Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2024 Agenda is here!

Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2024 sessions present new opportunities for forest owners and advancements in circular bio-based solutions. This discussion is relevant for economies and societies as they move towards a green transition with the need for circular bioeconomy solutions.

The event will take place on 5 June 2024 in Lemgo, Germany, and our co-organisers – European Forest Institute’s Bioregions Facility, Landesbetrieb Wald und Holz NRW, OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts (TH OWL), Smart Wood Center OWL, and CO2Bau – are excited to welcome you.

Check out the agenda below (last updated on 16 April) and register for the event today.

Agenda

Preliminary agenda – 5 June 2024 (CEST)

Updated on 16 April 2024

Get your free ticket

  • 8:15 | Registration
  • 9:00 | Welcoming words
  • Speaker: Welcoming words by the Ministry and organisers
  • 9:30 | First keynote speech: The Bioeconomy Council of Nord-Rhine Westphalia
  • Speaker: Prof. Dr. Katja Frühwald-König
  • 10:00 | Second keynote speech: Realising the circular wood-based bioeconomy: the striped unicorns, the circular rainbow, and truths difficult to share
  • Speaker: Veronika Auer, Product Sustainability Communication at EGGER Group
  • 10:30 | Networking and coffee

Pitch session 1: New opportunities for forest owners

  • 11:00 | Keynote speech: New value streams for forest owners in Europe
  • Keynote speech: New value streams for forest owners in Europe
  • MicoQR.app: Making the best of forest mushrooms, Pablo Sabin, Director of CESEFOR
  • Ecosystem Value Association: A forest climate standard for German forests, Elias Raiser, value-chain manager
  • Ecobase: Developing European Forestry Carbon Projects, Jaan Sepping, CEO/Founder of Ecobase
  • 12:20 | Lunch and networking

Pitch session 2: Advanced and circular bio-based solutions 

  • 13:40 | Keynote speech: Towards a more sustainable wood construction sector
  • Speaker: Jowat adhesives
  • Strong by form: High-performance bio-composites
  • CircuLignum: An online platform supporting the circular use of wood
  • WOODC.A.R: Bringing wood into the mobility sector
  • 15:00 | Coffee break
  • 15:30 | Networking session: Initiatives for supporting innovation in forest and wood-based bioeconomy
  • Keynote: Investment opportunities in the forest bioeconomy sector
  • Panel discussion

Networking session: Initiatives for supporting innovation in forest and wood-based bioeconomy

  • 15:30 | Keynote: Investment opportunities in the forest bioeconomy sector
  • Panel discussion
  • Zentrum Holz:  Supporting innovation in forest and wood-based bioeconomy in North Rhine-Westphalia, Dr. Lukas Emmerich, Wald und Holz NRW
  • CTFC Forestry Hub
  • Future Forest Initiative: A platform to develop solutions for the forest, Christoph zu Stolberg, Head of International Relations & Forest Lab
  • 17:00 | Networking reception
  • 18: 00 | End of the Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2024
  • In-person event for researchers, government officials, public and private sector representatives, or anyone interested in bioeconomy.
  • Networking space for discussions on the latest trends in the forest bioeconomy.
  • Presentations of innovation pitches with close-to-market or in-the-market solutions that provide new opportunities for forest owners and advanced and circular bio-based.

Introducing Catalonia’s technical dossier on bioeconomy #127

Are you aware of the transformative potential of a circular bioeconomy in Catalonia? Then check this recent report: “ Towards a circular bioeconomy for Catalonia (Cap a una bioeconomia circular a Catalunya in Catalan),” is the 127th issue of the report series published in March 2024 by the Department of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda of the Catalan Government. The document outlines the strategy to shift towards a sustainable and circular bioeconomy by 2030.

This approach aims to revitalise the local economy, enhance environmental resilience, and promote equitable territorial development. For instance, Catalonia’s bioeconomy strategy 2021–2030 (EBC2030) emphasises using local renewable biological resources to produce goods and services across all economic sectors.

Catalonia’s technical dossier on bioeconomy objectives

  • The bioeconomy sector is already of significant relevance in Catalonia. The goal is to decarbonise Catalonia’s economy, making it more sustainable, circular, inclusive, and resilient while creating business opportunities, for example, in the primary sector. The content of this technical dossier are
  • The political and social context of Catalonia’s bioeconomy
  • Improved forest management and the use of forest resources.
  • Creation of resilient agroforestry landscapes and sustainable provision of ecosystem services.
  • Development of innovative uses for livestock manure and other organic waste.
  • Improved use of co-products and by-products from the food chain.
  • The role of Catalonia’s new bioeconomy Hub: the Biohub CAT
Catalonia’s bioeconomy strategy factsheet.

Moving forward

There’s a need for systemic approaches and new governance forms that link public policies with territorial challenges and needs, fostering experimentation and learning. In addition, citizens should also play a role by adopting new lifestyle and consumption models to support the transformation towards a bioeconomy.

Read the full technical dossier (in Catalan) to learn more about the government’s strategies and actions.

Photo by curtoicurto from Getty Images

Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2024 coming to North Rhine-Westphalia on 5 June

The Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2024 will be held in Lemgo, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, on 5 June 2024, bringing together forest innovators and leaders from industry, government, research and other key stakeholders in the forest bioeconomy.

The event happens at a crucial moment for economies and societies as they move towards a green transition with the need for circular bioeconomy solutions.

It will include forward-looking keynotes, pitches showcasing emerging innovations, a panel discussion on boosting bio-based innovations at a regional level, and opportunities for networking to foster cross-sectoral cooperation and collaboration among different stakeholders.

The Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2024 is co-organised by the European Forest InstituteBioregions Facility, Landesbetrieb Wald und Holz NRW, OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts (TH OWL), Smart Wood Center OWL, and CO2Bau.

Stay updated: be the first to know

Express your interest and be among the first to receive updates when we open registration, update the agenda, and share more event details.

Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2024

In collaboration with co-organised by the European Forest Institute – Bioregions Facility, the Ministry for Agriculture and Consumer Protection of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Landesbetrieb Wald und Holz NRW, University of Applied Sciences and Arts (TH OWL), Smart Wood Center OWL, and CO2Bau

Biodiversity check-up: participate in the CircHive stakeholder survey

Many organisations have pledged to protect nature as part of their sustainability efforts. But how well are businesses aware of biodiversity conservation, and what steps can they take to achieve their goals?

CircHive stakeholder survey

CircHive is a new Horizon Europe project dedicated to helping organisations recognise, measure and report on the value of nature.

We invite public and private sector stakeholders interested in learning how to measure and manage the impact on nature to join the BeeHive and collaborate with CircHive in exploring and testing methods for combining two approaches to valuing nature: biodiversity footprinting and natural capital accounting.

Contribute to the survey and learn how other organisations tackle biodiversity challenges

CircHive created a biodiversity survey targeting businesses to understand organisations’ current state of biodiversity management. It aims to gather insights into organisations’ awareness and actions concerning biodiversity and related environmental aspects.

The results of this CircHive stakeholder survey will help CircHive provide guidance and develop better methods and tools for setting targets and monitoring and reporting their impact on nature. Is your organisation ready to make a change? Take the survey today.

Make your organisation’s voice heard and contribute to our efforts to improve our work and tools – maximising our impact on building a sustainable future.

North Rhine-Westphalia government appoints Bioeconomy Council

The government of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany, announced the establishment of the Bioeconomy Council on 12 December 2023. Comprised of an independent 15-member advisory board representing business, science and civil society, the council aims to drive forward initiatives in the field of bioeconomy within the region.

The purpose is to strengthen the region as a bioeconomy centre and analyse the opportunities – research, innovation and technology – and challenges in the expansion and development of a bio-based sustainable economy.

The Bioeconomy Council plays a crucial role in developing solutions, with its recommendations added to the NRW Bioeconomy Strategy. This guides policy initiatives and advancements in the bioeconomy, focused on reducing dependence on fossil fuels and ensuring food security and well-being for everyone.

Download the key points for a bioeconomy strategy in NRW here.

The board officially started its activities in January of 2024. If you wish to explore the complete list of members, please visit the linked article.

Stay in the know: new circular bioeconomy newsletter for Catalonia

The Ministry of Climate Action, Food, and Rural Agenda has launched the #CatalunyaCircular newsletter. Designed to keep companies and organisations informed about the latest developments in the circular bioeconomy and economy in Catalonia, Spain, this newsletter is for those involved in offering products or services in this field.

The #CatalunyaCircular newsletter aims to provide a dedicated platform for disseminating relevant information related to the circular bioeconomy. By offering a channel for communication and exchange, the newsletter seeks to facilitate the transition towards a more sustainable and circular economy in the region.

Subscribers can expect a wide range of content, including updates on news, projects, case studies, grants, events, and more. Whether you’re looking to stay informed about the latest industry trends or seeking opportunities for collaboration and networking, the #CatalunyaCircular newsletter is for you.

Subscribe to the CatalunyaCircular newsletter today (in Catalan).

Catalonia’s forestry sector: 44 organisations secure grants for bioeconomy projects

The Biodiversity Foundation has chosen and will fund 56 projects, with 18 having participation from Catalan organisations, aimed at advancing the forest bioeconomy and its role in driving the ecological transition. In total, 44 organisations in Catalonia have obtained subsidies from the call.

The majority of the selected projects come from local authorities, public institutions, and non-profit organisations. Among them are the Pau Costa Foundation (PCF) and the Forest Sciences and Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTFC).

Nearly one-third of these projects will be implemented in municipalities or provinces with a population density of approximately 30 inhabitants/km2, and over half of the projects are dedicated to enhancing the development and diversification of forest management and utilisation.

Read the complete list of Catalan projects here (in Catalan).

Photo by josefina – stock.adobe.com

BOOST4BIOEAST: New HORIZON EUROPE project to boost bioeconomy in Central Eastern European and Baltic countries 

On the 31 of January 2024, the BOOST4BIOEAST project, Boosting the bioeconomy transformation for the BioEast regions, officially kicked off its activities in an online meeting, which will be supporting the BIOEAST Initiative in the next three years. 

The BOOST4BIOEAST project – coordinated by the Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (ÖMKi)- aims to empower national stakeholders in the Central Eastern European and Baltic countries for the development of national bioeconomy action plans and to build long-lasting structures and spaces of dialogue for national and macro-regional cooperation.

The 30 partners of the project cover all BIOEAST countries, and countries from Western Europe (Belgium, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and Spain) have been included to stimulate dialogue and knowledge exchange throughout different regions. The project follows the footsteps of its predecessor, the BIOEASTsUP H2020 project, building upon its outcomes that laid the foundation for macro-regional networking among bioeconomy experts and policymakers through the development of its Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) and 11 Bioeconomy Concept Papers. 

BOOST4BIOEAST Hubs and their role in boosting bioeconomy 

 At the core of the project, there is the need to establish or improve national bioeconomy expert communities(BIOEAST HUBs) as focal points of capacity building and catalysts for stakeholder engagement at the national level for decision-making through participatory processes.

The BIOEAST HUBs will be linked to public administrations, ensuring a direct and efficient link to policymaking that highlights the relevance of the solutions identified by the HUBs’ actions. In the next three years, the HUBs will be engaged in the development of national bioeconomy action plans validated by public administrations and in fostering national bioeconomy innovation ecosystems through cross-sectoral collaboration, capacity building and facilitating access to knowledge and networks to all bioeconomy stakeholders.

Furthermore, at the macro-regional level, they will contribute to the specific strategic areas of the BIOEAST Thematic Working Groups in updating the BIOEAST SRIA of 2022 (developed in the BIOEASTsUP project). 

Enriching knowledge of bioeconomy with a multidimensional assessment and the knowledge platform

BOOST4BIOEAST will undertake a wide mapping of biomass availability, usage, bioeconomy competencies, educational needs, and innovation systems with the goal of promoting knowledge on bioeconomy in the macro-region. Moreover, a BIOEAST Knowledge Platform will be set up to act as a central point to find knowledge materials and relevant information on the bioeconomy.

The Platform will be open and tailor-made to the needs of BIOEAST countries, allowing a wide range of its bioeconomy actors to access, share and store materials in national languages, therefore stimulating active contributions and knowledge sharing in and across each member state. 

Stimulating bioeconomy research and innovation

Given the great importance that innovation and education have in promoting and reinforcing bioeconomy activities, the project also sets the ambitious objective to bring together public and private funders with entrepreneurs and young professionals to provide exposure to business opportunities through a macro-regional Open Innovation Challenge (OIC) and pitching events.

The project will also expand the activities of the Network of Bioeconomy Universities in the BIOEAST (BIOEAST UniNet) to support stronger collaboration between universities and educational institutions of the macro-region in order to integrate bioeconomy into their educational profile.

Moreover, the project will continue to rely on the already existing macro-regional expert-policy networks, the seven Thematic Working Groups (Agroecology & Sustainable Yields, Bioenergy & New Value-Added Materials, Food Systems, Forestry Value Chain, Freshwater-based Economy, Advanced Biobased Materials and Bioeconomy Education), set up by the BIOEASTsUP project to work on priority research topics on the macro-regional level to facilitate more inclusive decision-making and to develop sustainability strategies for TWGs and national HUBs to secure their long-term functioning. 

The Annual Bioeast Bioeconomy Conference

To kick-start the community-building and establishment of the national expert networks, the BOOST4BIOEAST project and the BIOEAST Initiative will organize the Annual BIOEAST Bioeconomy Conference on 6-7 March 2024 in Budapest, Hungary. The theme of the event will be “The Role of National HUBs in National and Macro-regional Bioeconomy Policies and R&I Priorities in the BIOEAST countries”.

The conference aims to bring together a wide range of stakeholders from the BIOEAST countries, coming from all bioeconomy-related fields and with varied professional and academic backgrounds. The Conference will promote information about the latest updates from the BIOEAST Initiative in the context of ongoing European and upcoming EU presidency priorities to provide practical knowledge in order to kick-start and facilitate collaboration and present opportunities in joint programming initiatives. 

More information and the registration for the conference are available here.

Contact information

For further information, please contact Project Coordinator Korinna Varga at korinna.varga@biokutatas.hu

I.D.E.E. Information Day: demonstrations and innovations on generating heat from wood

On 27 and 28 January 2024, the 31st Annual Information Day of the Information and Demonstration Centre on Renewable Energy Network (I.D.E.E.) took place at the Centre Wood in Olsberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, where participants learned about efficient heating solutions from wood in the form of pellets, logs or wood chips.

In addition, experts in the field delivered lectures on the topic; presentations showcasing different heating systems and solutions by manufacturers were followed by practical demonstrations, such as those by Wald und Holz NRW, illustrating the preparation of firewood from logs.

Photo by Zigmunds – stock.adobe.com

Catalan Government creates climate credit system for CO2 absorption

The government of Catalonia will approve the creation of a system to certify, trace and market locally issued climate credits that will allow the offsetting of greenhouse gas emissions within the region for the benefit of rural areas. 

The first credits to be issued and marketed will be related to forests and forestry. They will be based on a holistic conception of forest management, considering multiple ecosystem services and facilitating investments in forest nature-based solutions to compensate for the carbon and water footprints of companies, local entities, and other organisations.  

The Catalan Government published a press release on 1 December 2023 explaining their plans to develop carbon credits for agricultural land and costal and marine habitats. In the future, climate credits generated in agriculture, soil management, and the restoration of coastal and marine habitats will be included in the system.

Read the full article in Catalan here

Featured image Minister Mascort, attending to the media at COP28 / Govern.cat

Jury’s selection announced: 50 innovative wildfire solutions enter the next phase of the FIRE-RES Open Innovation Challenge 

Today, 24 January 2024, the FIRE-RES consortium announces its Open Innovation Challenge (OIC) list of selected innovations. These innovations will receive tailored in-kind acceleration support and mentorship to develop into fully implemented products and processes that help address the risks posed by wildfires in Europe and beyond.

50 solutions – from early idea innovations to in-market solutions, from data-driven technology and advanced firefighting equipment to educational methodologies and community engagement processes, from different parts of Europe, South America, and the U.S., and covering risks before, during and after wildfire events – have been selected to participate in the FIRE-RES Innovation Acceleration Programme. In addition to access to training materials and events as well as contacts brokerage opportunities, the selected solutions will be invited to enter a competitive application process for financial support for demonstration or piloting activities and the opportunity to test their solution in the realistic environments of one of the project’s Living Labs.  

The jury consisted of representatives from the consortium (ForestWISE, INESC TEC, CTFC, and EFI). Practitioners from a number of FIRE-RES Living Labs acted as advisors to the jury.

A wide variety of solutions go forward to receive acceleration support 

As expected, a large proportion of the solutions centre around technology for the purpose of gathering data, processing it into information, facilitating access to knowledge and enabling learning over time.  

Another common type of solution involves focusing on firefighting equipment with a view to improving materials, effectiveness and safety, leveraging new engineering possibilities, and increasing compatibility and connectivity across geographical contexts.

Innovative formats and ideas for training frontline operators form another group among the selected innovations.

Finally, a good number of the selected innovations target communities in fire-prone locations and beyond. These aim for improved preparation, response and recovery in the future. It is, therefore, not surprising that some of them focus on engaging young people in particular.  

Stay in touch with FIRE-RES 

For regular updates as the Open Innovation Challenge progresses, sign up for the FIRE-RES Newsletter here

If you have questions about the FIRE-RES Innovation Acceleration Programme, please contact oic@fire-res.eu

Follow us on social media: X, LinkedIn and Facebook

The project leading to this application has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101037419.

FIRE-RES Open Innovation Challenge supporters

Exploring the latest innovations in forest carbon markets

Carbon markets play a crucial role in the complex network of climate solutions; they facilitate the exchange of carbon credit emissions permits and create incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These markets, whether regulated by governing bodies or projects aiming to reduce emissions, create dynamic environments where environmental responsibility and economic incentives intersect. 

Change through forest carbon markets 

Carbon farming – approach to sustainable land management – employs reforestation, afforestation, forest and peatland restoration, and agroforestry to capture carbon. This practice addresses climate change mitigation and generates carbon credits, known as carbon offsets

These credits represent the CO2 captured and stored in the forest, with the added benefit of being exchangeable within carbon markets. Institutions, organisations, and individuals can buy these credits to offset carbon emissions.  

The social benefit is that communities, farmers, and landowners become integral market players; they can earn income from sustainable land management practices that enhance carbon sequestration. This synergy between incentives and environmental stewardship encourages adopting sustainable practices.

Challenges and opportunities 

White drone flying near a forest
Drones, for example, can be used to collect data for forest monitoring and mapping tree inventory. Photo by Dmytro Titov – stock.adobe.com

As the market for carbon credits increases, some challenges need to be addressed. For example, avoid double counting emissions reductions and removals, and ensure that any reduction in emissions or increase in carbon sequestration occurs because of the sale of carbon credits.

These challenges require innovation and implementation of technologies to improve transparency and effectiveness across the value chain. Besides assisting in developing the carbon market, digital technologies also play a key role in inventory management, monitoring, reporting, and carbon monetisation.

Forestry Speed Dating 

unlocking forest carbon markets title

Bioregions’ Forestry Speed Dating (FSD) series, aiming to bring this relevant topic to the table, has the theme Unlocking forest carbon markets for its third series of the FSD – bringing innovators such as Skoog, Treemetrics, CarbonStack, CO2Offset, Ecobase, Arbonics, Kanop, Xilva, Föra, Zerti Carbon, CollectiveCrunch, Grupo Sylvestris, Land Life and other companies, start-ups and public initiatives to present their innovation and contribution to fight climate change. 

The series provides a platform for individuals and organisations to share knowledge, collaborate and foster sustainable growth in the forestry industry and the bioeconomy. 

Watch previous sessions, register for our fifth event on 1 February 2024, and stay tuned for new events to attend

References 

What are carbon markets and why are they important? 

International carbon market 

What You Should Know About Carbon Markets 

Carbon farming explained: the pros, the cons and the EU’s plans 

Carbon markets: the challenges and opportunities

Featured image by okawa – stock.adobe.com