EU Interreg GoDanubio

Participative ecosystems to foster the revitalization of rural-urban cooperation through governing circular bioeconomy in the Danube regions and cities.

Project duration:

Project start date: 01-07-2020

Project end date: 31-12-2022

Funding/Budget

Overall: 2713796.5 EUR

ERDF Contribution: 2214155.21 EUR

IPA Contribution: 92571.8 EUR

ENI Contribution: 0 EUR

Danube regions and cities face major societal transitions regarding demographic change. The rural exodus is caused by better employment opportunities for the youth and the prospect of a better life in cities. The movement of labor leads to depopulated areas leaving an aging and increasingly unskilled population behind. However, regions can make a significant new beginning. But a multi-level participative governance approach and new institutional capacities are needed to pool existent excellent competencies and development potentials.

Co-creating future strategies to increase the attractiveness of rural areas is the key to give the youth new incentives to revive rural areas. Circular bioeconomy is used as a tool that promises to foster regional development: It is a concept focusing on the transition of a fossil-resource based economy towards an economy making use of sustainable production of biological resources and processes to develop new products, thus setting rural areas and their development into focus.

The concept catalyzes interdisciplinary cooperation also between different policy areas/levels to actively address demographic change, by enhancing value creation through new collaboration, business models and value chains raising the attractiveness to stay and even move to rural areas.

Long term goal of the project is to enhance the socio-economic status of the regions, contribute to environmental, climate and resource protection as well as foster development of rural areas. An ecosystem for systematic multi-level governance with actors from the interested public, academia, industry and political decision making will be developed.

That ecosystem gives space for co-creation and new forms of integrated urban-rural cooperation leading to increased institutional capacity to tackle demographic change. Thus, overcoming the persistent lack of engagement of societal actors in the political system by giving them ownership to address demographic change.

Project website

EU Interreg ARDIA-Net

EU Interreg ARDIA-Net
Developing an Alpine Space Research, Development and Innovation by lowering barriers for cross-regional cooperation.

Project duration

Project start date: 1.10.2019

Project end date: 30.6.2022

Funding/Budget

Total eligible costs: 1.591.414 EUR

ERDF grant: 1.169.952 EUR

Ardia-Net aims to develop a multilevel, multinational and coherent Alpine RDI Area for cross-regional and interdisciplinary cooperation and implement a joint funding framework and pilot projects, addressing circular bioeconomy and health economy megatrends.

ARDIA-Net project is led by BIOPRO Baden-Wurttemberg and involves 7 other partners located in 6 different Alpine regions. ARDIA-Net tackles a common challenge to many Alpine Space (AS) regions: the excellent AS innovation hot spots operate in a disconnected way since there is a lack of a multilevel transnational governance for a cross-regional S3 approach. S3 across the AS relies on existing capacities in relevant priority areas, such as digitization, agro-food, health, materials, which represent huge synergy potentials at cross-regional level. For this reason, actors should cooperate transnationally along the value chains to have an impact and implement the macro-regional strategies, such as EUSALP.

The challenge is to create a Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) area which, other than the Interreg-program, addresses the regions’ specific interest in synchronizing and funding joint activities across regions. This can lead to a mutual benefit for the alpine regions, through a smart connection of S3.

Furthermore, the improvement of the macroregional cooperation can significantly enhance the growth of new cross-sectoral value chains in the fields of circular bioeconomy and health economy, which are based on critical mass of actors and investments.

ARDIA-Net aims to develop a multilevel, multinational and coherent Alpine RDI Area for cross-regional and interdisciplinary cooperation and implement a joint funding framework and pilot projects addressing CBH megatrends. Regional S3 are aligned through synergy diamonds developed in the S3-4AlpClusters project, allowing the identification of mutual benefits, highest potential for innovative products and services related to CBH and contributing to common EUSALP priorities (eg. advanced manufacturing or eHealth).

ARDIA-Net’s partnership is actively involved in regional policy deployment and is composed of actors of new CBH value chains. It allows the efficient synchronization of RDI calls, the alignment of relevant actors, leading to hands-on innovative projects covering entire new CBH value chains, from research to market. ARDIA will result in a ready-to-use funding environment and innovation beacons for future cooperation in S3-implementation.

Project’s website

EU Interreg AlpLinkBioEco

Linking bio-based industry value chains across the Alpine region

Duration
Start date: 16.4.2018
End date: 16.4.2021

Funding/Budget
Total eligible costs: 2,036.020 EUR
ERDF grant: 1,730.617 EUR

A missing holistic transnational/regional approach in the Alpine Space causes existing actors in the bio-based economy to operate disjointed. Relevant clusters operate disconnected, important value chains are not established especially for producing high value applications and products that address critical societal needs: circular economy, environmental sustainability, local employment and quality of life. As the Alpine Space regions possess huge biomass resources and the necessary knowledge and technology to use them in sectors such as green chemicals, biopolymers or bio-based materials, Alpine Space competitiveness potential remains then untapped.

AlpLinkBioEco created a cross Alpine Space circular bio-based strategy, establishing awareness, assessing, selecting and creating transnational/regional new value chains connecting all relevant actors, and demonstrating the implementation of successful business opportunities.

Main results of the AlpLinkBioEco project are:

1. Value Chain Generator Tool

The Value Chain Generator (VCG) Tool is one of the main outputs of AlpLinkBioEco and it has been developed by the Institute of Complex Systems, School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg (HES-SO//FR HEIA-FR).

It is a software that allows to match actors from different sectors and countries to create novel bio-based value chains and it has been tested and successfully exploited by the project partners for this purpose during the project. Both intra-regional as well as cross-regional new business opportunities can be envisaged if data is shared, as it was the case during the project. The primary users of the VCG are the stakeholders of innovation ecosystems, companies, researchers, policymakers, but also cluster managers. New users are invited to join, since the source code of the VCG software is available under a permissive software license.

VCG website

2. Joint Masterplan on circular bio-based economy

The Masterplan collects inputs, resources and assets analyzed through the AlpLinkBioEco Project and gives valuable recommendations to boost the definition of a joint bioeconomy strategy in the Alpine Region.

Project’s website

AlpLinkBioEco – Creating BioBased Value in the Alpine Space (2021)

AlpLinkBioEco – Joint Masterplan on circular bioeconomy (March 2021)

EUSALP Smart SMEs

Opportunities for digitalization in natural fibres value chains.

Duration
Start date: 1.8.2019
End date: 31.1.2021

Funding/Budget
Total cost: 233.588,89 EUR
Amount of ARPAF co-financing: 210.230,00 EUR

Funding: co-financed by the European Parliament through the Alpine Region Preparatory Action Fund (ARPAF)
Coordinator: Schweizerische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für die Berggebiete – SAB

Partnership:
– BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH (Germany)
– Department for Economic Development, Research and Labour of the Autonomous Province of Trento (Italy)
– Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science University of Maribor (Slovenia)
– Anteja ECG (Slovenia)
– Hub Innovazione Trentino – Fondazione (Italy)
– Ecoplus, the Business Agency of Lower Austria (Austria)

The aim of the Smart SMEs project is to understand to what extent SMEs that produce, process and apply natural fibres use digitalization tools and approaches. The project will also evaluate obstacles that prevent SME’s from exploiting the full potential of digital solutions. An international consortium for the project has been formed, comprising the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science University of Maribor and partners from Italy, Lower Austria, Germany, Slovenia and Switzerland.

Every SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) routinely uses email addresses, but digitalization now offers enterprises a whole raft of solutions to make life easier and business more profitable – from electronic document management systems, promoting goods and services on social media to eCommerce and Big Data. Digitalization measures are only successful when company managers want and support them. SME’s, however, tend to have small management teams that are overwhelmed by other tasks, leaving them little time to identify and use the potential offered by digitalization. Businesses in rural areas have the additional problem of often unreliable internet connections.

The Smart SMEs project will contribute to finding solutions to overcome existing barriers. In addition to this, Anteja ECG together with BIOPRO, will organize and host a Policy Action Forum to bring policy makers from different sectors (digitalization, rural development and bioeconomy) together to begin sharing experiences and to validate the roadmap.

The project will be specifically focusing on enterprises in biobased value chains that produce, process and apply natural fibre-based materials, both cultivated and recycled from biological waste. The project is therefore tackling the idea of sustainable transformation in the Alpine region through the bioeconomy concept.

Project’s website

Project’s report

BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH. (May, 2020). Smart SME’s – Mapping of actual state of play and needs, Synthesis report. Smart SME’s.

EU Interreg DanuBioValNet

Multiple countries’ effort to enable the transition from a fossil-based to a bio-based economy in the Danube region.

Duration
Start date: 1.1.2017
End date: 30.6.2019

Funding/Budget
Overall: 2320844,8
ERDF Contribution: 1.857.124,54 EUR
IPA Contribution: 115.593,54 EUR
ENI Contribution: 0

Bioeconomy has a huge potential in the Danube region which could promote development based on innovation, new services, and value chains. The development of new bio-based value chains from primary production to consumer markets requires connecting firms across national boundaries and industries. Together with other expert groups from across the Danube region, Anteja helped to articulate a joint bio-based Industry Cluster Policy Strategy to further promote bio-based value chains. The clusters and SMEs benefit from the innovative tools and methods developed for transnational cross-clustering. Three sector-specific value chains were established and serve as a model for future development of bio-based industry activities in the Danube region. The main stakeholders include the four ministries from the region, the clusters and their SMEs, and the nine cluster organizations involved.

Project’s website

Project’s report

Meier zu Köcker G., Patzelt D., Dermastia M., Osvald D., Švajger G., Keller M. (June, 2019). Common Action Plan towards better framework conditions for bio-based eco-innovation in 1 Danube Region. DanuBioValNet.