Circular bioeconomy and how this will benefit the RUSTICA project

The circular bioeconomy covers many sectors with different interests and goals – agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food production, pulp, and paper production, as well as parts of the chemical, biotechnological, and energy industries, policy domains, and stakeholders with different interests and goals.

Due to this complexity, developing a sustainable, inclusive, and balanced circular bioeconomy requires a holistic approach with broad multi-stakeholder and cross-sectoral collaboration.

Opportunities for such collaboration can be found especially at the regional level, around areas where biorefinery plants or bio-based products manufacturing plants are located. Regional policies play a crucial role in providing such collaboration opportunities. Circular bioeconomy development depends strongly on the capacity of relevant actors from different domains and sectors to engage with each other to build new different bio-based value chains. Since available biomass is often crucial for bioeconomy development, related clusters often need to integrate producers of biological resources (e.g., farmers) as well as their associations and other relevant stakeholders. The ability of the stakeholders to create these new networks or adapt existing ones varies among regions. Therefore, the dissemination of good practices of multi-stakeholder and cross-sectoral collaboration and of instruments that support this as well as facilitation of knowledge sharing across European regions is crucial.

The RUSTICA project will help to set up the cascading of resources in the bioeconomy. This impedes the development of cross-sectoral bio-based value chains which will be eventually integrated with value networks. New cross-sectoral development of the bio-based value chains requires synergies and cooperation between various sectors, both along and across the value-chains, bringing all actors together, mobilizing the innovations, and pulling the market by bringing new innovative products.

RUSTICA project is a clear example of bringing novel circular bioeconomy value chains to life. The project provides technical solutions to convert organic residues from the fruit and vegetable sector into novel bio-based fertiliser products of high quality that address the needs of modern (organic) agriculture. The crucial priority in the project is to define locally available biomass in five different regions in Europe with a goal to empower farmers and develop high-end value carbon-negative products.

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