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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

FIRE-RES Open Innovation Challenge now open: support available for developing, demonstrating and piloting solutions to combat extreme wildfires in Europe

Europe is facing an increasing number of extreme wildfires, often with devastating consequences for people and the environment. These fires affect southern Europe as well as central European and Nordic countries.

As the limits of fire suppression-centred strategies become evident, practitioners, researchers, and policymakers increasingly recognise the need to develop novel approaches that expand the scope of work in this field, including the root causes and the impacts of Extreme Wildfires.

Working towards greater resilience to such extreme fires, FIRE-RES and its partners launched the FIRE-RES Open Innovation Challenge for applications aiming to address the most important challenges faced in the prevention of and preparation for, in response to, and enabling recovery after extreme wildfires.

The 11 Living Labs of FIRE-RES were assigned to identify these most pressing challenges, grouped into seven themes and 17 challenges: ‘Risk Communication and Awareness’, ‘Engagement and Empowerment’, ‘Training and Education’, ‘Management Before, During and After Extreme Wildfire Events’, ‘Monitoring’, ‘Forecasting and Decision Support’, ‘Policy and Governance’. Explore all themes and challenges here.

The Open Innovation Challenge is open to innovators, entrepreneurs, technologists, researchers, businesses of all sizes, experts, and all forward-thinking minds to step up and submit cutting-edge solutions addressing the challenges experienced by different stakeholders coping with the risks of extreme wildfires.

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.

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 their solutions’ feasibility in the realistic contexts of the Living Labs. Successful applicants will receive mentoring and in-kind support as well as, in selected cases, financial support. For the latter, a total of €168.000 is available for this Open Innovation Challenge, with individual entries being 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 (23:59 CET). For full details, please visit the website here.

Sign up for the FIRE-RES Newsletter and receive the latest updates about our activities and the Open Innovation Challenge here.

For questions about applications, 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

Be a beta tester for the Bioeconomy Solutions Platform

What’s the Forest Bioeconomy in Action Platform?

The Bioregions Facility invites beta testers to explore the pilot version of the Forest Bioeconomy in Action Platform—a community to discover solutions, learn from knowledge, and keep track of news related to carbon farming.

Innovative solutions are crucial to the development of the bioeconomy, and the platform can contribute to it. Initially, the solutions are focused on carbon farming, but the goal is to expand it to various forest bioeconomy topics.

The Facility is working with Ubuntoo, an environmental solutions platform provider, to search for relevant solutions. The platform is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and human curation, but users can also recommend solutions from other sources.

Solutions platform

The platform has about 100 solutions waiting to be explored, commented and shared. Users can filter the solutions based on “location,” “stage of development,” “seeking opportunity,” “solution theme,” and “organisation type.”

They can read an overview of the solution, check the organisation’s key contact, leave comments, and upvote or downvote the solution.

A special feature is creating a collection with chosen solutions, like a Spotify playlist but for project solutions. This collection has a unique link, and users can share the page with others.

Different knowledge products can be found in the “Learn” section, e.g., EFI publications, peer-review papers and other materials. The “News” and “Events” sections are useful for staying updated with the latest news and upcoming events.

Explore the solutions

Here’s a preview of two solutions:

Solution: SustainCERT

Overview: SustainCERT is a climate impact verifier that offers efficient and scalable certification through its technology-driven platform. A recognised authority for the Gold Standard for Global Goals, SustainCERT ensures that certified climate actions align with sustainable development goals.

SustainCERT overview on the solutions platform.

Solution: Zerticarbon app

Overview: Zerticarbon, 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. The solution has recently won the Bioregions’ Open Innovation Challenge.

Zerticarbon app overview on the solutions platform.

Become a beta tester

Are you interested in becoming a beta tester? Fill out the request form now. Selected candidates will receive an email from the Bioregions Facility to register for the platform.

As a beta tester for the Forest Bioeconomy in Action Platform, you have direct access to the latest solutions applicable to the European market. Join the movement and help us make a difference in the bioeconomy.

Do you have any questions or suggestions? Email us at efibioregions@efi.int

Here’s what you can do on the solutions platform:

Create your account

Once you receive an email with a link to access the platform:

  • Click the “Click here to register to the platform” button in the registration email. This will take you to the page to create your login credentials.
  • Follow the instructions, fill in your email address and create your password.

Log in to the platform

Log into your account using the email address and password you used to create your account.

If you missed the initial invite or it has expired, simply visit Forest Bioeconomy in Action and click “forgot password” to create a new password and log in.

In your profile

On the platform, click the triple bar icon at the upper right corner of the menu:

  • Update your name or picture in “My Profile.”
  • Check other greenhouses and collections in “My Greenhouses.”
  • Click “Take the Tour” to learn more about the platform.
  • You can also “Change Password” or “Invite a Member.”

Discover solutions

In the navigation bar, click Discover:

  • Search solutions by clicking on the button “All Filters” or
  • Use the search bar using keywords, topics, or specific names.
  • Change the view to “Map” or “Grid.”

Inside a solution:

  • Read the overview and leave comments.
  • Upvote or downvote solutions.
  • Check key contacts and visit the original website.

Create a new collection:

  • Inside each solution, you can see the “+Collection” button at the bottom of the filter section.
  • Click “+Collection.”
  • Add selected solution to a collection, or
  • Create a new collection.

Learn

In the navigation bar, click Learn → Knowledge, Events, News to browse and search for other knowledge products, latest news and upcoming events.

Connect

In the navigation bar, click Connect → Members to see other members or (You can tag other members in the comment section when reading a solution.) → Forum to start a discussion with other members.

Recommend+

In the navigation bar, click Recommend+ to suggest a new solution. Our team will review the information provided and add it to the website if it fits our requirements.

Feedback

After using the platform, we will send a Feedback form requesting users to share their thoughts and help us improve the platform.

Questions

Do you have any questions or suggestions? Email us at bioregions@efi.int

See you on the platform!

Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2023 explores multifunctional forestry and bio-based construction

To foster a stronger bioeconomy development, innovation is key to accelerating progress towards a circular, carbon-neutral economy. Bioeconomy researchers, policymakers and entrepreneurs help shape bioeconomy innovations that have the potential to bring about sustainable and transformative change for the forest-based sector.

On 4 October 2023, the European Forest InstituteBioregions Facility, Neiker and the Government of Basque Country, Spain, join to discuss pressing issues on sustainable and multifunctional forestry, advanced biomaterials and bio-based construction at the Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2023.

Financers, policymakers, and key actors in the bioeconomy innovation ecosystem, from research, business, forest management, industry, and civil society, will meet and explore new opportunities to drive the green transition. 

Start-ups, entrepreneurs, researchers, NGOs, venture and impact investors, all bioeconomy stakeholders, and society are invited to submit their innovations for a chance to pitch their solutions at the Bioeconomy Innovation Day in Bilbao, Spain.

View the agenda here (last update: 27 September 2023).

Bioeconomy innovation agenda

Looking for more events? Explore our Events page and add your favourites 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
  • 9:35 | Why Investing in the European Bioeconomy?
  • Ananya Manna, Investment Director, European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF)
  • 10:00 | Introduction to the Sessions and Networking Methodology
  • Leire Barañano, General Director, Neiker

Session 1 Sustainable and Multifunctional Forestry

  • 10:05 | Challenges and Opportunities for European Forestry
  • Bart Muys, Division Forest, Nature and Landscape, KU Leuven, Belgium
  • 10:30 | Solution providers
  • Zerticarbon: Blockchain-certified carbon sink solutions
  • HAZI: Digital tools for forest inventory and monitoring
  • Fortra: Traceability of wood products by the Xunta de Galicia
  • ArboFiRM: Digital twins of forest to mitigate forest fires by Arbonaut
  • VigilanTree: Artificial Intelligence and image classification to better understand our Ecosystems by Cesefor
  • 11:30 | Networking & coffee break

Session 2 Advanced Bio-based Materials 

  • 12:00 | Policy and Market Trends in the Material Use of Biomass
  • Michael Carus, Managing Director, nova-Institute GmbH
  • 12:25 | Solution providers
  • Evolgene: Cellulose nanocrystals for industrial and biomedical applications
  • Axalko: High-end bicycle frames made of natural fibres
  • Biorefformed: Mediterranean biorefinery to produce added value products
  • 13:30 | The Basque Green Deal and the Bioeconomy
  • Arantxa Tapia, Minister of Economic Development, Sustainability and the Environment
  • 14:00 | Lunch and networking

Session 3: A Boost for the Forest Bioeconomy Innovation Lessons from European Regions

  • 15:00 | Presentation of best cases of the acceleration and support of the bioeconomy in European regions: 
  • Irish Bioeconomy Foundation: Discovering the full potential of the Irish Bioeconomy
  • Enkarterri: New accelerating service of the bioeconomy in Euskadi
  • BioBoost: Accelerating the bioeconomy in Catalonia
  • Business Joensuu: Bioeconomy Innovation in the forest capital of Europe
  • Bioeconomy Austria: The gateway to the Austrian bioeconomy
  • Coffee, local sweets & Networking 
  • 17:30 | End of the Bioeconomy Innovation Day

More

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Woodworking industries in European regions: LIGNA 23 workshop insights

On 18 May 2023, the Bioregions Facility hosted a workshop called Woodworking Industries in European Regions: Current Situation, Development Pathways and Investment Trends at LIGNA 2023 in Hanover, Germany.

Oskar Azkarate, Baskegur, at LIGNA 2023.

The General Director of Baskegur, Oskar Azkarate, emphasised the significance of a regional bioeconomy strategy, such as the Strategic Plan for Timber in the Basque Country (PEMA in Spanish) and Basque Circular Forest-based Bioeconomy Strategy. These initiatives aim to establish a comprehensive framework for advancing forestry in the region. To illustrate, the Basque Country Forest Bioeconomy Profile developed by the Bioregions Facility provides an overview of the regional bioeconomy innovation ecosystem in the Basque Country.

Next, Martin Schwarz from Wald und Holz in North Rhine-Westphalia shared his insights. In a region with a population of approximately 18 million, wood serves as the primary construction material. With the growing need for housing and apartments in urban areas, there has been a rising demand for wooden materials in urban construction, building modernisation, refurbishment and social housing projects. The legislation now permits wooden multi-storey buildings of up to eight stories, essential for promoting sustainable development in the construction sector and reducing carbon footprint.

Developing a bioeconomy strategy and the support provided by municipalities in utilising wood is essential for the forestry sector. However, the question arises: how can we give timber a higher value? Inazio Martinez, a researcher at EFI and coordinator of the Bioregions Facility, asked Manuel García Barbero, an architect and Wood Construction Manager at CESEFOR, regarding Castilla y Léon’s approach to increasing the value of its timber.

Inazio Martinez, Bioregions Facility, and Manuel García Barbero, CESEFOR, at LIGNA 2023

“In Spain, we have forest fires, and the problem is probably the abandonment of forests. It’s been demonstrated that things that are valued are better cared for,” stated Mr Barbero. While many believe forests should be left untouched, Spain’s forests require a different perspective, as they thrive through active management. Society has adopted the notion that forests should no longer be managed. Still, this approach leads to imbalances and problems — fire plays a natural role in forests by clearing brush and eliminating dead trees, for instance.

Eduard Correal Mòdol, representing the Forest Science and Technology Centre of Catalonia, concluded the discussion by presenting how forests have been managed in Catalonia, which bears similarities to those of Castilla y León. With over 60% of the region’s land covered by forests, Catalonia faces an increasing threat from wildfires as climate change advances in Spain. It is imperative to manage forests and fires effectively while educating the public about their natural occurrence.

Participating in LIGNA has been invaluable in acquiring knowledge about sustainable wood processing practices and discovering how they can be incorporated into our work at the Bioregions Facility.

Images: Rodrigo Mendes