The Nordic Council of Ministers is Policy Area coordinator in the Action Plan for the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) to promote cooperation within the bioeconomy.

The Policy Area (PA) “Bioeconomy” is one of 13 Policy Areas of the EUSBSR Action Plan and covers agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture as well as rural development. Regular meetings and dialogue activities in the Baltic Sea Region since 2013 have identified key persistent bottlenecks for realising the bioeconomy related to

Bioeconomy Policies, Bio-based Business, R&D and Innovation and Civil Society and Outreach.

Objectives of the meeting in Copenhagen were:

  •   Creating stronger engagement of participants in council and PA bioeconomy
  • Involving participants in trend analysis
  • Getting input to revision of action plan

The first day focused on trends of the bioeconomy in the BSR. The second day zoomed on the work carried out in the PA bioeconomy, including the upcoming revision of the EUSBSR Action Plan. Beneath presentations the participants helped to identify key trends within the bioeconomy.

One BioBIGG partner from Germany took part in the meeting to give input on the revision of the action plan. Also the BioBIGG project was introduced to the participants.

Project start of BalticBiomass4Value

The goal of this Interreg programme is to contribute to a more circular bio-economy in the Baltic Sea region. As of January of this year the consortium of BalticBiomass4Value are working towards developing online-based tools, workshops and training concepts for private enterprises and local/ regional authorities, as well as a good practice database for the region. The project’s output will focus on guidelines on circular bioeconomy development, and will promote them through experience exchange and training activities across the region. The first publicly accessible results can be expected in autumn of this year.

For more information and contacts click here

Plant³ – Strategic Alliance for Agriculture, Fisheries and Manufacturing in North Eastern Germany

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is providing up to 15 million € over the next five years to the Plant³ Alliance for a bio-based structural change in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The aim of the joint project is to process and upgrade plant raw materials for a new drive in eastern Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

The economically, socially and ecologically sustainable use of the huge land, peatland and sea areas in the eastern part of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania holds a considerable potential of added value that has so far been insufficiently exploited. Legumes, such as the blue sweet lupin, are a valuable source of protein in agriculture for further processing in the food industry. Reeds and bulrushes (Typha) from rewetted bogs supply fibres for new building and insulating materials. High-quality special sugars from marine algae, which are used in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, among other things, could be an additional source of income for fishermen in the future.

The centre of knowledge is located in Greifswald and forms a focal point for bioeconomy stakeholders: There is research expertise bundled at the University of Greifswald, a business incubator at the WITENO GmbH and highly innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) such as Enzymicals AG. It is supported by the business location Anklam with the sugar factory, Anklam Extrakt GmbH and Continental AG. “The replacement of an economy based on fossil resources by the use of bio-based resources and biological processes offers a historic opportunity to achieve immense added value locally to our region being no longer the extended workbench for other regions with exporting of agricultural raw materials,” says Dr. Stefan Seiberling from the University of Greifswald, who coordinated the successful application consortium of more than 60 companies, associations, farmers, public administrations, universities and research institutions.

“The initiative has already developed a very good dynamic, which I have never experienced before in Pomerania”, explains Rolf Kammann, Managing Director of the Wirtschaftsfördergesellschaft Vorpommern. “The participatory approach, the involvement of all actors from fishermen to farmers who supply the valuable raw materials to the biotechnology company which extracts ingredients out of them, which in turn are used in the food, construction, energy or textile industries in the region, is our key contribution to structural change in eastern Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

The core of the open innovation network is an innovation management system which, with the support of all stakeholders, identifies the needs in the region and develops project ideas and supports their exploitation. The innovation management is flanked by a so-called Plant³ greenhouse, which as an incubator and accelerator for innovative projects is a core element of cooperation and the creation of innovation capability. “We are developing new instruments to sprout ideas and create competitive start-ups that will fill the Centre for Life Science and Plasma Technology with life in the future,” says Dr. Wolfgang Blank, Managing Director of WITENO GmbH.

A think tank will scientifically accompany the development of new value chains and provide impulses for strategic development based on scientific analysis. “Bioeconomy is a great opportunity, especially for our structurally weak rural area,” emphasizes Prof. Daniel Schiller, speaker for the Plant³ network. “The aim is to examine success factors and barriers to innovative products and processes at the operational and regional level and thereby improve the innovative capacity of the players in the Plant³ network.

The Alliance Plant³ – Strategies for the high-quality refinement of plant-based raw materials in North-East Germany –  is promoted by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the framework of the programme WIR! – Wandel durch Innovation in der Region (Change through innovation in the region). The WIR! projects are intended to use innovative approaches to promote structural change in their regions. The programme is primarily aimed at regions that are not yet visible innovation centers.

Roskilde University as representative for all BioBIGG partners signed a Letter of Intent to support the Plant³ alliance. A first get together with BioBIGG and Plant³ partners will be at the conference in Anklam in November 2019.

Involved partners:

Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald
Domstraße 11
17489 Greifswald

Vorpommern mbH
Brandteichstraße 20
17489 Greifswald

WITENO Wissenschafts + Technologiepark NORD°OST° GmbH
Walther-Rathenau-Straße 49a
17489 Greifswald

Two-phased fermentation of sugar beets for bio-methane generation

Source: Universität Hohenheim / Simon Zielonka

The State Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Bioenergy (Baden Württemberg) developed an innovative process to generate bio-methane from sugar beets in cooperation with bio-energy innovation specialist NOVATECH GmbH. The new conversion procedure allows for a two-phased fermentation of sugar beets, which enables fractionation of the bio-gas at the time of generation. In essence, this new process allows for higher yields in methane production and hence significantly lower costs in further processing.

For more information click here

Publishing of BioBIGG brochure

Recently the EU-Interreg project BioBIGG published its first project brochure. The focus of the project lies on mobilising the potential for innovation in the material or energetic use of renewable raw materials. The project focuses on biogenic residues and co-products as well as the products from cascade utilisation, which have great potential in the South Baltic Region. Countries, which are in the focus of BioBIGG are Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Poland and Lithuania.

You can find the brochure here.

We also would like to welcome you in our South Baltic Bioeconomy Network on LinkedIn

Why do we have a network?

Via the LinkedIn group, which at the moment represents the South Baltic Bioeconomy Network (SBBN), project results, events, conferences, etc. can be advertised. Primarily though, the LinkedIn page will facilitate the finding of new potential partners — including other universities or research institutions, and businesses — thus giving a valuable tool to researchers seeking collaboration on or support with a project relating to the bioeconomy.

Through the SBBN, SMEs will be able to get in contact with other similar SMEs for the purpose of collaboration or partnership, thus potentially giving a leg up to the SBA bioeconomy sector over non-bio-based competing SMEs. Furthermore, SMEs will also be able to get in touch with research institutions and universities to learn of potential new business options (by way of being up-to-date on the newest technologies and findings in SBA bioeconomy), and will also be able to find potential new employees from partnered universities.

By doing all that we aim at a higher rate of communication to push the development of a sustainable bioeconomy in the South Baltic area and the Baltic Area in general.

Click on the link and become a part of the LinkedIN group:

BioBIGG on LinkedIN

Bioeconomy in the South Baltic area:

This Group will serve as an information hub on bioeconomy in the South Baltic area and beyond. It belongs to the Interreg project BioBIGG, which aims at identifying and developing attractive business opportunities for SMEs within the Bioeconomy and paving the way for a sustainable and circular bioeconomy.

This will be achieved through cross-border knowledge transfer, advisory activities and preparation of specific proposals for production of biomass-based products and services based on regional available biomass, hereby hopefully strengthening the innovation capacity of SMEs and mobilising investments and implementation of technology in the South Baltic area.

The project will host several cross-border events where SMEs and other stakeholders (policy and decision makers and others) can meet to share new insights and solutions for innovative products, processes and business opportunities within the bioeconomy.

BioBIGG project partners:

Roskilde University, RISE (Research Institute of Sweden), Gdańsk University of Technology, University of Greifswald, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Agency for Renewable Resources