Bioeconomy Innovation

Day 2023

Forests cover over 54% of the Basque Country’s land area; they are vital green infrastructure. Sustainable forest management can help adapt forests to the changing climate, balancing the production of wood, non-wood products and ecosystem services.

Advancing in more efficient and circular use of forests is necessary to produce a new generation of materials that could help the “biologisation” in different economic sectors, reducing the carbon material footprints. 

The Basque Circular Bioeconomy Action Plan has adopted this vision. Its implementation requires bridging the knowledge-innovation gap, speeding up the implementation of new solutions, and strengthening cross-sectoral collaboration.

  • When: 4 October 2023
  • Where: Yimby aretoa, Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain

The Bioeconomy Innovation Day on 4 October 2023 is the perfect opportunity to connect with key actors in the bioeconomy innovation ecosystem and discover new opportunities to drive the green transition.

Connect with key actors in the bioeconomy innovation ecosystem from research, forest management, industry, business, finance, government and civil society, and discover new opportunities to drive the green transition. 

Don’t miss this opportunity, and add the event to your calendar.

Agenda for Wednesday (4 October 2023) – CEST

Get your ticket:

  • 8:15 | Registration
  • 9:00 | Welcoming words
  • Bittor Oroz, Vice-minister of Fisheries, Agriculture and Food Policy
  • 9:10 | Regenerative forestry: Boosting economic growth and natural assets side by side
  • Timo Lehesvirta, Leading Nature Expert, Metsä Group
  • 9:40 | Why Investing in the European Bioeconomy?
  • Ananya Manna, Investment Director, European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF)

Session 1 Sustainable and Multifunctional Forestry

Moderator: Ander Arias Gonzalez, Neiker

  • 10:10 | Challenges and opportunities for European Forestry
  • Bart Muys, Division Forest, Nature and Landscape, KU Leuven, Belgium
  • 10:40 | Innovators
  • Zerti Carbon: Blockchain-certified carbon sink solutions
  • Panu Ville Torniainen, Co-founder and managing director, Zerti Carbon
  • HAZI: Decision-making tools based on remote sensing technologies
  • Iñaki Gerenabarrena, Head of the forestry area, HAZI
  • Fortra: Traceability of wood products by the Xunta de Galicia
  • Mercedes Rois Díaz, Forest Innovation Manager, XERA Galician Agency for Forest-Based Industry
  • ArboFiRM: Digital twins of forest to mitigate forest fires by Arbonaut
  • Tuomo Kauranne, President, Arbonaut
  • VigilanTree: Artificial Intelligence and image classification to better understand our Ecosystems by Cesefor
  • Rodrigo Gómez Cornejo, CTO/Head of Digital Technologies and Applications, Cesefor
  • 11:40 | Networking & coffee break

Session 2 Advanced Bio-based Materials and Construction Solutions 

Moderator: Olatz Unamunzaga Galarza, Neiker

  • 12:10 | Policy and market trends in the material use of biomass
  • Michael Carus, Managing Director, nova-Institute GmbH
  • 12:25 | Innovators
  • Evolgene: Cellulose nanocrystals for industrial and biomedical applications
  • Axalko: High-end bicycle frames made of natural fibres
  • Aitzol Fernández, General manager, Axalko
  • Biorefformed: Mediterranean biorefinery to produce added value products
  • Anna Cuadrench, Researcher, Centro Tecnológico Forestal de Cataluña (CTFC)
  • Gelzhäuser Forst: Individual modular houses made from regional wood
  • Timo Gelzhäuser, Managing director, Gelzhäuser GmbH
  • 13:35 | Conclusions of the morning sessions
  • Leire Barañano, General Director, Neiker
  • 13:50 | Lunch and networking

Session 3:

Networking session: A Boost for the Forest Bioeconomy Innovation Lessons from European Regions

Moderator: Inazio Martínez de Arano, Bioregions Facility

  • 15:20 | Presentations 
  • Irish Bioeconomy Foundation: Growing Ireland’s bioeconomy together
  • Filippo Giancarlo Martinelli, Owner, Magfi Ltd and European Ambassador at Irish Bioeconomy Foundation
  • Bioeconomy Austria: The gateway to the Austrian bioeconomy
  • Fabian Huber, Junior Project manager of the Plattform for Green Transformation and Bioeconomy, Ecoplus
  • Gottfried Hebenstreit, expert in economic and energy policy, Ecosocial Forum Austria & Europe
  • Panel discussion
  • Enkarterri: New accelerating service of the bioeconomy in Euskadi
  • Peli Manterola, General director of Hazi
  • BioBoost: Accelerating the bioeconomy in Catalonia
  • Verónica Kuchinow, Co-founder of SÍMBIOSY
  • Business Joensuu: Bioeconomy Innovation in the forest capital of Europe
  • Jarno Hämäläinen, Key Account Manager, Green Transition at Business Joensuu
  • Smart Wood Center: Shaping the future of the wood industry sustainably in Ostwestfalen-Lippe
  • Martin Hackel, Researcher, Ostwestfalen-Lippe Technical University
  • Local beers and Networking
  • 18:00 | End of the Bioeconomy Innovation Day

Meet our innovators

Evolgene blue logo


Evolgene is a biotechnology company that applies advanced genetic research and innovative technologies to develop solutions for various industries. The company has created a process to produce cellulose nanocrystals that could be used in healthcare, agriculture, and environmental sustainability sectors. This biomaterial is obtained from various cellulose sources using ancestral enzymes.

axalko bikes logo


Axalko Bikes specialises in designing and producing lightweight, high-quality, and eco-friendly electric bicycles using natural fibres and wood as raw frame materials. With a fusion of innovative engineering and eco-conscious principles, their bikes blend style, functionality, and environmental responsibility.

Life biorefformed logo


Bioreformed is a pilot plant that strives to advance the field of bioremediation and environmental restoration. Their primary goal is to enhance sustainable Mediterranean forest management by upgrading an existing biorefinery through torrefaction and pyrolysis (TP) to produce renewable fuels and chemicals from forest biomass. The project’s main focus is on utilising natural processes and microbial systems to rehabilitate polluted environments, improve soil health, and restore ecosystems.

Zerti Carbon

Zerti Carbon, a company that offers certified carbon sink solutions using blockchain technology, is dedicated to advancing climate-smart forestry solutions, connecting forest owners with companies interested in neutralising carbon emissions. Working with forest owners to restore and keep forests healthy and to help them connect with companies and individuals.


HAZI coordinates and catalyses strategic projects to boost the competitiveness and sustainability of the food and forestry value chain, as well as to revitalise the rural and coastal areas of the Basque Country.

Fortra logo


FORTRA is a digital tool available to forestry companies and consumers to provide traceability to wood-based products, recording the operations carried out by all the companies that are part of the transformation process from the forest to the market.

Arbonaut logo

ArboFIRM by Arbonaut

Arbonaut offers various web, desktop, and cloud-based software solutions and mobile applications. Arbonaut Fire Risk Management (ArboFiRM) uses information based on remote sensing data (mainly LiDAR) to support decision-making for the prevention and extinction of forest fires in natural areas and wildland-urban interface.

Vigilantree by Cesefor

VigilanTree is an AI-based solution for monitoring natural events. Forest management requires automation of the inputs to information systems and the automated classification of images in a low-cost technology with enormous potential for controlling harvesting, public use, biodiversity research, timber transportation, human pressures on land, pest control or identification of fauna. This cloud tool gives managers a real-time alert system of what is happening in their land based on image classification and automatic learning.

Gelzhäuser Forst

Gelzhäuser builds Organic Tiny Houses with individual solutions and unique designs from natural solid wood according to the cradle-to-cradle principle. No glue or chemicals are used to ensure the highest level of health for a perfect home.




Logo Eusko Jauralitza Gobierno Vasco