Project budget5 873 743 €
ERDF amount3 381 513 €
The project addresses the need for an environmentally friendly and resource efficient economy focusing on horticulture, using plant resources in a more sustainable, efficient and integrated manner. Although the horticulture industry presents multifaceted societal benefits, the need for transition towards bio-economy is largely overlooked so far. There is much potential, but development, testing and uptake of green innovations is slow due to suboptimal interaction between researchers and SMEs, problematic financing and lack of cross disciplinary working and effective support strategies.
To accelerate the transition to a bio-economy by implementing regional test and pilot projects for development of new techniques, methods and products in the horticultural sector and supporting their development towards market uptake.
Central challenges are to strengthen the supportive role of public authorities to better facilitate and support SMEs to develop more innovations and bring them to the market, to valorise horticultural waste streams and byproducts by extracting valuable plant compounds, and to encourage support from SMEs for the bio-economy and understanding the opportunities.
- Specific approach to support the transition to a bio-economy
- 3 Regional bio-economy partnerships that facillitate SMEs (UK, BE, NL)
- 3 Regional action plans (UK, BE, NL)
- Bio-economy awareness and activation campaign
- Open innovation platform Bio-based Horticulture
- 9 Pilot projects dealing with horticultural waste streams and byproducts for use for food, feed, green pesticides, materials, pharmaceutics and cosmetics
Cross border approach
The bio-economy, green innovations and its markets are developments that go far beyond regional and national scale. Developments towards a bio-economy are relatively new and it is of the greatest importance that parties forge links, share perspectives, and build new approaches.
Therefore there is potential and need for the front runners to engage in cross-disciplinary, and cross border thinking in creating the solutions. Vice versa these front-runners have a strong impact on the actual implementation of green innovations and thus cross border cooperation increases this impact considerably.
Up to the 3rd project year many activities took place and many products were delivered:
• 10 November 2017 the project's seminar 'Saving waste in horticulture: Optimising resources' was held in Cambridge (UK). With strong interest from industry, research institutes and public authorities.
• 21 June 2018 the project's 2nd international seminar 'Agro-food waste streams: from cost to source of income' was held in Beitem (BE). The project activities were presented and entrepreneurs shared their success stories.
• The project's own website and the publication of newsletters have contributed to obtaining more attention for the circular economy and the opportunities in horticultural industry.
• The BioBoost 'Inventory' has been finished. It inventory provides better understanding of the three regions involved in the project.
• Report published about stabilisation tests of horticultural waste streams with different methods and techniques.
• Regional collaborations (horticultural industry, researchers, public authorities) (co)organised last year over 50 activities in the participating regions in the UK, NL and BE with in total over 10,000 participants.
• App.15 of these activities were part of the campaign 'More profit, less waste', to increase awareness that much more is possible with green residuals of the horticultural industry. This is shown in a short movie and on campaign posters. In NL 4 theme weeks were organised which attracted a lot of attention.
• The Bioeconomy Learning Module Horticulture and related educational boardgame were finalised.
• The digital BioBoost Platform was officially launched to stimulate, inspire and connect biobased initiatives in horticulture. The core of the platform consists of examples of all kind of new applications of horticultural residues.
• Report published relating to valorisation of crop co-products to produce new products for cosmetics with focus on test results of organic co-products from different origin for their potential as colourants, such as black currant, black berry and walnut.
• Report published about green pesticides with focus on test results of organic by-products from different crop and insect production systems to determine the performance of biocontrol agents and mycorrhizal fungi.
• Report published about lab scale and pilot scale experiments with mealworm and black soldier fly with focus on insects as a promising way of converting horticultural residues into valuable protein, oil and derived products.