholders is intended to contribute to the emergence of new, cross-industry value creation networks. A constant exchange with other Bavarian networks, committees, institutes and research institutions also plays an important role here.

The basis for networking and tapping innovation potential is the creation of an information and data basis. In addition, “meeting opportunities” are to be created for actors in this area, in which innovations are initiated, new business areas are opened up and the relations between Bavarian business and science are strengthened through the transfer of technology and know-how in Bavaria as an innovation location or new cooperations are initiated.

Furthermore, the project pursues the goal of raising awareness of the topic of bioeconomy across industries with a specific focus on residues with special consideration of sustainability aspects. Thus, the project not only contributes significantly to the implementation of the Bavarian bioeconomy strategy, but also contributes to the achievement of the Bavarian climate goals by identifying circular potentials (e.g. in the field of resource conservation or energy generation).

Activities

Mapping of material flows of biogenic residues and actors

At the beginning of the project, an overview of relevant residues and actors in Bavaria, especially in the area of Upper Franconia, is to be gained on the basis of existing tools and platforms – as a basis for the selection of best practices and to create networking potential.

Best Practices

One focus of the project is therefore on the identification of best practices that recycle residual materials particularly efficiently and ecologically advantageously, i.e. on approaches that focus on the up- or recycling of residual materials and take into account the criteria of sustainability and recyclability. By pointing out concrete innovation and savings potentials as well as new, cross-industry business models, the Bavarian agriculture and food industry is strengthened.

The aim is to network relevant actors with each other and thus to initiate cross-industry innovation projects and to accompany these and potential follow-up projects.

Evaluation of the digital commodity exchange

In the cross-cluster project, the Digital Raw Materials Exchange* for sustainable raw materials will be evaluated with regard to resource-conserving value creation networks during the project period and the possibilities and limits of this online tool for the intersectoral use and generation of new, cross-industry value chains will be evaluated.

*The Digital Commodity Exchange was developed by the Competence Center for Nutrition and the Research Institute of the Free State of Bavaria for software-intensive systems and services and funded by the Bavarian State Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry.

Contacts:

Marco Geiger, M.Sc.: marco.geiger@umweltcluster.net

Founding source:

WeReLaNa is cofounded by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy.

Website

HOOP project

HOOP project

This project ends on: 30/09/2024

HOOP: Hub of circular cities boosting platform to foster investments for the valorisation of urban biowaste and wastewater

The HOOP project supports 8 lighthouse cities and regions in developing large-scale urban circular bioeconomy initiatives that will focus on making bio-based products from urban biowaste and wastewater. Specifically, HOOP will provide Project Development Assistance (PDA) to Albano-Laziale (Italy), Almere (The Netherlands), Bergen (Norway), Kuopio (Finland), Münster (Germany), Murcia (Spain), Greater Porto (Portugal), and Western Macedonia (Greece).

The HOOP Urban Circular Bioeconomy Hub will create an online platform to foster knowledge exchange and replication in cities and regions across Europe.

Contacts:

Coordination
Gemma Castejón, CETENMA: gemma.castejon@cetenma.es

Martín Soriano, CETENMA: martin.soriano@cetenma.es

Communication
James Ling, Greenovate! Europe: j.ling@greenovate-europe.eu

Founding source: Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme

Website

Biovalley Finland project

Biovalley Finland project

This project ends on: 31/05/2022

Biovalley Finland consolidates and integrates diverse primary production, industrial applications and high-quality wide-ranging expertise in order to create common prosperity.

Biovalley is a region of strong expertise in the natural resource sector and bioeconomy in the Kalajokilaakso, Lestijokilaakso, and Perhonjokilaakso river valley areas as well as in the sub-region areas of Kokkola and Pietarsaari. The region lives strongly and diversely from the bioeconomy.

In addition to agriculture and forestry, there is strong natural resource sector business activity in food industry, wood processing industry, building carpentry industry, bioenergy and in the manufacture of equipment, as well as in chemical industry. The diverse business activities are supported by research- and development organizations and educational organizations, which provide companies with the latest research information and skilled personnel.

Contacts:

Jouni Kaipainen PhD, Senior Researcher, University of Jyväskylä: jouni.p.kaipainen@jyu.fi

Founding source: ERDF European Regional Development Fund, React-EU (2014-2023) (Funding programs)

Website

UNLOCK project

UNLOCK project

This project ends on: 30/04/2025

Unlock: Unlocking a feather bioeconomy for keratin-based agricultural products

As Europe continues on its trajectory to a circular bio economy, much of the work in achieving this will lie in identifying and developing new or more efficient value chains from existing waste streams. One such waste stream is in the poultry sector, where more than 15 million tonnes of meat are produced annually. While much of the waste here is already valorised, the vast quantity of feathers produced are unexploited. Currently, only around 25% of feather waste is collected; what is gathered is frequently used for meal and fertiliser applications, which are seen as mid- to low-value applications, with low margins to match.

However, feathers are made up of nearly 90% keratin, a valuable protein that can provide a resource for biodegradable materials, including bioplastics, with applications in agriculture. The UNLOCK project seeks to demonstrate how to release the value inherent in this waste stream, by developing smart logistic strategies and efficient feather biorefineries based on steam and pressure hydrolysis -. Ultimately, this will help to establish a feather-based bioeconomy that can generate innovative bio-based functional materials for agricultural applications.

By overcoming many of the existing difficulties in collecting and processing feathers obtained from slaughterhouses, the UNLOCK project aims to position this waste chain from feathers as a source of raw material for keratin for use in agriculture. It will find applications in products such as forest and seed trays, nonwoven geotextiles, hydroponic foams and mulch films. The advantages of these materials include biodegradation aligned to the duration of crops, the capacity to add nitrogen back to soils and generating zero waste at end-of-life.

Contacts:

Sarah Montes, Project Coordinator: smontes@cidetec.es

Capucine Pineau, Communication and Dissemination Manager: c.pineau@greenovate-europe.eu

Founding source: Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) under the EU Horizon 2020 programme

Website

 

WaysTUP! project

WaysTUP! project

This project ends on: 28/02/2023

Converting bio-waste into valuable products will contribute to a circular economy. The EU-funded WaysTUP! project aims to establish new value chains for urban bio-waste utilisation to produce higher value products, including food and feed ingredients through a multi-stakeholder approach. The project is set to showcase a rash of new products produced from urban bio-waste-to-bio-based processes starting from different feedstocks, including fish and meat waste, spent coffee grounds, household source separated bio-waste and used cooking oils. In its implementation, WaysTUP! will develop a behavioural change approach with citizens and local communities, improving and changing longstanding perceptions on urban bio-waste. It will also help promote active participation of citizens in the collection of urban bio-waste.

Contacts: Manolis Tsantakis: mdt@etam.gr
Maroulla Schiza mcs@etam.gr

Website

 SMARTCHAIN project

 SMARTCHAIN project

Project concluded

Objective

SMARTCHAIN is an ambitious, 3 year project with 43 partners from 11 European countries including key stakeholders from the domain of short food supply chain as actors in the project. The central objective is to foster and accelerate the shift towards collaborative short food supply chains and, through concrete actions and recommendations, to introduce new robust business models and innovative practical solutions that enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of the European agri-food system.
Using bottom-up, demand-driven research, the SMARTCHAIN consortium i) will perform a multi-perspective analysis of 18 case studies of short food supply chains in terms of technological, regulatory, social, economic and environmental factors, ii) will assess the linkages and interactions among all stakeholders involved in short food supply chains and iii) will identify the key parameters that influence sustainable food production and rural development among different regions in Europe.
The project aims to establish 9 national communities of short food supply chains (Innovation and Collaboration Hubs) in different partner countries (France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Serbia, Spain and Switzerland) and a virtual innovation hub in order to facilitate stakeholder engagement, bringing farmers and consumers together in a trust-enhancing environment enabling them to generate demand driven-innovations.
Combination of scientific and practical knowledge and the use of innovation workshops will enable the development of practical innovative solutions as well as the promotion of a framework for different forms of collaborative short food supply chains in urban and rural areas. SMARTCHAIN will generate concrete actions for knowledge transfer, through the organisation of multi-stakeholder workshops and training activities for farmers and short food supply chain entrepreneurs.

Contacts:  Susanne Braun: susanne.braun@uni-hohenheim.de

Website