Category: Standardisation, LCA, labelling and regulatory hurdles

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

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SMARTCHAIN project

SMARTCHAIN project

This project ends on: 31/08/2021

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

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 STAR-ProBio project

 STAR-ProBio project

Project concluded

STAR-ProBio constitutes a multidisciplinary and multi-actor collaborative project that will meet environmental, social and economic challenges, paving the way for a much-needed sustainability transition towards a bio-based economy.

The overall objective of the project is to promote a more efficient and harmonized policy regulation framework, needed to promote the market-pull of bio-based products. This will be achieved by developing a fit-for-purpose sustainability scheme, including standards, labels and certifications for bio-based products. To this aim, an integral part of STAR-ProBio will be the adoption of life-cycle methodologies to assess the roll-out of bio-based products.

Environmental assessment will be performed, through LCA, in a circular economy framework (with a focus on end-of-life analysis) looking at issues which emerge upstream and downstream the value chain. This will be complemented by a techno-economic assessment and by a social impact assessment conducted through stakeholder analysis, SLCA, surveys and field experiments. Indirect land use change issues (ILUC) will also be addressed from an environmental, economic and social perspective. Moreover, the analysis of selected case studies on (1) construction materials, (2) bio-based polymers, and (3) fine chemicals, will ensure that the approach is not too broad and theoretic, allowing the benchmarking against non bio-based products.

Hence, STAR-ProBio will integrate scientific and engineering approaches with social sciences and humanities-based approaches in order to formulate guidelines for a common framework promoting the development of regulations and standards to support the adoption of business innovation models in the bio-based products sector.

Contacts: Piergiuseppe Morone: piergiuseppe.morone@unitelmasapienza.it

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 STAR4BBI project

 STAR4BBI project

Project concluded

This project will contribute at establishing a coherent, well-coordinated and favourable regulatory / standardization framework for supporting the development of a cutting edge bio-economy for Europe.

More specifically, support to the standardization process for the concrete development of new value chains based on lignocellulosic feedstocks and biomass from forests, from agriculture and from organic waste will be provided.

The main objective of the STAR4BBI project is promoting a level playing field for bio-based products.

The focus of the project will be on finding practical ways to modify regulations in such a way that alternative wording, product specifications, and/or measuring methods will eliminate hurdles without compromising the initial objectives of the standard or regulation.

Contacts: Luana Ladu, TU Berlin: luana.ladu@tu-berlin.de
Minique Vrins, NEN: Minique.Vrins@nen.nl

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 ISABEL project

 ISABEL project

Project concluded

Objective

Community energy sits high in the energy policy agenda as an inseparable part of the strategy towards a low-carbon EU economy. Sustainable biogas technologies have been extremely slow in catching up with community energy developments, failing to benefit from their undeniable potential. ISABEL aims to remove the obstacles and to promote community biogas in the EU by bringing out its societal relevance and by joining forces with a major revolutionary movement – Social Innovation. To achieve and sustain this transition, ISABEL employs modern marketing research to understand the needs and cultural diversities of the communities, fuses Social Innovation to reposition Biogas from an economic bio-fuel carrier to a social good, to come up with new community concepts and to build a stronger and wider community engagement in support of biogas. We zoom in on specific areas with diverse interest and we support communities on the ground to realize community biogas plans in coordination with all the stakeholders, slashing transaction overheads. We bring communities together to exchange and inspire each other as we carefully steer them towards quality sustainability and impact assessment principles. We zoom out to inform the policy world about what works and what does not, what should change and how we can scale-up, replicate and innovate in order to make investments more attractive. We envision a more innovative, better connected, less sensitive to policy and more transparent community biogas movement which will serve as a spring of ideas for other renewable energy technologies.
But we start simple – we want more ideas, more and deeper public involvement, more responsible community biogas plans and more bold and fair policies; and we bring along a highly complementary team of practical minded people to do it.

Contacts: Iakovos Delioglanis: delioglanis@qplan.gr

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 InnProBio project

 InnProBio project

Project concluded

For public procurement to become the enabler of the bio-based economy craved by the EU, procurement authorities will need to work collectively and enable procurers to make more informed decisions. The InnProBio project has been clearing the way.

The EU’s confidence in bio-based products seems unshakeable: by 2020, it hopes to be the undisputed leader of a bio-based market worth some EUR 200 billion. The question is, how can this be achieved? Many stakeholders will point at public procurement as a key enabler – especially for niche or still burgeoning markets. But the truth is that procurers and decision makers are not equipped to make the best and most informed decision.

This is where the InnProBio (Forum for Bio-Based Innovation in Public Procurement) project kicks in. By building a community of public purchasers interested in bio-based products, its eight company-strong consortium aimed to help them identify relevant solutions and show them how bio-based products and services can fit into their innovation and procurement actions.

“Creating a community around the hot topics of bio-based products and services (BBPS) and public procurement of innovation (PPI) is important because, as we speak, there is no widespread pool of public procurement practitioners. Such a community would help disseminate information and knowledge and would also lead to an increase in procurement of BBPS and PPI,” says Moritz Westkämper, coordinator of InnProBio on behalf of the German Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR).

This seems only logical: whilst public purchases represent around 14 % of the EU’s GDP, converting this market power into a market pull mechanism requires the public sector to act as a single ‘unit’. This, in turn, can only be achieved with dedicated networks, tools and resources that are currently missing, and InnProBio aimed to fill the gap.

The first step consisted in mapping stakeholder needs: “The workshops that we organised quickly made it clear that there was a need for proper information to be made available in a compact format. This is why we designed an online toolbox containing information for public procurement, a set of factsheets, a glossary and other procurement tools such as tender text blocks, good practice cases and so on,” Westkämper explains.

Another thing that came out was the need for support from management positions (top-down support). The desire to procure sustainable BBPS indeed seemed to be insufficient, and public procurement practitioners would most likely stand to benefit from goals being set out by ministries and governments.

“All in all, we identified a series of barriers: a lack of knowledge of bio-based concepts and market; a lack of procurement methods; a lack of political and management support; a lack of communication within organisations; and other barriers related to costs, industry-specific barriers and a lack of trust,” says Westkämper.

The consortium is confident that the online toolbox, along with workshops and market dialogues, will help remove these barriers. If these are combined with a unified approach and support from management positions to public procurement practitioners, as well better communication within departments and between different procurement departments, they believe that a community of practice could arise and that buying groups could create a market opening for BBPS.

In the long run, the developed tools will help public procurement practitioners look for BBPS and procure them. There is a justified hope that fossil-based products and services will be replaced by BBPS. The public service has such a market power that an established procurement of BBPS could mirror consumer behaviour and thus lead to a sustainable society.

Now that the project has been completed, the InnProBio team intends to use the information material and procurement tools they developed in other EU-funded projects. Project partners are also taking up the results at the national level, with one prominent project being the German national procurement project ‘Nachwachsende Rohstoffe im Einkauf’ supporting the procurement of bio-based products in Germany, which organises workshops and market dialogues. “The project notably created a ‘bio-based office’ which is presented at procurement fairs as a pop-up office. This is a unique opportunity to see and experience first-hand how a bio-based office can look,” Westkämper concludes.

Contacts:

Martin Behrens, Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e.V. (FNR): m.behrens@fnr.de

John Vos, BTG Biomass Technology Group BV: vos@btgworld.com

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Glaukos project

Glaukos project

This project ends on: 31/05/2024

The EU-funded Glaukos project aims to develop innovative and environmentally sustainable textile fibres and coatings. The complete life cycle of these textiles will be redesigned: their sustainability performance (i.e. biodegradability and bio-recyclability) will be enhanced significantly, while their technical performance will be matched to end-user requirements. Glaukos builds on two concepts: triggerable biodegradability as a key concept in polymer design to mitigate textile-based microplastics pollution, and bio-recycling as a sustainable end-of-life solution. The supply chain distance is also substantially reduced by scaling up a disruptive way of producing the main polymer building block from several bio-based feedstocks. The underlying objective of Glaukos is to reduce the carbon and the plastic footprint of clothing and fishing gear. Stakeholders’ engagement will be encouraged through the involvement of individuals from the clothing and fishing gear industry.

Contacts:

Project Coordinator Zsófia Kádár zsofia.kadar@bbeu.org

Project Manager Tanja Meyer tanja.meyer@bbeu.org

Project Communication and Dissemination Manager Louis Ferrini ferrini@fvaweb.it

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BioMonitor project

BioMonitor project

This project ends on: 31/05/2022

The overall objective of the Monitoring the Bioeconomy (BioMonitor) project is to establish a sustainable data and modelling framework for the bioeconomy.

This will be achieved by developing and implementing a data and modelling framework that is effective (supported by a stakeholders’ platform) and robust (implementable in existing systems of statistical and customs offices, laboratories and industries).

The framework will enable quantification of the bioeconomy and its economic, environmental and social impacts in the EU and its Member States. Interlinks with current CEN standardisation work related to bio-based products will be established from the outset of the project.

The contributions of BioMonitor are threefold.

  • First, the project will close the data gaps in measuring the bioeconomy by updating and enhancing currently used data sets. BioMonitor will assure the inclusion of new emerging bio-based products and industries by developing appropriate tools and strategies.
  • Second, the improved data will be used to enhance established and new modelling tools, linked in the BioMonitor toolbox, to guide industries and governments responsible for the execution of consistent, coherent and longer term strategies with desirable consequences for multiple objectives.
  • Third, a BioMonitor platform for stakeholder engagement and training will be created to design, test (by industry-based and country-level case studies) and disseminate results of the improved datasets and modelling capacity.

The platform will inform the formulation of strategies and policies directing the bioeconomy to achieve its economic, environmental and social policy objectives according to the EC Bioeconomy Strategy and Action Plan. The awareness about the importance of measuring the bioeconomy within the industry will be raised through tailored training on bioeconomy standards and measurement of sustainability indicators targeted towards SMEs within the sector.

Contacts: Justus Wesseler: Justus.Wesseler@wur.nl

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