Category: Standardisation, LCA, labelling and regulatory hurdles

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

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Preserve project

Preserve project

This project ends on: 31/12/2024

Preserve: High performance sustainable bio-based packaging with tailored end of life and upcycled secondary use

Bio-based plastics, made in whole or partially from renewable biological resources, are mostly used in packaging applications. Growing concerns around single-use packaging waste is putting pressure on companies to improve the sustainability of their packaging. In this context, the EU-funded PRESERVE project will boost the circular use of bio-based packaging. Specifically, it will work to enhance the performance of primary food packaging. It will leverage the compounding of enzymes in bioplastics to stimulate biodegradation. The entire process that is required to produce at least 10 packaging demonstrators will be upscaled. Project results will benefit Europe’s plastic packaging market by creating jobs and growth.

Contacts:

Aldo Ramirez Reyes – IRIS (Coordinator) aramirez@iris-eng.com
Mara Menella – Kneia (WP Leader Communication and Dissemination) mara@kneia.com
Christian Schulz – European Bioplastics (Dissemination Manager) schulz@european-bioplastics.org
Natalia Grzomba – Crowdhelix (Clustering Lead) natalia.grzomba@crowdhelix.com

Founding source: Horizon2020

 

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

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 SuperBIO project

 SuperBIO project

Project concluded

SUPERBIO focuses on the biobased economy. This emerging economy relies on the use of biomass (e.g. plants, waste) as renewable raw material for the production of new or existing products.

The technologies used are a combination of biochemistry, biotechnology, chemistry and processing technology. The cluster coordinating SUPERBIO (GBEV) has already more than 3 years’ experience in building new biobased economy value chains at regional level and is active in European projects aimed at supporting SMEs to bring innovations to the market.

The consortium consists of three cluster organisations specialised in the biobased economy from regions with synergetic smart specialisations, 4 highly skilled and experienced SME intermediates considered as important opinion makers in the biobased economy and 2 cross-sectorial SMEs regarded as specialists in their respective activities. The biobased economy goes along at least 19 different industrial sectors.

The project aims at constructing and validating new value chains providing the SMEs in the new value chains the tools to convince investors to contribute to building new emerging industries or to generate improved processes or products.

SUPERBIO will create a comprehensive open collaboration space based on the combined network of all partners, an idea validation procedure and a complementary innovation support program. Specifically, we expect to identify 10 validated value chains. With an average of 3 SMEs per value chain, this would result in providing support to about 30 SMEs or 10 SME groups. Our approach ensures the validation of sustainable and commercially viable value chains.

The output of this project will lead to the implementation of new value chains, the production of drop-in chemicals and products the production of new chemicals and products with improved features and can lead to investments in dedicated industrial production sites.

Contacts: Anneleen Devriendt anneleen.de.vriendt@bbeu.org

Website

 STAR-ProBio project

 STAR-ProBio project

Project concluded

Europe is confronted with depletion of natural resources due to their unsustainable use, increased global competitiveness, increasing population and other environmental and economic challenges. Promoting the sustainable growth of dynamic bioeconomy sectors will contribute to an innovative, resource efficient and competitive Europe in transition from a fossil fuel-based society to a bio-based one. Bio-based products represent a great opportunity to reconcile sustainable long-term growth with environmental protection, a priority of the European Growth Strategy, through the prudent and responsible use of renewable resources for agriculture and industry. Managing those resources and their derived products in a sustainable manner implies major challenges. The development and use of sustainability assessment schemes for bio-based products is expected to contribute to a clear and evidence-based view of the economic, social and environmental impact/benefits of bio-based solutions.

The overall goal of the project was to formulate guidelines for a common framework promoting the development of regulations and standards that support the adoption of business innovation models and market uptake in the bio-based products sector.

This objective was achieved by performing a comprehensive assessment, which looked at the three pillars of sustainability (economic, environmental and social) in a cradle-to-cradle fashion. Proposed methodologies, criteria and indicators have been applied to selected case studies to illustrate benefits and impacts of bio-based products.

At the end of the project, the following results (progress beyond the state of the art) were achieved:

(1)    The SAT-ProBio framework, integrating a refined set of LCA and the hybridized indicators (which create linkages between principles of circular economy and LCA), constitutes a framework that enables an efficient impact-led evaluation.

(2)    The SyD-ProBio model, a system dynamic model for policy analysis.

(3)    A bio-based markets assessment aimed at identifying measures for the market uptake of bio-based products and the relevance of sustainability certification.

Results in these areas allow assessing: social and economic dimensions of sustainability, along with the environmental one; social and economic impact of alternative policy measures; societal aspects (consumers’ behavior, social acceptance, etc.) related to the market penetration of bio-based products.

 

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

Website

 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

Website

 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

Website

 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

Website

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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