Project summary

The 6-year-long journey of the BIOREGIO project of boosting bio-based circular economy ended in December 2022. The website is full of exciting and inspiring materials, good practices and videos. Should you need further information, please, do not hesitate and contact us.

BIOREGIO boosts bio-based circular economy through transfer of expertise about best available technologies and cooperation models.



  • improving knowledge related to circular economy of biological streams i.e. bio-based circular economy
  • increasing recycling rates of biological materials e.g. food waste/biowaste, municipal and industrial sludge and agricultural residues    
  • transferring expertise about:

            - cooperation models, e.g. ecosystems, networks, administrative cooperation,

            - best available technologies, e.g. bio refinery, biogas production


  • joint development of policy instruments
  • defining best practices of bio-based circular economy: cooperation models and best available technologies
  • describing regional biological streams


  • regional stakeholder group meetings
  • interregional events: roundtable discussions, seminars and site visits
  • policy briefs, expert papers
  • regional dissemination events


  • six policy instruments will be improved: funding of new projects, improving the management of the instruments, influencing the strategic focus of the instruments
  • regions will be better equipped to implement new technologies and cooperation models in order to move towards bio-based circular economy
  • increasing professional capacity among stakeholders
  • raising public awareness of bio-based circular economy



from 1 Jan 2017
to 31 Dec 2021

Environment and resource efficiency

What will BIOREGIO change?

BIOREGIO will improve knowledge related to circular economy of biological materials and strive to increase the recycling rates of these materials. The expertise of best available technologies, e.g. biorefinery, biogas production, and relevant cooperation models, e.g. ecosystems, networks and administrative cooperation, will be transferred. The project will share expertise and promote the possibilities for closing the loops of biological streams, e.g. develop the materials to be used as fertilizers and biofuels, instead of disposal.

As a result of BIOREGIO the regions will be better equipped to develop new policies and implement new technologies and cooperation models in order to move towards bio-based circular economy.

What policy instruments does the project address?

The focus is on the implementation of the policy instrument in the region of Päijät-Häme.

Objective & Charachteristics

Priority axis 2: Producing and using the latest information and knowledge (ERDF);
Investment priority 4: Enhancing research and innovation (R&I) infrastructure and capacities to develop R&I excellence, and promoting centres of competence, in particular those of European interest

Specific priority 4.1.: Developing research, competence and innovation clusters that draw from regional strengths

The priority axis 2 implements, in line with the Europe 2020 strategy, strengthening research, technological development and innovation and supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy. All measures are based on smart specialisation. The priorities/expected results are e.g new innovations, innovation clusters and R&D investments, improved R&D environments of applied research, new green economy business, investments, preconditions for renewing industrial value chains; exportable solutions in bioeconomy.

Reasons for improvement

Circular economy and closing the loops of biological materials requires more attention:

  • To increase the regional recycling rate of bio waste
  • To increase R&D&I cooperation between universities and companies,piloting, testing and demonstration environments

 In Southern Finland, there is great regional variation in R&D investments, the majority are directed to the large cities. However, in Päijät-Häme the investments in R&D remain under 1% of GDP.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Regional Council of Päijät-Häme
  • LAB University of Applied Sciences (until 31.12.2019 Lahti University of Applied Sciences)

Objective & Charachteristics

Priority Axis 6 (PA 6) deals with environmental conservation and protection, and promoting resource efficiency. In relevance to the project, PA 6 includes the following:

Specific Objective 6.1.1. (SO 6.1.1) To implement waste separation and treatment, including: closing the loops actions; and both waste facilities and management plans.

The prior action relevant to close the loops of biological materials is the implementation of regional waste management plans (under revision). Both municipal and industrial waste streams are being analysed taking into account circular economy principles.

Reasons for improvement

  • The current linear system has to change to circular economy
  • To encourage producers to take more responsibility of waste management and product design
  • To promote a different kind of production based on the most efficient use of resources and energy.
  • Prevention of bio waste, raising awareness about consuming products
  •  Waste recycling plants must improve their efficiency (30-35% on average)
  • Separate collection of bio waste must be implemented
Which partners are working on this?
  • Deputy Regional Ministry of Environment

Objective & Charachteristics

The Programme aims to boost economic development and create job opportunities in Central Macedonia. It contributes to achieving the Europe 2020 targets for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, also in line with the smart specialisation strategy. It should create jobs and help SMEs to become more competitive and innovation-driven. EU funding will also contribute to meeting the requirements of the Union's acquis, in particular as regards greenhouse gas reduction in and increase energy efficiency.

The OP support will substantially contribute to promoting, among others, the following key EU and national development priorities:

  •  Promoting climate change adaptation, risk prevention and management
  • Preserving and protecting the environment and promoting resource efficiency
  • Supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors
  • Enhancing competitiveness of SMEs

Reasons for improvement

  • Separate collection of biowaste is a national target yet to be achieved
  • Diversion of biowaste from landfilling needs to be enhanced and supported
  • The frame of circular economy needs to be introduced to SME’s across the region



    The OP support will substantially contribute to promoting, among others, the following key EU and national development priorities:

  • Cooperation between industry and SME’s is considered a crucial target for the region and shall be promoted
Which partners are working on this?
  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki – Special Account for Research Funds
  • Regional Development Fund of Central Macedonia on behalf of the Region of Central Macedonia

Programme of economic and social development of Nitra Self-governing Region is the main instrument for strategic planning.

Objective & Charachteristics

The policy instrument is in focus through the priority area „Environment“, strategic objective „Healthy environment“. The strategic objective focuses on environmental protection, support to climate change adaptation, risk prevention and management, more efficient use of resources and a switch to low-carbon economy. The 1st specific objective focus on reducing threats to environment, reducing waste and improveing low carbon economy. The aim of the 2nd specific objective is to introduce environment-friendly waste management system, implement infrastructure and separate collection of municipal waste and a higher rate of its re-use. Within the measure of ”More efficient waste management”, framework activities are suggested.

The policy instrument is not primarily Structural Funds tool. However, selected projects are cofinanced by Structural Funds.

 Reasons for improvement 

  • High production of waste, low share of separated and re-used waste, a lack of awareness and motivation of residents and entities to re-use certain types of waste. Particularly serious problem is the illegal dumps and unmanaged old landfills.
  • The policy instrument doesn’t reflect all aspects of bio economy
  • Lack of R&D&I cooperation between authorities, universities and companies
Which partners are working on this?
  • Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra

Objective & Charachteristics

The Regional Operational Programme 2014-2020 is one of the structural funds instruments for Romania and it is managed by the Ministry for Regional Development and Public Administration. It is based on an analysis of the social-economic situation of Romania’s regions and has as main objectives increasing the economic competitiveness and improving the living conditions of the communities by supporting the development of the business environment, of infrastructure and services, for the sustainable development of the regions, so that they can manage their resources efficiently and capitalize their innovation potential and assimilate the technological progress.

Regional Operational Programme: Priority Axis 1 - Promotion of Technological Transfer is in focus in the BIOREGIO project. It includes funding for creating and extending innovation and technological transfer units, consulting and technical assistance services, bidding platforms for intellectual property.

Reasons for Improvement

  •  Development is needed to improve low transfer of research results to the market and low assimilation of innovation in industry.
  • This approach could be improved by identifying the root causes of the current poor innovation and technological transfer and designing specific financial instruments to boost investments in new technologies, particularly in circular economy of biological streams.
  • Enhance the potential of circular economy especially in agricultural streams
Which partners are working on this?
  • National Research and Development Institute for Chemistry and Petrochemistry ICECHIM, Calarasi Subsidiary

Objective & Charachteristics

Thematic objective 1: Enhance research, technological development and innovation.

Investment priority 1a: Enhancing research and innovation (R&I) infrastructure and capacities to develop R&I excellence, and promoting centers of competence, in particular those of European interest.

Specific objective 1: Make up for a part of backwardness of the region in the fields of research and innovation related to smart specialization.

It is essential to continue efforts in the domain of R&D&I through means of smart specialization on the territory, which is in tune with the Europe 2020 Strategy. The region has a competitive advantage for such measures and the objective is to hoist it among the first in terms of R&I. The priorities are investments, emergence of advanced production technology for processing industry, food and bio-resources in terms of consumer expectations in agricultural production systems.

Reasons for improvement

  • The policy instrument does not go in-depth in the matter of circular bio economy
  • Increasing the recycling rate of biowaste
  • Regional spending of 1.2% of GDP on R&D is far from the objectives of R&D spending at 3% of GDP in 2020
  • The region is out of step with its economic situation

This will equally contribute to protection of natural environment through encouraging taking more responsibility for bio waste reduction, promoting different sort of production, improving the efficiency of bio waste recycling plants.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Association of the Chambers of Agriculture of the Atlantic Area