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

BioBIGG Network

You’re interested in news regarding the BioBIGG project and the overall bioeconomy in the South Baltic area – please visit the Linked_In group:

”South Baltic Bioeconomy Network”

Below you find 8 reasons why joining the network is of advantage for you. And if you have any questions – please come forward. It’s possible to ask questions via private message.

8 Benefits of Joining the South Baltic Bioeconomy Network

1. Business development:
Find new ways of connecting to other bioeconomy stakeholders and explore new ideas for future expansion of your core business. During workshops, conferences and other events you will be able to find cooperation partners in the Baltic Area.

2. Knowledge transfer
Learn from the experiences of others who have gone through the same process. The exchange of information will lead to best practice cases and new contacts.

3. Collaborative working:
Networking is about building relationships, which could lead to new and innovativeways of doing business and developing new products. But you are not limited to that. Use our network to implement co-operation within new projects and joint-ventures.

4. Knowledge expansion:
Get access to a shared knowledge base and learn more by being part of a networking group. Information regarding bioeconomy in the Baltic Area is often rare and by being part of a multi-national group of stakeholder you will get insides of other stakeholders and developements in neighboring countries.

5. Market research:
The network gives you a chance to share ideas with other members and possiblepartners, in order to find new markets.

6. Find partners:
Find cooperation partners outside your core business, which complete your expertise by using the contacts provided within the network.

7. Personal development:
Contact and communication to international stakeholder will provide you with the views and state of knowledge of the respective region and institutions. Consequently, this will give you an overview how the regions and institutions define bioeconomy. The differences between the regions will become much clearer.

8. Promoting your company profile:
Get your company noticed. By joining the network your company will be noticed withinthe area by other stakeholders, which might be looking for new partners.

If you are not a member you will never know!

How do we unlock the innovation potential in biomass-based value chains?

On the 6th and 7th of December the BioBIGG project held a two day cross-border workshop in Roskilde, Denmark addressing this question. During the workshop SMEs, universities and local authorities gave presentations on their approach to the implementation of a sustainable and circular bioeconomy with examples of promising utilisation of residues and development of biomass-based value chains.

The Danish SME, DACOFI, was one of the stakeholders that gave a presentation at the workshop. They presented their innovative technology for the filtration of biomass. One of the residues the company has been focusing on is brewers spent grain for the extraction of protein, fibers and vitamins, but the innovative technology has also been successfully applied to potato pulp as well as other types of biomass. Also, Guldborgsund municipality gave a presentation on their approach to developing a sustainable and circular bioeconomy at the local scale.

The second day of the workshop continued with a study tour to the local enterprise Solrød Biogas. Here the participants were first given an introduction to the implementation process – starting from the initial idea to the phase where the biogas plant was taken into operation and innovation efforts since then. Afterwards, participants were given a guided tour of the biogas plant that converts residual products into green energy, and fertiliser that is utilised by nearby farms with benefits for the climate and the environment.

Utilisation of straw for mushroom production in North Eastern Poland

Pieczarki Mazurskie is a family company established in 1988. It is located in northeastern Poland, in the Masuria region. Lakes and forests, which account for about 30% of the area, form a beautiful landscape in the region. Additionally, due to the high afforestation rate and low urbanisation and industrialisation indicators the air quality in Masuria is one of the best in the country.

Currently, the company consists of several mushroom farms. The total mushroom growing surface is 19 000 m. All buildings are equipped with modern air-conditioning devices, which enable controlled growing parameters, such as temperature, humidity, air movement and carbon dioxide. Due to this, appropriate conditions for mushroom growing can be provided, so that they are of the highest quality.

The plant produces mushrooms utilizing a Dutch technology. A group of skilled technologists is constantly watching the production process by keeping an eye on the behaviour of the mushroom spawn during the growing cycle. Through careful observation the crops with the optimum use of the nutrients attainable in the compost are selected. The harvest area is used very intensively so as to provide the maximum number of cycles in a year. All mushrooms are harvested by hand, so a wide range of mushrooms with the highest quality and different sizes is provided. After harvesting, mushrooms go directly into a vacuum cooling chamber, where they are quickly cooled to the temperature of 2°C. Then they are transported to the cold storage room, where they are prepared for sale. Low temperatures keep the products fresh for a long time. After the cultivation and harvesting of the mushrooms, all the buildings are thermally disinfected and compost is changed.

Due to the excellent cooperation with suppliers, many years of experience, the use of its own laboratory and professional management, the highest quality compost for the mushrooms is produced.

The company produces compost in its own compost production facility. The process is continuous as sufficient technical and engineering potential in the company is present. The company has its own straw storage (area above 10 000 m2) for the production of compost. The maximum amount of stored straw is about 100 000 tons, which is enough for two years of company production.

The production of mushrooms is about 3000 tonnes per year. Before distributing, mushrooms are packed according to individual customers requirements or in the standard way:

  • 3 kg boxes of loose mushrooms
  • box with trays, 4 × 500 g
  • box with trays, 4 × 400 g
  • box with trays, 6 × 250 g

Mushrooms can also be sorted to different size:

  • 2 – 4 cm
  • 4 – 5 cm
  • 5 – 6 cm
  • more than 6 cm “Riesen”

Waste from the processing (spent mushroom substrate) are stored at the company field and sold to local farmers as a fertiliser. The company has over 300 tons of spent mushroom substrate weekly.

Heaps of spent mushroom substrate

Pieczarki Mazurskie Fedor is a successful company that produces high-quality mushrooms. The clients of the company are all over the world. The largest recipient is England, but a lot of products are exported to Germany, The Netherlands and France.

A big issue for the company is the relatively high price of straw (40 euro per tonne) and the low price of spent mushroom substrate (3 euro per tonne) which is used as a fertiliser. The company should start working with universities, research centres or biological and chemical laboratories to find a new solutions in the field of bio-plastic, food supplements or pharmaceutics for the high value waste that contains huge amount of macronutrients (P2O5, K2O, CaO, MgO, Na2O, P,K Ca).