As a part of the BIOREGIO 5th Interregional Event in Nitra, Slovakia on 14-15. May 2019, small group discussions on three specific topics were organised.

  • Policy Instrument Development Challenges
  • Technologies Related to Biofuels and Agricultural Innovations
  • Bio-based Circular Economy as a Lifestyle in Your Region: Citizen Involvement

First, the 60 BIOREGIO project partners and stakeholders from six different countries were divided into small groups based on their topic interest. The small groups ten discussed the topic from their region point of view and appointed secretary of the group, collected and submitted the outputs using Padlet. Later on, the collected information was presented to the whole BIOREGIO participants. The summaries of group discussions on the three topics are mentioned below.

Screenshot of the Padlet results from small group discussions

1 Policy Instrument Development Challenges

Development of policies related to bio-based circular economy depends on the situation in each partner country and varies at the national and regional levels. In Finland, Spain, Greece and France, the legislation and policies are more advanced and the strategies, road maps, funding instruments (e.g. ERDF calls), etc. are developed mostly at both the national and regional level. In Slovakia, the national strategy is under preparation and the regional and national levels cooperate in its development process within working groups and official regional meetings. The small scaled projects related to a bio-based circular economy are already implemented at the regional level. In Romania, there is no strategy at the national level at the moment, however, activities of the bio-based circular economy are partly financed by agricultural funds. In all countries, there is communication between the national and regional level (working groups, networking, soft measures, etc.).

BIOREGIO group sharing experiences about policy instruments development and related challenges (photo: BIOREGIO)

2 Technologies Related to Biofuels and Agricultural Innovations

In all partner countries, there can be found a number of already implemented advanced technologies related to biofuels. Biodiesel, bioethanol and biogas are marketable products and are produced mostly from crops, but also from agricultural residues, food industry by-products or lignocellulosic biomass. In most countries, the development and implementation of such technologies are supported within the EU projects (e.g. Horizon 2020). Also, the cooperation between companies, research institutions and universities is running to a certain extent in almost all partner countries.

BIOREGIO group sharing knowledge about available technology solution (photo: BIOREGIO)

3 Bio-based Circular Economy as a Lifestyle in Your Region: Citizen Involvement

The attitude of people to the activities related to bio-based CE can be generally described as positive, regardless of the country. Under the bio-based CE is understood mainly the activities such as composting, separate waste collection, zero waste thinking or food waste prevention. In this field, many actors are active (NGOs, municipalities, companies), in particular through the implementation of small projects for local communities focused on education, proper waste separation, cooking practices to minimise food waste, taking care of community gardens, composting, etc. On the other hand, there are still some demotivating factors in some countries, such as weak engagement of authorities, absence of recycling plans (leading to mixing waste and its landfilling) and often changing legislation.

BIOREGIO group discussing the topic and sharing experiences from their regions (photo: BIOREGIO)