The overall goal of BRANCHES is to foster knowledge transfer and innovation in agriculture, forestry and rural areas, enhancing the viability and competitiveness of biomass supply chains and promoting innovative technologies, rural bioeconomy solutions, and sustainable agricultural and forest management.
This will be achieved by applying a participatory, multi-actor approach which engages relevant stakeholders across the various targeted value chains, combined with a strong dissemination, exploitation and communication strategy which will share the activities and results of BRANCHES. This will ultimately result in improved energy efficiency within biomass supply chains, and the energy self-sufficiency of farms will be improved, while energy-related costs will be minimized.
Research on creating a strong, self-sufficient, circular and sustainable bioeconomy has accelerated during the last ten years and a vast amount of knowledge has been generated. However, due to the multiple sectors and complex value chains involved, a significant part of that valuable information is in danger of remaining untapped, due to insufficient communication between experts on these advances, and practitioners, i.e. the potential end-users of this knowledge, such as farmers, foresters and entrepreneurs. The practitioners are expected to supply raw materials and endorse the strengthening of a sustainable bioeconomy as a major aspect of rural development in their regions, but require improved networks such as those developed in BRANCHES, in order to facilitate knowledge exchange and uptake.
The main objectives of the project are:
To identify, summarize, share and present the existing best practices and research results to farmers, foresters and practitioners in bioeconomy
To increase implementation of cost-efficient new technologies by enhancing active knowledge transfer between practitioners and researchers;
To mobilize more biomass and create new business opportunities in rural areas by improving and strengthening the connection between practice and science of bio-based economies
To apply a multidisciplinary, multi-actor approach through its partnership and extended network activating practitioners to work together with project partners and each other’s in BRANCHES networks;
To offer a channel for two-way flow of information, new ideas and technologies within European agriculture and forestry practitioners and multipliers in rural areas.
To point out needs identified and entrepreneurial elements relevant for practitioners through a bottom-up and a top-down approach (the bottom-up approach will gather implemented practices and the most urgent needs from particular practitioners; the top-down approach will collect experiences and results from earlier and ongoing EU and national projects).
To promote the bioeconomy and rural development through new bio-based initiatives, by employing networking
CIRCE participates in BRANCHES as expert scientist entity in herbaceous and woody agro-biomass, taking leadership in aspects related to pruning and plantation removal wood (from vineyards, olive and fruit plantations) and also as expert scientist in biomass conversion and valorisation.
As specialist, CIRCE leads WP1 participating in the identification of best practices related to biomass pruning utilization and supply chains (compilation of data and knowledge transfer from EuroPruning, SUCELLOG projects, among others).