Final Report Summary – BISO (Support to Policies – Set Up of a Bioeconomy Observatory (BISO project: Bioeconomy Information System and Observatory))

Final Report Summary – BISO (Support to Policies – Set Up of a Bioeconomy Observatory (BISO project: Bioeconomy Information System and Observatory))

Main topic: Criteria/indicators/ data /estimations related to bioeconomy
Document / search engine: Final Report Summary – BISO (Support to Policies – Set Up of a Bioeconomy Observatory (BISO project: Bioeconomy Information System and Observatory))
Framework project: Support to Policies - Set Up of a Bioeconomy Observatory (BISO project: Bioeconomy Information System and Observatory)
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The three-year Bioeconomy Information System Observatory (BISO) project ran from March 2013 to February 2016. It was funded with a budget of € 1 500 000 by the 7th Framework Programme. An administrative arrangement between DG RTD and JRC defined the project’s work programme. Its project team comprised staff of three JRC units (A2/H6, H8 and J4).

At the end of its lifetime, the achievements of the BISO project include the following:

+ The research, stakeholder and dissemination activities of BISO have helped raising awareness for the topic “bioeconomy” and establishing the European Commission as an important partner for Member States, regions and researchers looking for guidance in further developing bioeconomy strategies.

+ A methodological framework, access to data sets and analysis of strategic sectors have enhanced the available knowledge and information about the state and potential of the EU bioeconomy.

+ BISO organised three stakeholder events with between 30 and more than 100 participants. In addition, the BISO team
-attended Bioeconomy and Biomass Interservice Group (ISG) meetings;
-presented the Observatory and its activities at numerous relevant events and conferences;
-coordinated and cooperated with customer DGs (mainly RTD, AGRI and GROW), Member States, EU regions, international partners and bioeconomy stakeholder groups in the framework of events and bilateral meetings.
-organised three consultation workshops specifically dedicated to environmental sustainability assessment in cooperation with Imperial College – London.

+ Data and information dissemination was facilitated through the development of the Bioeconomy Observatory website which provides repositories of data and study reports, factsheets, visualisations of data sets, news, etc.

+ 21 country, 12 regional and one international bioeconomy profiles were compiled drawing on available databases (mainly Eurostat) and information provided by stakeholders. A ‘joint JRC-SCAR Member States survey’ provided additional valuable input.

+ A study of the EU bio-based industry was finalised in 2015. It included the identification of about 133 relevant companies and the analysis of product types, production trends, sales, investment, R&D, employment and feedstock use. Additionally, the main drivers and barriers for the development of the bio-based industry were identified. The results of the study are about to be published as a JRC technical report.

+ The DataM data management tool was complemented by
– 115 data bases (mainly from Eurostat) about European biomass flows and European bioeconomy activity sectors which were compiled and structured into 15 datasets;
– two new data sets: “DataM – Biomass Estimates” and “DataM – Bioeconomics”;
– fine-tuning three bioeconomy sub-topics (biomass, forestry and fisheries) in cooperation with a contractor;
– ten tailor-made reports depicting biomass production and trade.

+ A forward-looking tool (MAGNET) was further developed to analyse the potential of the bioeconomy to contribute to economic growth and job generation in the EU towards 2030. To this end, MAGNET was extended to cover sources of biomass supply (i.e. residues, plantations and pellets), second generation bio-fuels based on thermal and biochemical technologies and biochemical activities. A report is expected in spring 2016.

+ 25 standardised brief environmental factsheets of different bio-based products and their supply chains were compiled using a comprehensive environmental sustainability assessment methodology. The methodology was adapted from the life-cycle based Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) method, jointly developed by the JRC and DG ENV. This made it possible to use publicly available and accessible data and information in order to summarise the 25 value chains.

The BISO project has helped enhancing and communicating knowledge about the bioeconomy. Nevertheless, knowledge relevant for the bioeconomy is overall still too dispersed and not sufficiently coordinated. In order to address this challenge, the following lessons learnt from the BISO project can inform future work of the Observatory:

1- Bioeconomy is a matter to be addressed more at cross-sectoral level than with a silos approach (cooperation should be rather multilateral than bilateral).
2- Good collaborative relations with partners inside and outside the Commission, based on mutual trust and reciprocal benefits, are crucial to: i) ensure access to and availability of data and information; ii) develop a comprehensive knowledge base (e.g. studies, analysis and foresight); iii) reach out to and target different audiences, notably policy makers, industry, researchers and citizens
3- Relevant data on the bioeconomy are missing and are not included in traditional statistics, in particular when it comes to bio-based products and sectors that use both bio-based and fossil-based raw materials. The use of ad hoc surveys and as well other sources of information need to be considered (e.g. expert estimations of bio-based shares, private sector data, web, crowdsourcing…) to gather additional data, notably providing the basis for estimating bio-based shares in hybrid sectors.
New technologies and practices help developing new value chains and reducing negative environmental impacts. Therefore ´biotechnology watch is crucial

Countries/regions described/represented: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonian, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands
Year: 2016