CIRCE coordinates this initiative in which eleven countries will promote the use of local waste and natural resources as raw material, reducing their dependence on oil
Speaking of bioeconomics means talking about a sector in full development and with great potential, in which around 2 billion euros are moved and employs almost 22 million people in Europe. In this context, there are still many regions that do not take advantage of, or do so to a small extent, the potential of their environment to create sustainable products alternative to those already existing of fossil origin. To help these regions boost the bioeconomy in their territories and make that transition in a realistic and competitive way, POWER4BIO is born, a project financed with 3 million euros by the European Commission through the Horizon2020 program.
The project is coordinated from Spain by CIRCE, who will work with 16 other entities from eleven European countries to exploit the potential of the bioeconomy, promoting rural development, the creation of highly qualified jobs, and the independence of fossil sources. The activities of the project will be carried out in five regions of central and eastern Europe and five in the west – among which is Andalusia – with the aim that any other European region can benefit from the results obtained. Together, the ten regions involved represent a population of around 88 million inhabitants, a GDP of 2.4 billion euros and an area of almost 450,000 square kilometers.
To achieve its objectives, POWER4BIO will provide the regions with the tools and guides necessary to implement solid, sustainable and competitive bioeconomy strategies in the short term through the use of mature technologies. For this, agroforestry and agricultural waste (biomass) and other sectors will be used. The variety of participating regions will allow the development of strategies that serve the rest of Europe, so that each region can adapt the raw materials to be used depending on the resources of its environment.
These naturally-based raw materials will allow the development of more new sustainable products, or replace the components with the greatest environmental impact on current products. Among the sectors that may benefit from these new business models based on the bioeconomy are textile, plastic, automotive, human and animal food, or the fertilizer industry, among many others.
The project will begin with a mapping of the waste and raw materials that each region has, as well as the capacities (knowledge, business network, logistics network, etc.) available to make the transition to the bioeconomy effective. Additionally, an analysis of current technologies that can be used to exploit and transform available raw materials will be carried out. The cases of good practice that have already been carried out in Europe will then be analyzed and compiled, and roadmaps and guides will be developed to help regions understand, identify and select the most appropriate solutions for the development of their bioeconomy. local.
On the other hand, normative and social aspects will also be analyzed, in order to address some of the barriers that are slowing the launch of the bioeconomy in Europe, such as the lack of driving policies at the regional level or the distrust of consumers final towards this type of products.
With all this, CIRCE and the rest of the technical partners will accompany the regions in the design of their corresponding bioeconomy strategies, based on all previously acquired knowledge. In addition, these partners will design a training program to promote the training of regional technicians around these issues.
The ultimate goal is to develop a set of tools that can be used by any other region and foster interregional collaboration, both within the same country and between countries, creating a sustainable socio-economic system through efficient use of the natural resources of the environment. .
Launch of the project
Last week CIRCE, coordinator of POWER4BIO, held the project launch meeting in Brussels. It was attended by more than thirty representatives of the entities that make up the consortium, belonging to Germany, Belgium, Slovakia, Spain, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic and Ukraine.
The main task of the meeting has been to plan the main works to begin the analysis of the regions, as well as the requirements that they must have in order to make an effective transition to the bioeconomy.