What forestry model do we want in Europe?

What forestry model do we want in Europe?

On 14 March 2024, from 9:00 to 17:30 CET, Union de Selvicultores del Sur de Europa (USSE), HAZI and the Basque Country Government will organise the What Forest Model Do We Want in Europe Congress in Kursaal Congress Center, Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain.

Lectures on forests in a global political context, the EU’s vision on forests facing climate change, and European Forest Policy are among the topics covered in the programme followed by engaging roundtables.

Check the programme of the Congress here.

International Symposium ‘Autochthonous hardwoods, the resilience of the forest sector?’

International Symposium ‘Autochthonous hardwoods, the resilience of the forest sector?’

From 28 February to 1 March 2024, in Lugo, Spain the International Symposium ‘Autochthonous hardwoods, the resilience of the forest sector?’ will take place.

The event aims to exchange knowledge about innovations in hardwoods across Europe and discuss decision support tools and resilience assessments for improving the resilience of the forest value chain in Galicia.

Visit the website to learn more and download the agenda in English here.

Photo by Jan Huber on Unsplash.


The 20th Symposium on Systems Analysis in Forest Resources ( SSAFR 2024)

The 20th Symposium on Systems Analysis in Forest Resources (SSAFR 2024)

Happening on 13–17 May  2024 in Hondarribia, Basque Country, Spain, the 20th Symposium on Systems Analysis in Forest Resources (SSAFR) will focus on remote sensing, forest modelling, management and planning and much more.

Since 1975, SSAFR has been the premier international forum for forest systems analysis, operations research (OR) and decision science.

The SSAFR community has been the primary contributor to almost all key forest management and planning research during the past century, e.g., harvest scheduling, supply chain, forest health, spatial optimization, wildland fire risk management, simulation, stochastic process, and forest and fire economics. The SSAFR community also embraces the opportunities of emerging new data science technologies and the challenges of global climate change.

SSAFR is an inclusive and diverse international community that welcomes collaborators and speakers from different countries and backgrounds. SSAFR is also committed to providing a supportive environment for new forest students and researchers. This year, the symposium will be organized together with the annual conference organized by the DecisionES project.

This 20th  symposium will accept abstracts related to the following subjects:

Learn more

Photo bsasha64f – stock.adobe.com

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

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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



Perceptions on the bioeconomy in Catalonia

The Bioregions Facility launched, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food of Catalonia, Spain, a survey in Catalonia targeting government, industry and research sectors from 29 September to 1 December 2022 in Catalan.

The survey sought to understand how these sectors perceive the bioeconomy, its benefits, and its challenges. Some of the key findings are the following:

  • Participants perceive the bioeconomy as a promising economic model highly related to a circular economy and providing several environmental benefits.
  • Bioeconomy is perceived to be highly linked to circularity, biomass use for multiple purposes, and sustainable land management.
  • Catalan business and policy actors suggest that bioenergy is the region’s bioeconomy sector with the highest potential for growth.
  • Participants indicate that the government and industry are equally responsible for research, development, and innovation investments.
  • According to respondents, the bioeconomy has the strongest goal alignment with climate change mitigation & adaptation, circular economy, clean energy, and rural development. Technological innovation and biodiversity conservation are other policy areas with very high overlap with bioeconomy.

Learn more about the Government and industry bioeconomy survey and ways to implement the survey in your region.

Perceptions on the bioeconomy in Catalonia, Spain

Content: a bioeconomy report targeting government and industry in Catalonia, Spain

Author(s): Siebe Briers, Inazio Martinez de Arano

Year: 2023

Learn more

How alternative proteins and new ways of forest valorisation can help the environment?

The BIT Congress (Congrés BIT in Catalan) will be held on 28–29 September 2023 in Lleida, Spain. This year’s theme is focused on “special alternative protein and forest valorisation.”

The Congrés BIT 2023 Lleida Edition brings together experts and entrepreneurs from the bioeconomy industry to explore the latest innovations and business projects. Aiming to strengthen the ecosystem of companies, technology and research centres, entrepreneurs and start-ups in the Catalan region, thereby promoting growth and progress in these key sectors.

Check out the preliminary agenda (last update: 6 July 2023):


Day 1: Thursday (28 September 2023)

9:00–9:30 | Opening doors and accreditations

9:30–10:00 | Welcome event and inauguration of the Congrés BIT 2023 Lleida Edition

10:00–10:30 | Inaugural session

10:30–10:50 | Presentation on the capacity mapping study in alternative protein processing in Catalonia

10:50–11:15 | The vision and the role of companies in alternative protein value chains and new ways of forest valorisation

11:15–11:45 | Coffee break

11:45–12:15 | Sessions

Alternative protein (1) – Strategic vision of human nutrition: trends and challenges

New ways of forest valorisation (1) – Strategic vision of forest valorisation: trends and challenges

12:15–13:30 | Sessions

Alternative protein (2) – New raw materials for human nutrition

New ways of forest valorisation (2) – Carbon markets: perspectives, methodologies and standards for quantification

13:30–15:00 | Lunch-networking

15:00–16:15 | Sessions

Alternative protein (3) – Transformation processes and technologies

New ways of forest valorisation (3) – Forest biorefineries: the road to industrialisation

16:15–17:30 | Sustainability is profitable: bioECONOMY.

Day 2: Friday (29 September 2023)

9:30–11:00 | Services and capacities of universities and technological centres

11:00–11:30 | Coffee break

11:30–12:00 | BIOHUB CAT presentation

12:00–13:30 | Rock Stars: leaders of the bioeconomy

13:30–13:45 | Final remarks of the Congrés BIT 2023 Lleida Edition

13:45–14:00 | Closing

14:00–15:30 | Lunch-networking

16:00 | BIT Expo Conference (FIRA)

Visit the Congrés BIT 2023 website for the latest updates, news and speakers.

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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 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.

Smart City Expo World Congress 2023

Held in Barcelona since 2011, Smart City Expo World Congress is the world’s biggest and most influential event for cities and urban innovation. Every year, we gather leaders from the most innovative companies, governments and organizations to move cities towards a better future. Our goal is to collectivize urban innovation across the globe and empower cities to face the critical challenges the world faces today.

We’re on a mission to accelerate a brighter urban paradigm towards green, efficient and thriving cities that leave no one behind.

Learn more.

Image by SCEWC 2022.

Congrés BIT 2023 Lleida Edition

On 28–29 September 2023, the second edition of Congrés BIT 2023 will be hosted in Lleida, Spain. The topics will focus on the alternative protein and forest valorisation routes. Two days packed with the latest science, experts and entrepreneurs from the bioeconomy industry to explore the latest innovations and business projects.

Check out the preliminary programme here.

Photo by Congrés BIT 2023