The Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) widening participation strategy intends to increase the participation of member states, associated countries, regions and stakeholders in the initiative to leverage the full EU bio-based potential. The study “Bioeconomy development in EU Regions” published by the European Commission (DG RTD), demonstrates the direct link between the high participation of a certain country in the BBI JU and the presence of clusters. Clusters are closer to territories and can make the necessary link between the regions and the bioeconomy / the BBI JU initiative. Moreover, clusters are instrumental to leverage the participation of SMEs in the Bioeconomy.
The SCAR Bioeconomy Strategic Working Group (BSW) aims at facilitating informal exchanges between MSs on regional, national and European activities; at implementing strategies and on encouraging research and innovation (e.g. needs, hurdles, challenges, organisational matters etc.) in the broad area of the Bioeconomy. BSW’s ambition is to be the central platform in Europe overseeing different initiatives at national and European level and to translate this into conclusions on actions.
In line with these aims, the BBI JU State Representatives Group (SRG), an advisory body to the BBI JU, has recognised the relevance of cluster development in the context of the deployment of the European Bioeconomy potential. The BBI JU SRG is, therefore, organising a joint workshop with BSW on the 14th March to exchange best practices for the creation of regional thematic clusters; to identify drivers for creation of clusters and to share experiences on successful Bioeconomy related clusters from around Europe.
The specific objective of the workshop is to stimulate interest in creating regional bioeconomy clusters in regions and countries which are less active in the bioeconomy and bio-based sectors via an exchange of knowledge and experiences in developing such clusters. The final aim of the workshop is to foster support for the bioeconomy in general and for increased participation in the BBI JU Initiative of underrepresented countries, including SMEs.
The workshop will bring together experts and representatives of bioeconomy related clusters, SRG delegates, SCAR BSW members and policy makers at national and regional level to discuss the key elements for cluster development and their role in supporting the bioeconomy. Participants will include representatives from countries which are currently less active.
Through this workshop, BBI JU SRG and BSW expect to stimulate a transfer of know-how, identify best practices and key drivers for cluster creation in Bioeconomy, so that participation of underrepresented countries in BBI can be further increased. A workshop report will be prepared with recommendations for policy-making supporting the development of clusters based on the outcomes of the discussions. The event will also provide a new networking opportunity for bioeconomy actors with a focus on regions that could play a much more prominent role in the European bioeconomy in future and additionally, this workshop will create a new opportunity of closer collaboration between SCAR BSW and BBI JU SRG delegates and others.