Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2024 as it happened

Available in German

Hosted in Lemgo, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, the Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2024 featured ten forest bioeconomy innovations focused on moving the green transition and eight amazing keynote speakers and panellists from the research, government, private, and public sectors, attracting participants interested in learning more about forest bioeconomy innovations.

“The Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2024 occurred at a crucial moment as we progress towards a green transition, needing circular bioeconomy solutions. European regions are working on “defossilisation” and “biologisation” of their main economic sectors, seizing opportunities in research, innovation, and technology to tackle the challenges related to the advancement of a bio-based sustainable economy,” said Inazio Martinez de Arano from the European Forest Institute and coordinator of the Bioregions Facility.

Across three sessions, the networking event promoted conversations through compelling presentations, innovation pitches and panel discussions on new opportunities for forest owners, advanced circular bio-based solutions, and initiatives supporting bioeconomy.

Leading the change in sustainable solutions

Through the event, a clear message was observed: we need to innovate to reshape the current economy and adjust to climate change. Here are some quotes:

“We are here in North Rhine-Westphalia in a hotspot region concerning bark beetle attack and loss of spruce and pine trees. The Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2024 shows excellent innovation to overcome these challenges along the value chain – from the forest to the use of wood,” said Stefanie Wieland from Wald und Holz NRW.

“The Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2024 is a major event focused on forest-based bioeconomy issues – it is a very important date. We have been glad to have the event here in this area. Usually, all these events occur in densely populated areas,” said Roland Daamen from the Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Agriculture, Conservation and Consumer Protection of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

“Innovation in the forest economy is, in my opinion, really important, especially regarding the climate change we are currently encountering. We have to innovate in many ways: how we use the forest, how we use the material that comes from the forest, and the value chains from the forest to the final use of the material. I think there are many, many contact points where innovation is necessary,” said Martin Hackel from OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts (TH OWL).

“I think we need a lot of innovation that will get the transformation to the bioeconomical industry. In the bioeconomy, we need a lot of innovation because we do not have enough biomass or enough resources without any innovations; our products must be much more efficient than they are today. I think it is one of the key points here. It does not depend on the product type, so I think all or almost all products have to be much more material efficient. For example, houses are made of less material. It was fantastic to see that totally different regions in Europe have the same questions and ideas, and we can learn a lot from each other. There were very good discussions with people that I had never met before, I had never heard before, but I realised that we think the same. This was very inspiring for me, and I think there will be a lot of later connections, and perhaps we will work together after this event,” said Katja Frühwald-König from TH OWL.

The Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2024 wouldn’t be possible without the great support of its organisers: the European Forest Institute – Bioregions FacilityLandesbetrieb Wald und Holz NRWOWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts (TH OWL), Smart Wood Center OWL, and CO2Bau.

Ready for the Bioeconomy Innovation Day in 2025?

Bioeconomy Innovation Day will return next year. Follow the Bioregions Facility to be the first to receive a notification directly to your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter today to stay up-to-date with current topics on forest bioeconomy and more.

Quotes were edited for content and clarity. 

North Rhine-Westphalia advances circular economy in construction

The construction industry, a significant consumer of natural resources and energy, plays a crucial role in climate change mitigation. To meet climate goals like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Renovation Wave Strategy, or Europe’s Green Deal, it’s imperative to reconsider our resource usage and building practices. This includes reducing emissions and waste and embracing recycling.

Focusing on strengthening sustainability in the sector, The Ministry of Homeland, Local Government, Building and Digitalisation of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, has taken a significant step in promoting the circular economy in state building construction by updating the decree.

The construction and real estate company North Rhine-Westphalia (BLB NRW) manages a significant real estate portfolio and is tasked with implementing sustainability principles.

The Sustainable Building Assessment System (BNB) plays a crucial role in evaluating building sustainability, focusing on ecological, economic, and socio-cultural quality, thereby promoting sustainable construction practices.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology is a game-changer in future-proofing public buildings. It allows for virtual construction before actual building, aiding in sustainability calculations and ensuring the longevity of these structures.

In accordance with the new circular economy law

Earlier this year, North Rhine-Westphalia implemented a new circular economy law to replace the previous state waste law. This new law aims to facilitate the transition to the circular economy and sustainability.

Read the press release here

Photo by diesirae – stock.adobe.com

What’s the economic impact of the bioeconomy in Catalonia?

The bioeconomy sector in Catalonia is a significant contributor to the region’s economy. It encompasses a range of industries, including agriculture, food processing, energy, and chemicals, that use renewable biological resources to produce goods. These sectors employ around 622,700 people in Spain (the average for 2016–2021), which represents 17.24% of the total employed population in Catalonia.

What’s bioeconomy?

Bioeconomy is an economic model that uses renewable biological resources to produce food, energy, chemicals, textiles, and other bio-based products that we depend upon. The Bioeconomy has emerged as a model aiming to find efficient resource utilisation methods, reduce reliance on non-renewable resources, and prevent resource depletion.

It is important to understand the impact of the bioeconomy. This allows researchers, policymakers, and other key stakeholders to make informed decisions about investments, regulations, and support mechanisms, for example.

How to quantify its impact?

To quantify the impact of bioeconomy in Catalonia, the Department of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda has commissioned the Center for Research in Agrifood Economics and Development (CREDA-UPC-IRTA) to calculate the impact based on output and input-output tables.

The output approach determines whether products generated by economic activities are bio-based. It then calculates the shares of these products in relation to the total production of each economic sector and, using these quotas weights the main macro-magnitudes of each economic activity (production, gross value added, and employment).

The input-output approach allows the bioeconomy to be dimensioned according to the links that sectors considered 100% bio-based can maintain with other industries that supply them (upstream) or serve as clients (downstream). For instance, in the case of the food and beverages industry, the upstream sectors could be agriculture and food processing, while the downstream sectors could be retail and hospitality. Bio-based sectors are those within the primary sector but can include primary processing industries such as food and beverages and the wood and paper industry.

Countries where downstream and upstream VA constitutes at least 50% of the total bioeconomy, 2018. Source: Cingiz et al. 2023.

Using the output approach, the total values of production growth, added value and employment generated by the bioeconomy had been estimated for 2016–2021, despite the effects of the covid-19 pandemic. Likewise, estimates of production and employment suggest a slight increase in the weight of the bioeconomy on the Catalan economy as a whole over these years.

Using the input-output approach, the gross value added (GVA) of the bioeconomy 2016–2021 amounts to 22,420.6 million euros (10.18% of the total GVA of the Catalan economy), a level comparable to that observed for the EU-27 average. Catalonia appears to be one of the main economies in Europe in terms of the weight of indirect links on the GVA of the bioeconomy, to the point of being among the top 10 EU countries with the highest weight of these links.

Economic weight of the bioeconomy in Catalonia

The recently published report by the Government of Catalonia, “Economic weight of the bioeconomy in Catalonia: application of Output and Input-Output methodologies” or “Pes economic de la bioeconomia a Catalunya: aplicació de methodologies d’Output I Input-Output” (in Catalan), offers a comprehensive view of the bioeconomy sector from 2016 to 2021. It spotlights significant developments, challenges, and, most importantly, strategic initiatives designed to foster a sustainable and innovative bioeconomy, instilling a sense of optimism for the future.

Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2024 lineup: meet our innovative presenters

Industries such as wood-based construction and textiles made from cellulose are pushing forward innovation and introducing new products to the market.

These advancements in production methods and techniques help boost the economy, create job opportunities, and bring positive changes to the industry. Furthermore, these developments also have a ripple effect on other sectors, making it a win-win situation for everyone involved.

At this year’s Bioeconomy Innovation Day, we bring you three current topics: new opportunities for forest owners, advanced and circular bio-based solutions, and initiatives for supporting innovation in forest and wood-based bioeconomy.

Check our preliminary Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2024 lineup (in alphabetical order) and stay tuned for more updates:

Circulignum is part of the Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2024 lineup
CircuLignum team. Source: CircuLignum website.

CircuLignum

Want to promote the circular economy in wood processing? The diverse community of students, lecturers and academic staff at TH OWL is committed to the sustainable use of wood and wood-based materials. Through innovation, education and cooperation, CircuLignum makes a positive contribution to climate protection; the team combines expertise in industrial engineering, digitalisation and wood technology to promote the material reuse of production offcuts.

Ecobase

The Ecobase platform collaborates with landowners to generate income from carbon removal and reduce emissions. They achieve this by planting trees on underutilised land and providing carbon removal and emission offset services. The platform offers financial options to buyers and manages the entire process from project registration to implementation, ensuring a seamless and efficient operation.

High-performance biocomposites by Strong by Form

Strong by Form specialises in the production of wood-based composites. Their innovative Woodflow technology utilises trees’ natural structural optimisation strategies to create lightweight yet robust components that can potentially replace steel and concrete. This technology emphasises strength and promotes sustainability by reducing the weight and environmental footprint of the products. The design freedom offered by this technology enables the creation of interiors that promote the natural warmth of wood.

Land Life

Land Life is a technology-driven reforestation company that plants trees on a large scale. They offer businesses and organisations the opportunity to address climate change and offset carbon emissions by restoring nature. The company is dedicated to enhancing biodiversity, improving groundwater, stabilising soil, and mitigating CO2 levels, facilitated through a prediction model that provides data on carbon capture and nature impact projections. Companies can contribute to reforestation projects, offsetting or compensating for their carbon footprints and providing additional income for landowners committed to protecting newly planted trees for at least 40 years.

Micodata and MicoQR by Cesefor

Micodata is a predictive model of wild mushroom production that facilitates mushroom harvesting. The Micodata estimates mycological production in Castilla y León. The project is organised by Cesefor and the Regional Government of Castilla y León and developed with the Valonsadero Forest Research Department of the Junta de Castilla y León, which has one of its first web information services in this GIS.

MicoQR is an application that allows traceability and guarantees the legality of the purchase and sale of wild mushrooms. Its main objective is to help organisations and individuals working in the mushroom industry with mechanisms to register their mushroom purchases, identify batches and deliver notes from the collector or producer.

WOWnature website.

WOWnature by Etifor

WOWnature is an online platform highlighting innovative forest restoration and reforestation projects. It also collects private sponsorship from individuals and organisations through tree adoption mechanisms. WOWnature has supported over 40 projects globally, including collaborations with mountain forest managers and enterprises to restore forests damaged by the Vaia windstorm in October 2018 in Italy.

Learn more about Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2024 lineup

Excited about our Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2024 lineup? I’ll be pleased to know that there’s more to come! Join us on 5 June 2024 in Lemgo, North Rhine-Westphalia, for an intensive one-day event that will gather forest innovators and leaders from industry, government, research, and other key stakeholders in the forest bioeconomy.

Climate and Circularity Calculator from Basque Country

Environmental assessment validates a project or programme’s importance by analysing the benefits, costs, and risks of the issue on the environment. Organisations have environmental assessments to implement more sustainable business practices and follow legal requirements.

The Basque Country has introduced a simplified calculator with various environmental performance metrics to aid Spanish organisations.

What’s the Climate and Circularity Calculator?

Corporate environmental footprint result from Climate and Circularity Calculator. Source: Ihope 2024.

The Climate and Circularity Calculator is a web-based tool created by Ihobe, the Basque Government’s Public Environmental Management Company. It is available for free and helps organisations calculate:

  • life-cycle assessment of their products and services
  • carbon footprint of the organisation, products and services, and corporate environmental footprint
  • circular economy indicators

How it works?

From an organisation’s point of view, the tool can be used to calculate the corporate environmental footprint, the carbon footprint, and a selection of circular economy indicators following the “Circular Transition Indicators 3.0” methodology, which is compatible with the future ISO 59020 standard.

From a product point of view, the tool is used to perform life-cycle assessments of products and services and calculate their carbon footprints.

The Climate & Circularity Calculator, specifically designed for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), is a powerful tool for diagnosing and monitoring environmental activity from a life cycle perspective; for example, it allows for eco-design simulations. This is important in the current context, where compliance with stringent legislation and the future of carbon neutrality by 2050, as established in Law 1/2024 on Energy Transition and Climate Change, are key concerns. Moreover, it can help transform good environmental activity into a competitive advantage in the market.

Learn more about the Climate and Circularity Calculator and download the manual here.

Practical information: Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2024

The Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2024 event will be held on 5 June 2024 at the TH OWL Lemgo Campus in Campusallee 12, 32657 Lemgo, Germany. Below, find information about transportation, accommodation, and the venue’s location.

Travel info

From Dusseldorf Airport to Lemgo

2h50min travel with regional trains: Dusseldorf Airport–Bielefeld Central Station–Lemgo

Tickets at Deutsche Bahn

From Hannover Airport to Lemgo

2h50min travel with regional and intercity trains: Hannover airport–Hannover Central Station–Bielefeld central station–Lemgo

Tickets at Deutsche Bahn

Accommodation

Hotels available in Lemgo

Hotels available in Detmold

How to get to the venue

TH OWL Lemgo Campus map. Source: TH OWL

The event will happen at TH OWL Lemgo Campus, building 1.

The address is Campusallee 12, 32657 Lemgo, Germany.

The event is expected to be held in Room 1204.

We will notify all participants in advance of any changes.

More

Check out our website, explore the agenda, and learn more about our speakers and innovators. If you have any questions about the event, please reach out to us at bioregions [@] efi [.] int

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

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 28 May) and register for the event today.

Agenda

Preliminary agenda – 5 June 2024 (CEST)

Updated on 28 May 2024

Get your free ticket

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

Pitch session 1: New opportunities for forest owners

  • 11:00 | Keynote speech: New value streams and opportunities for forest owners in Europe
  • Speaker: Petra Palátová, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague
  • MicoQR: Making the best of forest mushrooms by Pablo Sabin, Director, Cesefor
  • Ecosystem Value Association: Keeping nature valuable by Elias Raiser, Value-chain manager, EVA
  • Ecobase: Realising the value of carbon sequestration in European forests by Jaan Sepping, CEO and founder, Ecobase
  • WOWnature: Post-natural disturbances forest restoration through private funding by Federico Corro, Forestry Project Officer, Etifor
  • Land Life: Future Forests: Why Quality and Integrity is Critical in Reforestation Efforts by Jessie Hurst, Chief Operating Office, Land Life
  • 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: Dr. Daniela Klein, Research Services and Team leader JAS analytics, Jowat SE
  • Strong by form: High-performance bio-composites by Andrés Mitnik, CEO, Strong By Form
  • CircuLignum: From a line to a circle – changing the economy in small steps by Noemi König and Martin Tremmel, CircuLignum
  • WOODC.A.R and CARpenTiER:: Wood as a sustainable lightweight construction material in the mobility sector by Thomas Krenke, Innovationszentrum-Weiz
  • Metsä Wood: New innovations in hybrid construction – towards a more sustainable future by Kalle Ikonen, Manager, Corporate Affairs – European Union
  • Nature2Bond: Bio-based sustainable adhesive system by Anuj Kumar, Senior Scientist, Luke 
  • 15:00 | Coffee break

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 by Dr Lukas Emmerich, Wald und Holz NRW
  • Forestry Hub of Catalonia: Catalonia’s forest bioeconomy innovation support by Neus Puy, Head of Bioeconomy, Health and Governance Programme, CTFC
  • Future Forest Initiative: Germany’s first forest start-up accelerator by Christoph zu Stolberg, Head of International Relations and Forest Lab, FFI
  • Woodknowledge Wales: Enabling innovation through collaboration across the wood value chain by Christiane Lellig, Regenerative Systems Change
  • 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).