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

One of the BioBIGG partners, the University of Greifswald, led a significant step towards a regional network for the bioeconomy in north eastern Germany by submitting a strategy for the implementation phase of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research’s (BMBF) programme “Innovation and Structural Transformation” (German: WIR! – Wandel durch Innovation in der Region). The University of Greifswald and its core partners in the Plant³ consortium had already been successful in the concept phase of the WIR! programme, where Plant3 was one of 32 projects selected for funding by the BMBF.

The goal of Plant³ is to utilise the large stock of plant-based raw materials in north eastern Germany to make high value products in order to induce the transformation of the regional economy towards the bioeconomy. During the concept phase (March – October 2018) the four core partners, the University of Greifswald, WITENO GmbH, Wirtschaftsfördergesellschaft Vorpommern mbH and Enzymicals AG involved more regional actors from business, research institutions and NGOs as active partners in the Plant³ alliance. Several workshops were organised to define a shared strategy, develop the structure of the alliance, identify priority projects and activate partners (see pictures). Roskilde University is one interested partner and signed an LOI in the context of BioBIGG to support the alliance. In spring 2019, the BMBF will announce the successful alliances which will then be funded in the implementation phase. If the Plant³ strategy is selected up to €15 million in Federal funding could flow into the region in the next five years.

Plant³ builds on the strengths of the region of Western Pomerania: the multifarious renewable resources growing on agricultural land, wetland sites and in coastal waters will allow the region to take a pioneering role in the bioeconomy. Based on strategies for the high-value processing of plant-based raw materials, like arable crops, reed, or algae, the alliance aims to transform the economy of north eastern Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The vision behind Plant³ is that by 2030, products made from renewable plant-based raw materials will make a significant contribution to the total economic output of the region. Special emphasis will be put on high-value foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, fine chemicals, building and other materials.

North eastern Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is characterised by low population density and agriculture. The regional economy is marked by a lack of large companies and a lower than average share of manufacturing. It is a typical under-developed region. Yet it also an ideal place for the implementation of the bioeconomy. Due to the availability of sites (on agricultural land, wetlands, and in coastal waters) where renewable resources grow, the region can take a leading role in the transformation of the petrochemical-based economy to a bio-based, circular economy.

Updated bioeconomy strategy 2018

The updated bioeconomy strategy was presented at the end of October 2018 in Brussels. The updated 2018 Bioeconomy Strategy emphasises the importance of the development of a sustainable and circular bioeconomy aiming on maximising its contribution to the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as the Paris Agreement.

The action plan that is a part of the updated 2018 Bioeconomy strategy focuses on three main actions to archive its aim, including 14 sub-actions:

1) Strengthen and scale up the bio-based sectors, unlocking investment and markets

2) Deploy local bioeconomies rapidly across the whole of Europe

3) Understand the ecological boundaries of the bioeconomy

Action 1: Strengthen and scale up the bio-based sectors, unlocking investment and markets 

This action is aimed at accelerating the development of a sustainable and circular biomass-based solution in Europe, by increasing the number of public and private stakeholders involved in the research, demonstration and implementation of bio-based solutions. This will, among other things, be achieved through the EU public-private partnership on Bio-Based Industries and launch of the €100 million Circular Bioeconomy Thematic Investment Platform both under Horizon 2020 and alongside the development of new standards and labels for bio-based products.

Action 2: Deploy local bioeconomies rapidly across the whole of Europe

The aim of this action is to develop a Strategic Development Agenda that will ensure a long-term vision and pathways to deploy and scale up the bioeconomy in a sustainable and circular way at the local level. This will include pilot actions showcasing the potential of the bioeconomy for rural, coastal and urban areas together with EU bioeconomy policy support for members state set up under Horizon 2020.

Action 3: Understand the ecological boundaries of the bioeconomy

The aim of this action is to become better at understanding and measuring the effects and impacts of local and regional biomass supply within safe ecological limits. This knowledge will also provide the foundation for other actions in the strategy and will ensure that the development of the bioeconomy is systematically monitored and reported to optimise governance and policy-making at the national, regional and local level and to ensure that it is coherent and sustainable.

Learn more about the new bioeconomy strategy here.


The projects BioBIGG and COASTAL Biogas were part of this year’s edition of POL-ECO SYSTEM in Poland.

The International Trade Fair for Environmental Protection POL-ECO SYSTEM is the largest and most important event in Poland and Central and Eastern Europe, presenting advanced technologies, solutions and products for sustainable development.

During the Workshop ‘Green Projects in the Interreg South Baltic Programme’ the BioBIGG project was presented to other Interreg projects in the region and interested stakeholders. The Interreg project ‘COASTAL-Biogas’, which is coordinated by the FNR, was presented as well.

Within BioBIGG FNR is leading a Work Package and engages in the task to build a transnational network of stakeholders in the South Baltic Region. To find out more about the ‘COASTAL-Biogas’ project, visit their homepage

BioBIGG study tour to Italy

In the end of September, the BioBIGG consortium went on a study tour to the Northern parts of Italy to learn more about activities within the bioeconomy field in the region.

The first day of the study tour began with a visit to the interesting and innovative Mogu company in Inarzo, northwest of Milan. Mogu is a small, young company that is developing and scaling-up a range of mycelium-based technologies to produce naturally-grown biomaterials and products. This was followed with a fruitful round table meeting with the Region of Lombardia with representatives of regional groups active within the area of Bioeconomy presenting their ongoing projects and activities within the field.

The second day of the trip began with an educative tour of the waste management system in Milan early in the morning, hosted by the local waste management company AMSA. After the tour the group travelled to Turin where the day ended with a two-hour meeting with different stakeholders within the bioeconomy such as the University of Turin, the University of Milan-Bicocca, Novamont, Assobiotec and SPRING cluster.

On the third and final day, the group attended the IFIB 2018 International Forum on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioeconomy in Turin. The focus of the Forum was biotechnology as a provider of new resources for industries. Amongst many other interesting things, the new EU Bioeconomy Strategy was presented by the EU commission. There was also an informative section on how to finance the bioeconomy, with a presenter from the European Investment Bank, among others. The group concluded that the northern Italian region has a very vital and interesting bioeconomy from which there is a lot to learn.

BioBIGG at the European Bioeconomy Congress in Lodzkie

The European Bioeconomy Congress in Lodzkie 2018 was held on September 24th, 2018, in Lodz, Poland. It is an annual initiative aimed at supporting the development of bioeconomy in Central and Eastern European Bioregions.

The main organiser of the event was the Lodzkie Region. The Congress was a gathering of representatives of business, academia and NGOs. The objectives of the Congress were to support the transfer of knowledge between European bioregions. The problems discussed this year included the battle against smog, digitisation in closed cycles, modern technologies in bioeconomy and high-quality food.

One of the many sessions was devoted to increasing the involvement of industry in local bioeconomy value chains as well as increasing participation in the European and national programmes supporting bioeconomy development, entitled “Bioeconomy cluster (BIO) NETWORKING”, under the patronage of the Polish Bioeconomy Technology Platform.

One of the many interesting keynotes was given by Adam Puchejda focussing on the challenges brought by the growth of population and rapid depletion of natural resources. He stressed that the human impact on the environment and climate change requires the concentration of forces, with a focus on the sustainable development of ecosystems based on integrated value chains. Development of social bio-economic initiatives in cluster activities has been highlighted as a key element of support for innovation in the knowledge triangle of research, education and business, promoting a transformation towards increased commercialisation of knowledge, development of business and social communication.

BioBIGG workshop about biomass potentials and market opportunities

On the 14th of June, the BioBIGG cross-border workshop on biomass potentials as well as market opportunities took place at the University of Greifswald arranged by RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden) and SLU (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences). The main focus was on biomass potentials from agriculture and industry in the participating regions and how to get SMEs point-of-view on potential implementation of production of biomass-based materials, products and energy. The workshop included a world cafe with interesting discussions and knowledge-sharing among the participants.

BioBIGG workshop about bioeconomy in rural areas with special focus on innovation in SMEs

On the 13th of June, the University of Greifswald arranged a workshop about bioeconomy in rural areas with special focus on innovation in SMEs. The workshop focused on the establishment of the South Baltic Bioeconomy Network (SBBN) and how this could best be achieved. The aim is first of all to engage SMEs, business organisations and other potential members to take part in the network in order to boost knowledge-sharing on innovation potentials in bioeconomy in the South Baltic Area.

Succesfull bioeconomy conference about business potentials for SMEs within the Bioeconomy

On the 25th of May Gdańsk University of Technology arranged the first conference in the BioBIGG project. The conference highlighted a wide range of business potentials for SMEs within bioeconomy and also the current state of play for bioeconomy in the participating regions. The conference encompassed 18 presentations about different topics within the bioeconomy, e.g.:

  • Boosting development of the bioeconomy from a regional perspective
  • Use of biomass for functional biopolymers
  • Alternative ways of producing keratin, gelatine, collagen and starch
  • Opportunities for production of wood-plastic composites (WPC) from biomass residues
  • Utilization of food waste for production of biogas
  • The wood value chain – production of wood pellets from residues
  • Sustainable utilization of biomass from rewetted peatlands

The conference also facilitated a discussion among the participants on how to develop the business potentials for SMEs within the bioeconomy. The conference gave a good overview of the many business potentials and innovation potentials.

BioBIGG has joined Biorefine Cluster Europe

BioBIGG is now part of the Biorefine Cluster Europe initiative. Biorefine Cluster Europe interconnects projects and people working to support development of the biobased economy in Europe, striving to contribute to sustainable resource management and knowledge-sharing within the following four areas:

  • Biobased (waste)streams as an input for the circular economy
  • Bioprocesses
  • Sustainable bioenergy production in its various shapes and forms
  • Resource recovery: extracting minerals, chemicals, water and materials from biomass

Being part of Biorefine Cluster Europe will support the cross-border communication and dissemination of BioBIGG results and activities.