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Building new bioeconomy value chains by setting up new agro-industrial cooperation is a challenge for many regions in Europe that want to unlock their bioeconomy potential. The involvement of local farmers is a cornerstone for a sustainable bioeconomy, where technological innovations are able to attract new industrial investment and provide new agricultural income within ecological boundaries.

In fact, both food and biobased product innovations require structural change in the value chains. This means that farmers and industry have to find new collaboration forms, new contracts or networks to put innovations into practice. These changes require careful testing, and can be facilitated by public intermediaries and by multiple policy instruments from a wide spectrum of policy spheres.

This workshop is organised by the region of Flanders in Belgium and the European Chemical Regions Network (ECRN), under the scope of POWER4BIO project. It gathers representatives from different networks ranging from agriculture and rural development, to the chemical and biobased industry and the EU institutions. The overall objective of the workshop is to engage all relevant actors from farmers to industries, researchers, public authorities, and EU institutions:

  • to present concrete case-studies and new developments of agro-industrial value chains that rely on innovative biobased solutions;
  • to discuss the role of public policy and promote successful policy instruments aiming to make new biobased value chains possible in practice;
  • to address common technical, economic and regulatory barriers for the creation of new agroindustrial partnerships.

There will be contributions by among others the Flemish department of Education, Science and Innovation, VITO, the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) and Flanders’ FOOD.

During the Friday site visit, the participants meet the Flemish research and innovation centres, incubators and industrial partners that are crucial actors in implementing industrial biotechnology solutions for new biobased products, for waste valorisation and CCU. This part of the event is restricted to members of ECRN, SCAR, ENRD and Power4Bio.