The Power4Bio project is coordinated from Spain by the Research Center for Energy Resources and Consumption (CIRCE), which will work with 16 other entities from eleven European countries to harness the potential of bioeconomy, boosting rural development, the creation of highly skilled jobs, and the independence from fossil sources.
Bioeconomy is a sector in full swing and has great potential. It mobilizes around two billion euros and employs almost 22 million people in Europe. However, there are still many regions that do not take advantage at all, or not sufficiently, of the potential of their environment to create alternative sustainable products to those of fossil origin already existing. To help these regions boost the bioeconomy in their territories and to achieve this transition in a realistic and competitive way, Power4Bio is born, a project financed with three million euros by the European Commission through the Horizon2020 program.
Replicable strategies in different regions
The activities of the project will be developed in five regions of central and eastern Europe, and in five of the western regions -among which is Andalucía-, with the aim that any other European region be able to benefit from the results obtained. Overall, the ten regions involved represent a population of around 88 million inhabitants, a GDP of 2.4 billion euros and an area of almost 450,000 square kilometers.
Power4Bio will provide the necessary tools and guides to implement solid, sustainable and competitive short-term bioeconomy strategies
To achieve its objectives Power4Bio, coordinated in Spain by Fundación CIRCE, will provide the regions with the necessary tools and guidelines to implement solid, sustainable and competitive short-term bioeconomy strategies through the use of mature technologies. To this end, agroforestry and agricultural waste (biomass) and other sectors will be involved. The variety of participating regions will allow developing strategies that serve the rest of Europe, so that each region will be able to adapt the raw materials to be used depending on the resources of its environment.
These raw materials, which are nature-based, will enable the development of new, more sustainable products, or replace the components with the greatest environmental impact in current products. The textile, plastics, automotive, human and animal food, or the fertilizer industry, are among many others of the sectors that may benefit from these new business models based on bioeconomy.
Power4Bio: Planning and analysis
The project will start with the mapping of the waste and raw materials available in each region, as well as the capabilities (knowledge, business network, logistics network, etc.) available to make the transition to the bioeconomy effective. Additionally, an analysis of the current technologies that can be used to harness and transform the available raw materials will be carried out. Afterwards, cases of good practices that have already been carried out in Europe will be analyzed and compiled, and roadmaps and guides will be prepared to help the regions understand, identify and select the most appropriate solutions for the development of their local bioeconomy.
On the other hand, regulatory and social aspects will also be analyzed, to face some of the barriers that are holding back the takeoff of the bioeconomy in Europe, such as the lack of regional-level driving policies or the distrust of end consumers towards this type of products.