NEW HORIZON EUROPE PROJECT TO BOOST BIOECONOMY IN CENTRAL EASTERN EUROPEAN AND BALTIC COUNTRIES

NEW HORIZON EUROPE PROJECT TO BOOST BIOECONOMY IN CENTRAL EASTERN EUROPEAN AND BALTIC COUNTRIES

On the 31st of January 2024, the BOOST4BIOEAST project – BOOSTing the bioeconomy transformation FOR (4) the BIOEAST- region has officially kicked off its activities in an online meeting which will be supporting the BIOEAST Initiative in the next three years.
The BOOST4BIOEAST project – coordinated by the Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (ÖMKi) – aims to empower national stakeholders in the Central Eastern European and Baltic countries for the development of national bioeconomy action plans and to build long-lasting structures and spaces of dialogue for national and macro-regional cooperation. The 30 partners of the project cover all BIOEAST countries and countries from Western Europe (Belgium, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and Spain) have been included to stimulate dialogue and knowledge exchange throughout different regions.

The project follows the footsteps of its predecessor, the BIOEASTsUP H2020 project, building upon its outcomes that laid the foundation for macro-regional networking among bioeconomy experts and policymakers through the development of its Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) and 11 Bioeconomy Concept Papers.

THE BIOEAST HUBS AND THEIR ROLE IN BOOSTING BIOECONOMY
At the core of the project, there is the need to establish or improve national bioeconomy expert communities (BIOEAST HUBs) as focal points of capacity building and catalyst for stakeholder engagement at national level for decision-making through participatory processes. The BIOEAST HUBs will be linked to public administrations, ensuring a direct and efficient link to policymaking that highlights the relevance of the solutions identified by the HUBs’ actions. In the next three years, the HUBs will be engaged in the development of national bioeconomy action plans validated by public administrations, and in fostering national bioeconomy innovation ecosystems through cross-sectoral collaboration, capacity building and facilitating access to knowledge and networks to all bioeconomy stakeholders. Furthermore, at macro-regional level, they will contribute to the specific strategic areas of the BIOEAST Thematic Working Groups in updating the BIOEAST SRIA of 2022 (developed in the BIOEASTsUP project).

ENRICHING KNOWLEDGE ON BIOECONOMY WITH A MULTIDIMENSIONAL ASSESSMENT AND THE KNOWLEDGE PLATFORM
BOOST4BIOEAST will undertake a wide mapping of biomass availability, usage, bioeconomy competences, educational needs, and innovation systems with the goal of promoting knowledge on bioeconomy in the macro-region. Moreover, a BIOEAST Knowledge Platform will be set up to act as a central point to find knowledge materials and relevant information on bioeconomy. The Platform will be open and tailor-made to the needs of BIOEAST countries, allowing wide range of its bioeconomy actors to access, share and store materials on national languages, therefore, stimulating active contributions and knowledge sharing in and across each member states.

STIMULATING BIOECONOMY RESEARCH AND INNOVATION
Given the great importance that innovation and education have in promoting and reinforcing bioeconomy activities, the project sets also the ambitious objective to bring together public and private funders with entrepreneurs and young professionals to provide exposure to business opportunities through a macro-regional Open Innovation Challenge (OIC) and pitching events. The project will also expand activities of the Network of Bioeconomy Universities in the BIOEAST (BIOEAST UniNet) to support stronger collaboration between universities and educational institutions of the macro-region in order to integrate bioeconomy into their educational profile. Moreover, the project will continue to rely on the already existing, macro-regional expert-policy networks, the seven Thematic Working Groups (Agroecology & Sustainable Yields, Bioenergy & New Value-Added Materials, Food Systems, Forestry Value Chain, Freshwater-based Economy, Advanced Biobased Materials and Bioeconomy Education), set up by the BIOEASTsUP project to work on priority research topics on the macro-regional level to facilitate more inclusive decision-making and to develop sustainability strategies for TWGs and national HUBs to secure their long-term functioning.

THE ANNUAL BIOEAST BIOECONOMY CONFERENCE
To kick-start the community-building and establishment of the national expert networks , the BOOST4BIOEAST project and the BIOEAST Initiative will organize the Annual BIOEAST Bioeconomy Conference on 6-7 March 2024 in Budapest, Hungary. The theme of the event will be “The role of national HUBs in national and macro-regional bioeconomy policies and R&I priorities in the BIOEAST countries”.
The conference aims to bring together a wide range of stakeholders from the BIOEAST countries, coming from all bioeconomy related fields and with varied professional and academic background.
The Conference will promote information about latest updates from the BIOEAST Initiative in the context of ongoing European and upcoming EU presidency priorities, to provide practical knowledge, in order to kick-start and facilitate collaboration, and present opportunities in joint programming initiatives.
More information and the registration to the conference is available here.

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