Author: LIFT-Team

The Macro-environment Surrounding BE-Rural’s Open Innovation Platforms

The Macro-environment Surrounding BE-Rural’s Open Innovation Platforms

With the recent update of its Bioeconomy Strategy, the guidance of its advisory bodies and the engagement of regional groups and representatives, Europe has found a new track towards a sustainable bioeconomy, building on the notion that regions are the most appropriate territorial level at which to implement bioeconomy strategies. The BE-Rural project incorporates this regional focus into its core vision, putting its regional Open Innovation Platforms (OIPs) front and centre in the process of studying the potential for regional bioeconomies, and articulating and implementing strategies to make them a reality.

In providing an outline of the macro-environment at each of the OIP regions, this task has also served to shed light on key points of collaboration between them, confirming previous notions of potential synergies and revealing new areas where the regional bioeconomies of BE-Rural could complement each other and contribute to the vision of a sustainable EU-wide bioeconomy.

Sustainability and Participation in the Bioeconomy: A Conceptual Framework for BE-Rural

Sustainability and Participation in the Bioeconomy: A Conceptual Framework for BE-Rural

This report outlines the conceptual framework of BE-Rural and provides practical guidance to the design and implementation of the five regional Open Innovation Platforms (OIPs) within BE-Rural. This conceptual framework aims to provide guidance regarding the overall ambition of BE-Rural, and the foundations by which the project will operate throughout its duration. The first part of this document describes the context, objectives and regional focus to be taken within the project. The second part outlines key concepts and founding principles that lay at the heart of the project. Following this, the conceptual framework of BE-Rural is presented and discussed.

Overall, the founding principles that lay at the heart of BE-Rural include the principles of co-creation, openness and inclusiveness, sustainability and transparency. These are incorporated into the key concept of the Quintuple Helix Approach, in which knowledge and innovation generated by key stakeholders from policy, business, academia and civil society are placed within the larger frame of the environment. Supporting this, the Action Research Approach ensures that reflection is integrated throughout all stages of project work.

BERST series of posters on project outcomes

BERST series of posters on project outcomes

The aim of the BERST project was to gain understanding of the possibilities and challenges related to the enhancement of bio-based economies. BERST outcomes are accessible through two catalogues, hosted by VITO and by WUR respectively. The catalogues can be useful for a wide variety of stakeholders, from regional policy makers over local entrepreneurs to profit and non-profit organisations.

Major project findings are summarised in a series of posters, presented at the BERST final conference, that describe the various BERST outcomes: 

  • Conceptual framework;
  • Criteria and indicators describing (the readiness of) the regional bioeconomy;
  • Catalogue of Instruments & Measures to encourage regional bioeconomy development;
  • Activities targeting the development of a network of bio-regions;
  • Regional bioeconomy cluster profiles in seven regions across Europe, describing: their current state, regional structure/readiness, barriers as well as recommendations for bioeconomy cluster development; and
  • Guidelines for further research on bioeconomy clusters in EU regions.
Bioeconomy Research & Innovation Policy Landscape in Europe: A Review

Bioeconomy Research & Innovation Policy Landscape in Europe: A Review

The overall objective of CASA was to help set a consolidated common agricultural and wider bioeconomy research agenda within the European Research Area. CASA achieved this by bringing the Standing Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR) to the next level of performance as a research policy think tank.  It collaborated with the SCAR ) Bioeconomy Strategic Working Group (BSW), and supported a series of workshops aiming to facilitate development of national bioeconomy strategies in 11 Central European countries, Greece and Portugal.

Bioeconomy Research & Innovation Policy Landscape in Europe: A Review aims to review some of the principal research and innovation (R&I) policy frameworks existing and adopted at the EU level to support the bioeconomy, and in particular across the Directorate-General (DG) network including DG Research and Innovation (DG R&I), DG Agriculture and Rural Development (DG Agri) and DG for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG Grow). These three DGs were chosen given their high relevance and close connection to bioeconomy development from perspectives of securing biomass inputs, improving processing technologies, creating industries and appropriate business models and forming and informing market demand. While the policies and supports of many other DGs inevitably also contribute to the European bioeconomy (e.g. DG Environment, DG Climate Action, DG Competition and DG Energy), the aim of this focused assessment is to review principal R&I policy interactions and identify any gaps in the system.

Overview of studies commissioned by CASA

Overview of studies commissioned by CASA

The overall objective of CASA was to help set a consolidated common agricultural and wider bioeconomy research agenda within the European Research Area. CASA achieved this by bringing the Standing Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR) to the next level of performance as a research policy think tank.  It collaborated with the SCAR Bioeconomy Strategic Working Group (BSW), and supported a series of workshops aiming to facilitate development of national bioeconomy strategies in 11 Central European countries, Greece and Portugal.

This report briefly introduces the scope and main outcomes and outputs of 17  external studies that were commissioned by the CASA project.

STAR4BBI Regulation action plan

STAR4BBI Regulation action plan

Standards play a crucial role in supporting the growth of the bio-based products market. They can help to increase market transparency by providing common reference methods and requirements that enable the verification of claims and certification regarding the bio-based content, biodegradability or environmental sustainability of different products. However, inadequate standards can also act as barriers for certain products. So, what are the current EU standards or other related issues that hamper the growth of bio-based products? STAR4BBI (“Developing standards for bio-based industries”) analysed these barriers and proposed actions towards overcoming these.

The STAR4BBI document Regulation action plan (D4.4) contains specific proposals for regulations that are most in need of revision or demonstrate a high likelihood of adaptation with the ultimate objective of accelerating the transition to a bioeconomy. The report discusses solutions to overcome existing regulatory hurdles across sectors. The aim is to stimulate investments into existing and new value chains, products and applications as well as establish a level playing field for bio-based products. Solutions covered concern respectively:

  • Introduce a fossil carbon tax levied on the fossil carbon of fossil resources
  • Update of the Compostability standard
  • Develop a new policy specific for bio-based materials
  • Develop an effective End of Life (EOL) scheme
STAR4BBI Report on implementation for creation of new or revised standards

STAR4BBI Report on implementation for creation of new or revised standards

Standards play a crucial role in supporting the growth of the bio-based products market. They can help to increase market transparency by providing common reference methods and requirements that enable the verification of claims and certification regarding the bio-based content, biodegradability or environmental sustainability of different products. However, inadequate standards can also act as barriers for certain products. So, what are the current EU standards or other related issues that hamper the growth of bio-based products? STAR4BBI (“Developing standards for bio-based industries”) analysed these barriers and proposed actions towards overcoming these.

The STAR4BBI Report on implementation for creation of new or revised standards (D4.3) aims to identify standards or other initiatives that hamper the growth of bio-based producers in the market. The goal is to remove these identified and shortlisted barriers preferably before the end of the project. The main barriers include:

  • Non-functional specifications
  • Biodegradability
  • Compostability
  • Multiple certificates in the market
  • Double testing

 

 

STAR4BBI Policy paper on strategy for development of an RCS framework

STAR4BBI Policy paper on strategy for development of an RCS framework

Standards play a crucial role in supporting the growth of the bio-based products market. They can help to increase market transparency by providing common reference methods and requirements that enable the verification of claims and certification regarding the bio-based content, biodegradability or environmental sustainability of different products. However, inadequate standards can also act as barriers for certain products. So, what are the current EU standards or other related issues that hamper the growth of bio-based products? STAR4BBI (“Developing standards for bio-based industries”) analysed these barriers and proposed actions towards overcoming these.

The STAR4BBI policy paper on strategy for development of an Regulations, Codes and Standards (RCS) framework presents the main topics regarding policy and standardisation of bio-based products as well as various measures to support enabling environment for bio-based industries. The measures covered include: Introduction of a fossil carbon tax for all products; Development of a Sustainability Certification for all products; Establish a favourable regulatory framework for genome editing techniques in the EU; Update the existing Waste Framework Directive – WFD. The report represents the basis for developing a strategy for updating and further developing a supportive and investment-friendly regulatory and standardisation framework.

 

STAR4BBI Regulatory and Standardization needs in bio-based industries

STAR4BBI Regulatory and Standardization needs in bio-based industries

Standards play a crucial role in supporting the growth of the bio-based products market. They can help to increase market transparency by providing common reference methods and requirements that enable the verification of claims and certification regarding the bio-based content, biodegradability or environmental sustainability of different products. However, inadequate standards can also act as barriers for certain products. So, what are the current EU standards or other related issues that hamper the growth of bio-based products? STAR4BBI (“Developing standards for bio-based industries.

Building on an earlier STAR4BBI project report (Identification of technological trends in selected value chains), the STAR4BBI report Regulatory and Standardization needs in bio-based industries (D3.2) provides an overview of the existing regulatory and standardization needs that should be overcome to support the development of a cutting-edge bioeconomy in Europe. It discusses experts’ suggestions and proposed actions.

STAR4BBI Identification of technological trends in selected value chains

STAR4BBI Identification of technological trends in selected value chains

Standards play a crucial role in supporting the growth of the bio-based products market. They can help to increase market transparency by providing common reference methods and requirements that enable the verification of claims and certification regarding the bio-based content, biodegradability or environmental sustainability of different products. However, inadequate standards can also act as barriers for certain products. So, what are the current EU standards or other related issues that hamper the growth of bio-based products? STAR4BBI (“Developing standards for bio-based industries”) analysed these barriers and proposed actions towards overcoming these.

The STAR4BBI report Identification of technological trends in selected value chains presents the  results of an ex-ante analysis aiming to identify possible future technological developments, industry trends and innovations in selected value chains of the bio-based industries are presented. It aims at capturing the view of experts on anticipating future industry trends and innovations and identifying preliminary potential updates of the regulatory framework needed for supporting a full deployment of innovation potentials and therefore stimulating investments. CRISPR related technologies, techniques for the valorisation of lignin and furan-based chemistry resulted as the three most promising technologies/innovations and were defined by the experts as potential drivers of change for the future of the European bioeconomy.