Central and Eastern European countries are setting common strategic research and innovation priorities for their bioeconomy development

On 15-16 March 2023 in Warsaw during a high level, BIOEAST Congress was presented a macro-regional strategic research and innovation agenda and eleven national concept papers for bioeconomy strategies. The agenda sets common priorities on research and innovation for the better valorisation of our biological resources, while the 11 concept papers analyses the potential of national bioeconomies and propose further tailormade development possibilities.
The documents were prepared with the involvement of regional and European experts, policy makers and were validated by national ministries. A major backing was provided by the cooperation and support action financed by the European Commission, the BIOEASTsUP Horizon 2020 project.

Barna Kovacs Secretary General of the BIOEAST Initiative summarizes the SRIA development and further utilisation: “The development of SRIA was a complex and resource-intensive process. The SRIA as a document will be used by the research and innovation policy makers, and by the research founders at national and European level. The SRIA has a value by bringing at the surface the most important macro-regional research and innovation needs as well as common strategic priorities. Moreover, sets the networks and the exercise which can be repeated and updated during the upcoming years.
At the plenary session of the congress, the national leaders of the BIOEAST countries confirmed that the documents produced are a milestone. Setting out our directions for research and innovation can greatly facilitate joint thinking and mutually supportive action between science and practice, leading to more sustainable and safer use of resources in the future.
The eleven national concept papers will serve at the national level as bioeconomy impact assessment reports. They prepare the ground for ministries to develop strategy and action plans based on national priorities. Member states are called to continue this work and start to compile their own bioeconomy roadmaps. Magdalena Borzecka (IUNG, the BIOEASTsUP project coordinator) explains: “ Likewise, the SRIA as well as the development of national concept papers launched several key processes in the BIOEAST macro-region, stakeholder involvement and engagement in discussion and facilitating an interministerial dialogue.”
The BIOEASTsUP coordination and support action will be finished by the end of March 2023. The project enhanced the establishment of new structures, the above mentioned interministerial groups, supported the macro-regional BIOEAST Thematic Working Groups likewise establishment of national Thematic Working Groups stakeholder networks and national bioeconomy BIOEAST HUBs. The first HUB was established in line with the BIOEAST Governance Paper with a support of the Ministry of Agriculture in the Czech Republic. Marie Kubankova (BIOEAST HUB CZ) is describing the role of national BIOEAST HUBs: “National BIOEAST HUBs are working bodies of the BIOEAST Initiative, they shall create stakeholder groups at the national level, support their engagement in the field of bioeconomy and in the topics discussed in the TWGs and also facilitate the communication with the BIOEAST NCPs.”
The BIOEAST Initiatives set the vision for 2030 to develop knowledge and cooperation-based circular bioeconomies, thus beside policy development a better stakeholder engagement and awareness raising is foreseen for the upcoming future.