Meet the winners of the Bioregions Open Innovation Challenge

On 3 July 2023, The European Forest Institute (EFI) announced the winners of the Bioregions Open Innovation Challenge, launched in December 2022. The three winners from Finland, Serbia and Spain will receive EUR 7,000 each to further develop their solutions. 

Here are the winners in alphabetical order: 

Biomonitoring station 

The biomonitoring station is a set of sensors and modules to collect, store and disseminate data on environmental stressors disturbing and damaging forest ecosystems. Some examples include monitoring air pollution, detecting early forest fires, and checking unwanted vehicles along forest roads. 

“This biomonitoring station aims to contribute to the integrity of forest-related data. Therefore, foresters become data providers of direct air pollution impact instead of end users. This tool can bring early warnings on agents of negative impact on forests that are closely connected to the effects of climate change,” said Dr Zoran Poduška, Institute of Forestry, Belgrade, Serbia and winner of the Open Innovation Challenge. 

Ozone sensor in a forest. Hand holding it is Zoran Poduška from Serbia and winner of the bioregions open innovation challenge
Ozone sensor from biomonitoring station. Image courtesy of Zoran Poduška.

Förecast 

Förecast is a forest intelligence tool that estimates carbon stock availability in the forest and measures other forest variables using remote sensing (LiDAR + satellite) and artificial intelligence developed by the Spanish company Föra. 

“Carbon is one of the most important forest variables nowadays; estimating forest carbon is of utmost importance to create stable markets through forest knowledge and scientific soundness,” says Iñigo Lizarralde, CEO of Föra. 

5 people in an office. 4 are chatting: 2 men and 2 women. One man is on the desk looking at a laptop screen. Föra team was one of the winners of the bioregions open innovation challenge.
Föra team. Image courtesy of Iñigo Lizarralde.

This carbon estimation tool can be used as input for forest scenarios where wood products and carbon sequestration over their life cycle are included. They also offer change detection for vegetation disturbance, allowing for transparent carbon stock monitoring – assuring the market offers verifiable carbon offsets along the established offsetting period. 

ZertiCarbon app 

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.

Group of eight people in the forest next to a harvesting machine.
ZertiCarbon team. Image courtesy of Panu Torniainen.

By digitising forests and using advanced technologies like drone scanning, LiDAR, machine learning, augmented reality, and AI to analyse the forest’s carbon sinks, the Finnish company ZertiCarbon provides a system where individuals and companies can offset their carbon emissions by purchasing carbon credits. 

ZertiCarbon plans to scale up its solution by focusing on conducting research and developing carbon sink projects in Catalonia and Euskadi. 

According to co-founder and managing director Panu Torniainen, “Access to these regions allows us to establish partnerships with landowners, implement advanced technologies and create transparent and reliable carbon offsetting systems that benefit both the environment and local communities.” 

Quotes from the winners about their solutions have been edited for content and clarity. 

Sign up for the Bioregions Facility InfoFlash to receive the latest news and updates on the next Open Innovation Challenge, and follow the Facility on LinkedIn and Twitter. 

Image by Daniela from Pixabay.

Uplink Forest and Health Challenge

The World Economic Forum Uplink has launched the Forest and Health Challenge in partnership with Manulife and 1t.org, looking for solutions linking forest and human health.

NGOs and businesses are welcome to submit their solutions by 17 July 2023 and help forests thrive. Solutions can range from nature-based recreation and creating more green spaces in urban areas to forest products with medicinal benefits.

How can forests make us happier and healthier? We’re looking for your solutions.
Source: Uplink

What are the benefits?

  • Technical and networking support
  • Chance to receive funding up to USD 150,000

Funded by Manulife and supported by 1t.org, American ForestsHealth in HarmonyTherme One Health GmbHUniversity of Washington.

Alpha Innovation Platform

If you are a company, this is where you find your Alpha Innovation Challenges. 

As an expert, startupper, researcher, intrapreneur or student, here you can contribute to the challenges. 

Take your opportunity and create an Alpha Innovation account. Once you have completed your registration, the Alpha Innovation Platform is yours. It gives you access to the Alpha Innovation Challenges to interact with stakeholders, consult ideas, leave comments, and vote for solutions.

More information

Concurso Iniciativas innovadoras para impulsar la bioeconomía del Gobierno Vasco

La iniciativa está dirigida a start-ups y personas emprendedoras con un negocio o idea basada en la bioeconomía que, en caso de ser seleccionadas, participarán en la incubadora de proyectos del Centro de Empresas e Innovación de Güeñes.

¿Formas parte de una start-up o eres una persona emprendedora con un proyecto o idea de negocio en el ámbito de la bioeconomía?

Si es así, a partir de hoy puedes solicitar tu participación en el concurso de iniciativas puesto en marcha por el Gobierno Vasco, a través de HAZI, para captar ideas e iniciativas empresariales que impulsen el crecimiento económico en la comarca de Enkarterri.

La iniciativa, encuadrada dentro del Plan Estratégico Comarcal Enkarterri 2030, pretende generar proyectos innovadores en tres ámbitos: la cadena agroalimentaria, la cadena forestal y la economía circular. El objetivo es poner en valor los recursos naturales como motor económico en una zona con un sector primario muy especializado y con una superficie arbolada que abarca más de la mitad del territorio.

Este concurso de iniciativas cuenta con un presupuesto de 1.500.000 euros, que premiará las mejores ideas y proyectos empresariales y ofrecerá acompañamiento y servicios especializados a lo largo de todo el proceso de emprendimiento, desde la incubación de la idea hasta el lanzamiento al mercado del producto o servicio.

Más información

Bioregions Open Innovation Challenge 2022 launched!

Submit a solution to our forest bioeconomy challenges and make chance to win a grant for developing your idea!

Bioregions Open innovation Challenges provide a framework to identify and support the development and scaling-up of innovative solutions (technologies, business ideas, etc.) to pressing challenges in forests management and the forest bioeconomy. Its final objective is to facilitate sustainable transitions in European regions putting into value the full range of ecosystem services provided by forests. The Bioregions Open Innovation Challenge 2022 focuses on following challenges:

• Carbon Farming & Climate-Smart Forestry

• Forest Monitoring, Early Warning and Response

• Unleash the potential of Non-Wood Forest Products