This report provides the context and justification for the development of BE-Rural's Sustainability Screening, a description of its methodological procedure, and the syntheses of results from the two experimental implementations of the approach in the Stara Zagora and Vidzeme regions, which are included in full as annexes to this report. The last chapters present the main lessons learned from these two pilots and the overall conclusions of the task.
Rural regions in Southeastern and Eastern Europe are facing multiple challenges such as a rural exodus, aging populations, a declining industrial base and low innovation performance. As such, they are particularly vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change. In response to this, stakeholders in the five BE-Rural regions developed bioeconomy strategies and roadmaps for enhanced rural development. This publication presents short summaries of the regional strategies and roadmaps focusing on the regional context in terms of available natural resources, the social, economic and political context, the strategy development process and the priorities outlined in the strategies.
In this publication, we present the results of an acceptance study in two case study regions in Germany. We investigated farmers' and other soil experts' perceptions of subsoil amelioration as an approach to adapt to climate change. In addition, we analyzed the factors that influence their willingness to adopt specific measures to improve the subsoil. Applying q-method and focus groups, we surveyed overall 86 actors in the agricultural sector. The article is published in Frontiers in Agronomy, Volume 3, April 2021 and is available for download.
This paper provides three recommendations to improve the public acceptance of bio-based products and processes. These recommendations are accompanied by concrete actions and good practice examples, based on stakeholder feedback received during the BIOBRIDGES project (2018-2020), relevant results of other EU-funded projects, as well as the results of a targeted literature review.
Bioeconomy currently enjoys a high political priority; at the same time, the concept, which last received a boost in 2018 in the form of the updated EU Bioeconomy Strategy, is not without controversy and contains many conflicting goals. This is where the article by Zoritza Kiresiewa (Ecologic Institute), Franziska Wolff and Martin Möller (both Öko-Institut e.V.) comes in. The authors argue that bioeconomy can only contribute to the achievement of sustainability goals if the political framework is appropriate. Whether or not strategies will have an impact depends on each individual case. Bioeconomy pathways should be designed and tested accordingly.
In this publication for the German Federal Environment Agency, the project team (Oeko-Institut, Ecologic Institute, University of Mannheim and the Institute of Development Studies) formulates requirements for a sustainable bioeconomy from the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda. They highlight that the policy goals behind specific implementation have a major impact on the sustainability of the bioeconomy. The positive potential can be unlocked primarily through goals such as ensuring global food security and reducing fossil fuels.
While circular processes offer potential for small and large companies, such processes are not (yet) established across the board. For circular processes to be applied widespread, exchange between science and companies must be improved. As part of an national research project funding scheme on the sustainable economy, three workshops were dedicated to businesses and science actors to exchange information on sustainability innovations along value chains. This German paper summarises experiences made and lessons learned from these workshops.
With the recent update of its Bioeconomy Strategy, the guidance of its advisory bodies and the engagement of regional groups and representatives, Europe has found a new track towards a sustainable bioeconomy, building on the notion that regions are the most appropriate territorial level at which to implement bioeconomy strategies. The BE-Rural project incorporates this regional focus into its core vision, putting its regional Open Innovation Platforms (OIPs) front and center in the process of studying the potential for regional bioeconomies, and articulating and implementing strategies to make them a reality.
This report outlines the conceptual framework of BE-Rural and provides practical guidance to the design and implementation of the five regional Open Innovation Platforms (OIPs) within BE-Rural. This conceptual framework aims to provide guidance regarding the overall ambition of BE-Rural, and the foundations by which the project will operate throughout its duration. The first part of this document describes the context, objectives and regional focus to be taken within the project. The second part outlines key concepts and founding principles that lay at the heart of the project. Following this, the conceptual framework of BE-Rural is presented and discussed.
This research report examines the concrete goals of bioeconomy policies, which actors are involved, which positions these actors take, which arguments for and against bioeconomy strategies are used, and which ethical implications the promotion of the bioeconomy could have.
Hidden beneath the humus-rich topsoil, the subsoil usually receives little attention in agricultural practice. Yet, plants cover between 10 and 80% of their nutrient and water needs from subsoils. Measures to improve the subsoil could help in bridging droughts and stabilising yields. But how do farmers and other societal actors perceive different methods for subsoil management? Ecologic Institutes's Ana Frelih-Larsen, Mandy Hinzmann and Sophie Ittner published the first exploratory research results on the societal acceptance of subsoil management in the open access journal Sustainability.
This brochure includes a set of infographics presenting the top 20 innovative bio-based products in Europe. Through an assessment of the active marketplace, EU-based development, innovation degree and market potential, the top 20 most innovative BBPs holding the greatest promise for commercial deployment within the next 5–10 years were identified. This selection includes engineering materials, new bioplastics, high added-value products for demanding applications in the pharmaceutical and biomedical fields as well as sustainable substitutes for critical raw materials. The brochure is available for download.
Bio-based industries aim to convert biological inputs, residue and wastes into greener everyday products. The industry is small compared to more traditional ones and it is a nascent industry undergoing rapid developments. Developing bio-based products demand technological innovations and market development. The fifteen success stories of specific bio-based products in this brochure, span over nine EU Member States, and they cover a wide range of products and applications. The brochure is available for download.
Green growth brings about multiple social and economic benefits. Together with Ecofys, Ecologic Institute produced a brochure, which highlights examples of green growth that stem from a range of sectors (energy, buildings, transport, agriculture and industry) and are located throughout Central, Eastern and Southern Europe. The brochure presents cutting-edge technologies, forward-thinking entrepreneurs, smart combinations of financing options, and innovative project designs. The brochure is available for download.
Stakeholder and public engagement are key elements of EU policy development, as well as of responsible research and innovation. Over a period of three years, BioSTEP has designed and implemented a wide range of citizen and stakeholder engagement activities regarding the development of Europe's bioeconomy. This paper, edited by Ecologic Institute's Holger Gerdes and Zoritza Kiresiewa, presents a set of research recommendations, which builds on the lessons learned from the application of BioSTEP's participatory tools. The BioSTEP research recommendations are available for download.
The video "Innovative Bio-based Products: Investment, Environmental Impacts and Future Perspectives" invites you to the eponymous conference, which will take place in Brussels on 6 June 2018. In addition to providing logistical information, it contains information on the conference's content and the target audience.
Building on the idea - namely that an open and informed dialogue on complex topics such as the bioeconomy and engaging with variety of stakeholders and the general public may bring the concept of the bioeconomy closer to the society - BioSTEP experimented with different participatory tools including workshops, living lab activities, and exhibitions. This report describes the lessons learned from BioSTEP’s engagement activities and provides recommendations for future EU research.
Recent Multimedia Publications by Ecologic Institute
This international conference provides an opportunity to learn and exchange knowledge on the topic of microplastics in soils and is aimed at scientists and decision-makers alike. The first day of the event focuses on the state of the science, the second day on identifying policy solutions and recommendations for action at the European and international level. This hybrid event will take place on 19 and 20 October 2022 in Berlin (Germany), allowing for both in-person and online participation. We are looking forward to your registration.
Nature-based Solutions (NBS) for EU cities and regions represent an integral part of the EU's transition to achieving climate neutrality. In this panel, moderated by Ecologic Institute's McKenna Davis, experts will discuss effective, just and inclusive strategies to design, implement and manage NBS, while engaging under-represented or marginalised stakeholders. Panellists will discuss successful, inclusive NBS co-creation processes and opportunities for upscaling through concrete public commitments under the European Climate Pact. The event is part of the European Week of Regions and Cities, we look forward to your registration.
This webinar presents and discusses a report by Ecologic Institute on national frameworks for CDR. The report assesses the CDR policy frameworks of all 27 Member States and makes recommendations on how to improve them.