Category: Regional potential, bioeconomy strategies and action plans

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.

BERST dashboard and toolkit for benchmarking and developing regional bioeconomy strategies

BERST dashboard and toolkit for benchmarking and developing regional bioeconomy strategies

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.

The dashboard (catalogue) @ WUR displays a set of indicators helping to assess the future bioeconomy potential of a region. A benchmark option is available to identify a region’s relative position vis-à-vis the country as a whole, applying the following four indicators: Biomass availability and Land use, Demography and Workforce quality, Employment and firms in bioeconomy sectors, and Innovation),

In addition, the dashboard contains:

  • Case studies providing in-depth bioeconomy profiles for five RDI2Club regions
  • A dynamic reporting option for creating regional bioeconomy profile factsheets

Finally, the dashboard gives access to tools developed under the S3 platform project and the BERST project

The (visualisation tool of the) dashboard was initiated  in the BERST project and further developed in the RDI2Club Interreg project.

BERST database of instruments & measures facilitating bioeconomy development in regions

BERST database of instruments & measures facilitating bioeconomy development in regions

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.

 The BERST database (catalogue) @ VITO provides detailed information on instruments and measures facilitating bioeconomy development in regions throughout Europe.  For each instrument & measure information is provided on:

  • A set of descriptive Criteria such as; the targeted region(s), the goal, a short description, contact information, the sector targeted,…
  • To which extent the Instrument & Measures helps realising (one or more of) the objectives relevant for the deployment of a regional bioeconomy.

In addition, the catalogue contains:

  • Case studies providing in-depth regional bioeconomy profiles for seven BERST regions
  • Four good practice examples of regions containing one or more successful bioeconomy clusters. 
BE-Rural Briefing paper: Knowledge exchange and capacity building for the bioeconomy in rural areas

BE-Rural Briefing paper: Knowledge exchange and capacity building for the bioeconomy in rural areas

BE-Rural aims to realise the potential of regional and local bio-based economies by supporting relevant actors in the participatory development of bioeconomy strategies and roadmaps.

To prepare and guide activities in the BE-Rural target regions this briefing paper discusses the following three elements:

  • Definitions and rationales for knowledge exchange and capacity building
  • Existing approaches to knowledge exchange and capacity building, notably: (i) national and regional bioeconomy strategy-building processes, (ii) the EU’s Smart Specialisation Strategy approach, and (iii) the U Rural Development Policy
  • Good practice examples (case studies) of knowledge exchange and capacity building in rural bioeconomy strategies in five European regions (Baden-Württemberg in Germany, Catalonia in Spain, Oulu in Finland, Scotland in the United Kingdom and Tajo-Salor-Almonte in Spain).