Regional Achievements on Boosting Bio-Based Circular Economy

Since 2017, eight partners from six countries have been working together in the BIOREGIO project to develop bio-based circular economy (CE) in their regions. As BIOREGIO is approaching its final stage, a final dissemination event was organized in May 2021.

BIOREGIO aims to improve regional policies related to bio-based CE through a number of activities (Picture 1) leading to knowledge and good practices exchange among the partners’ regions. As a result, six regional action plans to boost bio-based CE were approved. During the final dissemination event, the main BIOREGIO achievements accomplished by the partner regions were presented.

isual overview of activities BIOREGIO has conducted as well as concrete achievements in numbers for the key activities.
Picture 1. BIOREGIO achievements in numbers. BIOREGIO has achieved nine policy changes, five of them related to structural funds and four to regional policies. (Picture: Medkova 2021)

Regional Achievements and Success Stories

In the Päijät-Häme region, the Finnish team was particularly proud of the Grain Cluster good practice. They stressed the awards given to its members: the 2021 Circwaste Circular Economy Award coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) to the new Fazer´s xylitol manufacturing facility, and Teerenpeli, the best worldwide whisky producer in 2020. (Snell & Hertsi 2021.)

In Spain, thanks to BIOREGIO, the CE concept was included in the ERDF of Castilla–La Mancha 2014-2020 to fund related projects in the region. The region was the first in Spain to have a Circular Economy Law (2019). CLAMBER, the first technologically advanced biorefinery at a demonstration-scale was selected as the most interesting and successful good practice. (Sánchez-Mayoral 2021.)

The Region of Central Macedonia, Greece has recently joined the BIC Bioeconomy Platform to foster the sustainable biomass feedstock supply and to feed both existing and new value chains. The region will thus extend the BIOREGIO collaboration with more than 50 European regions that face the same challenges in terms of the bio-based CE. (Kiskini 2021.)

Mosaic of pictures related to bio-based circular economy – biogas production, field biowaste and animals, map of BIOREGIO partners, an official invitation picture to the BIOREGIO final dissemination event.
Picture 2. Identified good practices (altogether 47) and knowledge exchange have been highly inspirational to all partner regions. (Picture: Rouhiainen 2018, modified by Katerina Medkova)

In the Nitra Self-Governing region, Slovakia, the bio-based CE was included in the regional policy instruments already in the initial stages of BIOREGIO implementation inspired by the Päijät-Häme CE Roadmap. Bio-based CE is regarded as a strong element in strategic development documents. (Šaturová & Marišová 2021.)

For the Sud Muntenia region, Romania, the opportunity to see good practices on-site and being able to talk directly to stakeholders has been especially inspiring. Such knowledge gain has contributed to the development of new policies to support bio-based CE in the region. The National Recovery and Resilience Plan for Romania includes the development of a CE strategy as well as funding instruments, therefore, this sector may grow considerably in the next years. (Frincu 2021.)

The Pays de la Loire region, France focused on four areas: 1. Raising awareness among civil society and private sector. 2. Support circular bioeconomy initiatives through the Regional Call for CE projects. 3. Enhancing the dialogue between local authorities and stakeholders. 4. Identifying the most relevant sectors and analyze the interactions between actors to develop the bio-based CE. The most appreciated was to work with passionate people and contribute to the regional dynamics of circular bioeconomy. (Bailet 2021.)

Author

Katerina Medkova works as an RDI specialist at LAB University of Applied Sciences and is the BIOREGIO Project and Communication Manager. BIOREGIO – Regional circular economy models and best available technologies for biological streams, is an Interreg Europe-funded project, which started in January 2017 and lasts until December 2021. LAB University of Applied Sciences acts as BIOREGIO lead partner.

References

Bailet, N. 2021. BIOREGIO achievements and Action Plan implementation in Pays de la Loire, France. Presentation given at BIOREGIO high-level dissemination event on 11 May 2021. [Cited 31 May 2021]. Available at: https://www.interregeurope.eu/bioregio/library/#folder=2964

Frincu, M. 2021. BIOREGIO achievements and Action Plan implementation in Sud Muntenia Region, Romania. Presentation given at BIOREGIO high-level dissemination event on 11 May 2021. [Cited 31 May 2021]. Available at: https://www.interregeurope.eu/bioregio/library/#folder=2964

Kiskini, Ch. 2021. BIOREGIO achievements and Action Plan implementation in Region of Central Macedonia, Greece. Presentation given at BIOREGIO high-level dissemination event on 11 May 2021. [Cited 31 May 2021]. Available at: https://www.interregeurope.eu/bioregio/library/#folder=2964

Sánchez-Mayoral, F. C. 2021. BIOREGIO achievements and Action Plan implementation in Castilla-La Mancha, Spain. Presentation given at BIOREGIO high-level dissemination event on 11 May 2021. [Cited 31 May 2021]. Available at: https://www.interregeurope.eu/bioregio/library/#folder=2964

Snell, J. & Hertsi, J. 2021. BIOREGIO achievements and Action Plan implementation in Päijät–Häme Region, Finland. Presentation given at BIOREGIO high-level dissemination event on 11 May 2021. [Cited 31 May 2021]. Available at: https://www.interregeurope.eu/bioregio/library/#folder=2964

Šaturová, I. & Marišová, E. 2021. BIOREGIO achievements and Action Plan implementation in Nitra Self-Governing Region, Slovakia. Presentation given at BIOREGIO high-level dissemination event on 11 May 2021. [Cited 31 May 2021]. Available at: https://www.interregeurope.eu/bioregio/library/#folder=2964

Links

Link 1. Interreg Europe. 2021a. Project Summary. BIOREGIO. [Cited 30 May 2021]. Available at: https://www.interregeurope.eu/bioregio/

Link 2. LAB Focus. 2021. BIOREGIO High-level Dissemination Event. [Cited 9 Jun 2021]. Available at: https://blogit.lab.fi/labfocus/en/bioregio-high-level-dissemination-event/

Link 3. Interreg Europe. 2021b. Action Plans. BIOREGIO. [Cited 30 Mar 2021]. Available at: https://www.interregeurope.eu/bioregio/action-plans/

Link 4. Interreg Europe. 2021c. Good practice: The Grain Cluster – a cooperation model between companies. [Cited 30 Mar 2021]. Available at: https://www.interregeurope.eu/policylearning/good-practices/item/75/the-grain-cluster-a-cooperation-model-between-companies/

Link 5. Interreg Europe. 2021d. Good practice: Regional road map towards circular economy. [Cited 30 Mar 2021]. Available at: https://www.interregeurope.eu/policylearning/good-practices/item/145/regional-road-map-towards-circular-economy/

Pictures

Picture 1. Katerina Medkova: BIOREGIO achievements in numbers. 2021. Bio- and Circular Economies – Complementary Concepts. [Cited 9 Jun 2021]. Available at: https://blogit.lab.fi/labfocus/en/bio-and-circular-economies-complementary-concepts/

Picture 2. Oona Rouhiainen: Biological resources create the foundation for the bio-based circular economy. 2018. Lahti Circular Economy Annual Review 2018. [Cited 18 Mar 2021]. Available at: https://www.interregeurope.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/tx_tevprojects/library/file_1543827383.pdf

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