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

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  • 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.

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.

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

Moving forward: update on FIRE-RES Open Innovation Challenge submissions

The application period for the FIRE-RES Open Innovation Challenge (OIC) ended on 19 November 2023. All eligible solutions have now entered the evaluation and section processes.

These originate from 24 different countries and span nearly all the FIRE-RES OIC themes. The majority of the solutions submitted propose innovative equipment, technological solutions and information processing products, but a good number also aim to develop methodologies and tools that address social challenges.

The final list of selected solutions will be announced early in the New Year. These innovations are then going to receive acceleration support and, where appropriate, the opportunity to test in a realistic environment.

Subscribe to the FIRE-RES newsletter to stay informed about the announcement of the final selected solutions and to receive updates on calls and future Open Innovation Challenges, events, and news.

Technology and science united to strengthen forest management in the face of climate change

Originally published on PEFC España

The territory of Soria, with PEFC certification, will benefit from adaptive measures in forest management thanks to the ForestADAPT Tool.

As a result of the collaboration between different entities, a tool has been designed to strengthen forests against climate change. The work within the LIFE Soria ForestAdapt project developed in this province allocates 1,595,745 euros in four years. It aims to bridge the critical gap between the availability of existing scientific data and its actual application in forest management plans and practices.

The result of the project is the ForestADAPT Tool, an innovative tool developed by Cesefor using scientific data generated by the University of Valladolid, region of Castile and Leon, Spain. This web application can predict how climate change could affect the distribution of the main forest species in Soria in the long term.

The climate projections of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report are conclusive: global warming of 1.5°C to 2°C will be a reality over the 21st century. Anticipating these changes is essential for planning forest management strategies that help forests adapt to new climatic conditions and continue to provide crucial services and resources.

Forests require specific management not to disappear. Reforestation is an important action for nature, forests and our planet’s biodiversity. Still, protecting existing trees with measures that strengthen them and prevent their degradation and consequent deforestation is equally or even more critical. The most effective tool to achieve this is management. The role of this tool is fundamental, as anticipating these foreseeable future effects helps plan forest management strategies that incorporate adaptation measures to new climate conditions and continue to provide goods and ecosystem services.

The ForestADAPT Tool application shows the suitability of the land in Soria for establishing different forest species of interest, considering the forecasts of temperature increase and rainfall variation. It also provides information on the diversity of species that could occupy specific areas in the future. Based on this analysis, the application can assess the risks of redesigning the management needed to cope with the conditions from now to the end of the century.

ForestADAPT is a web application designed to provide online information quickly and easily, with rigorous scientific standards. It has great potential for future decision-making in forestry.

News from RTVE in Soria about the LIFE Soria Forest Adapt project

Anticipating the future of the forests in Soria

Soria has been considered an exemplary province by its forest management since ancient times and is also one of the most wooded areas in Spain. Its forests have a long history and a wide variety of species: holm oak forests, high mountain beech forests, Savin forests, relict forests from the Tertiary period and a great diversity of pine species, such as the southernmost black pine forest in Europe.

Rising temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns associated with climate change may adversely affect forest species. Those outside their ideal habitat may experience stress, reduced productivity and difficulty regenerating.

ForestADAPT Tool uses species distribution models to assess the potential risk of a forest species being affected by climate change. These models are based on mathematical algorithms that relate environmental and climatic conditions to the compatibility of forest species in a specific location. It is an essential tool for understanding and preparing for the challenges of climate change in our forests. It will help adopt effective forest management strategies and ensure the continuity of valuable ecosystem services.

PEFC sustainable forest management in Soria

The ForestADAPT Tool will soon be available and helpful in adapting forest management measures in Soria. This territory has a large amount of managed area and about 152,000 hectares of forests certified under the PEFC System. In these accredited forests, there is a predominance of pine forests, distributed in 47,493 ha of Pinus sylvestris, 45,840 ha of Pinus pinaster, 10,610 ha of Pinus nigra, there is also important implantation of Juniperus, with 8,700 ha of Juniperus thurifera, and finally Quercus with 8,500 ha of Quercus pirenaica and 4,224 ha of Quercus ilex.

The richness and importance of these forests are clear since 21%, i.e. 31,380 ha of the PEFC-certified forest area, are declared NATURA 2000. More than 7,000 ha are Sites of Community Interest, and the remaining 24,000 are Special Protection Areas for Birds. Preserving biodiversity through the management measures that the ForestADAPT tool will facilitate will be essential for them to continue being a refuge for fauna and flora.

LIFE Soria Forest Adapt The LIFE Soria ForestAdapt project is supported by the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union. The project is coordinated by the Fundación Global Nature in collaboration with the Fundación Centro de Servicios y Promoción Forestal y de su Industria de Castilla y León (Cesefor), the Fundación Privada Empresa y Clima (FEC), the Asociación para la Certificación Española Forestal (PEFC España), the Forest Stewardship Council in Spain (FSC España), the University of Valladolid (UVa) and the Fundación General de la Universidad de Valladolid (FUNGE).

Driving innovation: students and sustainable business models in forest-based bioeconomy

Within the bioeconomy, many new technologies and innovations have been studied and implemented, such as for wood construction, wood-based fibres for the textile industry, well-being, and non-wood forest products. But how can we guarantee the commercialisation and the knowledge transfer of these innovations into the market?

Dedicated to empowering and supporting aspiring entrepreneurs, the NOMADI Project organises workshops for students passionate about entrepreneurship and the bioeconomy. These workshops serve as transformative catalysts, fuelling innovation and paving the way for pioneering sustainable business models.

Networking event insights

Networking event: Woman and man wearing black standing. Behind a TV with a presentation open 'Start Me Up'
Kirsi Svärd and Janne Pakarinen, Business coaches at Business Joensuu.

On 24 October 2023, students from different areas of study attended the Networking Sauna Event in Joensuu, Finland. The first workshop of a series of three events was held by the European Forest Institute (EFI), Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) and the Finnish Forest Centre (Metsäkeskus).

The event aimed at introducing sustainable business models in circular forest-based bioeconomy to students to spark their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit and underline the important role education plays in fostering a greener future.

The event also counted with a presentation from Business Joensuu – an organisation that provides support and expertise for the different stages and challenges of entrepreneurship – showcasing Start Me Up, a competition that awards the best ideas for the future that can grow into sustainable business activities and Hack Me Up, a competition for students to brainstorm climate-smart solutions for companies’ sustainability challenges. Applications are open until 17 November at 15:00 EET.

Attend online or in person: dive into the circular economy

Students from any field of study are invited to attend the second workshop on 22 November at 17:00 EET online or in Joensuu. The consultancy firm Ethica will present how they have been helping organisations transition to a more sustainable circular economy in a rapidly changing market environment and showcase how to create a circular business model.

Check out the agenda and register for the event here.

The NOMADI project supports companies in the forest-based sector by seeking new solutions through the digitalisation of forest services. The project also helps to create new marketing and business concepts, supporting new bioeconomy start-ups and the scaleup of innovations – particularly ideas targeted towards remote private forest owners and forest management services and tools are welcome.

NOMADI is funded by the Regional Council of North Karelia through the European Regional Development Fund as a part of the European Union’s COVID-19 activities (REACT-EU).

Featured image: ChayTee – stock.adobe

Europe is ready to harness innovative solutions to address Extreme Wildfire Events

Originally published on FIRE-RES News.

The Open Innovation Challenge initiated by the FIRE-RES project calls for applications that help address key challenges before, during and after large-scale wildfires increasingly faced by landscapes across Europe and the communities that live there.

Connecting the dots: from suppression to resilience

Europe is facing an ever-growing number of extreme wildfires, often with devastating consequences for people and the environment. According to the European Forest Fire Information System, 2021 was the second-worst wildfire season in the European Union since 2000, when EFFIS records began. In that year, an area of 500.566ha was burnt in the EU27 and 417.807ha in other European countries. These fires no longer affect only or mainly southern Europe, but also central European and Nordic countries. For instance, 22 out of the 27 EU member states were affected.

The underlying causes of these fires and their devastating impacts – such as climate change, urbanisation and changing consumption patterns (driven by both tertiarisation and globalisation) – are here to stay. They highlight the limits of long-standing suppression-centred fire management strategies. That’s why practitioners, researchers, and policymakers increasingly recognise the need to develop novel approaches that expand the scope of work in this field.

Such innovative solutions need to understand that the landscapes at risk are not just physical assets such as forests and human homes or infrastructure. They consist of a multitude of ecological and social component parts and processes, whose resilience to the risk of fire needs to be improved.

The risk of wildfires consists not only of the hazard itself, and not even only of a combination of the hazard and exposure to it, but it lies at the intersection of hazard, exposure and vulnerability to both. Thus, vulnerability is a key consideration in continuously managing the challenge of fire – before, during and after the event.

To reduce landscapes’ and communities’ vulnerability to fire, all of society needs to work together to connect the dots. The root causes of fire need to be addressed through prevention, and effective preparation activities need to be devised. Its impacts need to be softened by fostering adaptation and ensuring recovery. All this needs to happen alongside the development of a more nuanced approach to managing wildfires rather than simply attempting to suppress them.

For, while the aim of suppressing, say, 98% of all ignitions seems, at face value, like a worthwhile endeavour, it is important to remember that a mere 2% of ignitions account for about 80% of the damage caused by wildland fires. Not to mention that successful suppression leads to a build-up of fuel loads for future fires!

FIRE-RES Open Innovation Challenge now open

The Open Innovation Challenge is open to innovators, be they individuals, teams or companies of all sizes. It is seeking innovative solutions of all kinds, for instance, technological, social or business-related: products, services, platforms, processes, procedures, best practices, etc. Solutions at all development stages are welcome, from early ideas, methods, and prototypes to close-to-market or market-ready services and products.

Eleven multi-stakeholder Living Labs across Europe have identified the most pressing challenges for increased resilience. They are grouped around seven themes: ‘Risk Communication and Awareness’, ‘Engagement and Empowerment’, ‘Training and Education’, ‘Management Before, During and After Extreme Wildfire Events’, ‘Monitoring’, ‘Forecasting and Decision Support’, and ‘Policy and Governance’.

Successful applicants with early-stage solutions, such as ideas, will be supported to develop their solutions. Later-stage solutions, such as prototypes, close-to-market, or market-ready solutions, will be supported to demonstrate, pilot and upscale their solutions. This will include brokerage of on-the-ground contacts and testing of solutions’ feasibility in the realistic contexts of the Living Labs. Successful applicants will receive mentoring and in-kind support. In addition, individual entries may be eligible for up to €5.000 for demonstration activities and up to €16.000 for piloting activities.

The FIRE-RES Open Innovation Challenge is open until 19 November 2023.

More information
Full details of the FIRE-RES Open Innovation Competition
Living Labs involved in identifying key challenges caused by fire

Featured image: ISPI

Adopting nature-based solutions to improve the climate resilience of local governments: NBS4LOCAL, project is funded by Interreg EUROPE

The lead partner is the Ministry of Interior-Hungary, and partners are Flemish Land Agency-Belgium, Regional Council of Lapland-Finland, Rzeszow Regional Development Agency-Poland, Provincial Council of Alicante-Spain, Competence Centre Ltd. for research and development-Croatia, Burst Non-profit Limited Liability Company-Hungary, Prime Minister’s Office-Hungary.

The aim of the project is to effectively integrate nature-based solutions (NbS) into national or regional policy instruments, ensuring that local authorities view them as viable tools for development. This integration will be supported not only through regulatory measures but also through resource allocation.

Throughout the project, international partners will review policy instruments relevant to their respective regions using the same criteria. Each partner will also gather good practices related to NbS in their specific areas. These good practices will be aligned with the identified needs in the policy toolbox, fostering mutual learning and knowledge sharing. The main challenge of NBS4LOCAL is to explore how different methodological approaches and solutions can be further developed and aligned with sectoral planning tools.

Additionally, the project aims to mainstream NbS through coordination among local governments, enabling the implementation of multifunctional solutions with quantitative and measurable indicators for monitoring and evaluating the progress and effectiveness of NbS agendas. Developing such indicators will establish a foundation for these solutions’ efficient and systemic application.

Project implementation: 3/2023 – 2/2027

Project value: EUR 2.039.442,45

Learn more about Interreg Europe here.

Featured image: Uladzislau – stock.adobe