The InnProBio consortium is organising a workshop and a market dialogue on public procurement of bio-based products and services targeting public procurers and suppliers. The event will take place on April 25th, in Bonn, Germany.
The goal of the workshop is to explore what the steps of public tendering and public procurement of bio-based products and services are. The InnProBio team will share case studies, tools and criteria used in public tenders to start the discussion and learn from previous experiences. The market dialogue aims at identifying barriers in the procurement of bio-based products and services. Product suppliers and public procurers will be encouraged to talk about their needs, demands and possibilities. Public authorities will gain a better understanding of the market and the solutions available, whereas the suppliers will get to know what criteria and requirements are important to the procurers.
The language for both sessions will be German. The event is free of charge and registration is needed. For further information, visit here.
17 February 2017
A European project is pushing to mainstream bio-based construction materials
ISOBIO, funded by the Horizon 2020 programme within the ‘Materials for Building Envelopes’ call for Energy Efficient Buildings, is working on an innovative strategy to bring bio-based construction materials into the mainstream.
From a scientific point of view, ISOBIO partners aim at assessing and further advancing the state-of-the-art in bio-based insulation materials, amongst others. Whereas from a technological perspective, the focus is on developing new sustainable construction materials that, through a series of prototype-level demonstrations, will show significant social, environmental and financial benefits for the sector.
The main goals are to achieve a 50% reduction in embodied energy and CO2 emissions, a decrease of 15% of the costs, to improve by 20% insulation properties compared to conventional materials, and to save 5% of energy over the lifetime of a building. By doing so, the competitiveness of the European construction sector in the field of “green” construction technologies will be strengthened.
Bioeconomy briefing issued by the European Parliamentary Research Service
The European Parliamentary Research Service published in January a briefing focused on the challenges and opportunities of the bioeconomy. According to the European Commission defines the bioeconomy as the “production and extraction of renewable biological resources (known as ‘biomass’) and their conversion into food and feed; bio-based products (such as timber, fibre, chemicals or bioplastics) and bioenergy (for instance through firewood, biofuels or biogas).
An infographic shows what the products and goals of the bioeconomy are. The bioeconomy is aimed at improving human health, enhancing energy security, contributing to sustainability, fostering inclusiveness, enhancing competitiveness, creating jobs and growth, ensuring food security, managing natural capital, and mitigating and adapting to climate change.
The paper also gives an overview of the EU policy framework for the bioeconomy, consisting of a number of legislative acts and policies from various areas. The EU circular economy plan identifies ‘biomass and bio-based products’ as one of five priority areas. In 2012, the European Commission adopted a bioeconomy strategy that seeks to ensure policy coherence, to increase public funding and private investment, and to set up participatory governance models.
The InnProBio team has translated into Dutch the first three factsheets developed as part of the project. These are focused on explaining what bio-based products and services are, what the sustainability of bio-based products is, and disclose myths and facts regarding what biodegradability means.
By translating these three documents, the InnProBio team expects that this material can be used by procurers in The Netherlands, as well as by any other stakeholders interested in purchasing bio-based products and their associated services. The publications can also be used by other organisations and centres working on the topic of the bioeconomy, and disseminating information about the benefits of bio-based products and services.
The annual event organised by the CommBeBiz project to take place in London
The CommBeBiz project will hold its annual event in London from 21-22 February. The conference “Bioeconomy Impact 2017 – The journey to innovation”, funded by the European Union, aims to challenge, support and inform researchers on their quest to innovate in the commercial, social and policy arenas.
The first day will be an introductory session with a keynote on the implications of Brexit for UK & EU collaboration, and a workshop on how to create effective websites and social media for researchers. The morning of the second day there will be top tips workshops on topics such as how to protect innovation, ideas for bioeconomy-related projects, and responsible research and innovation, among others. After that, project representatives attending the event will have the opportunity to pitch their projects in front of the audience and an expert panel.
During the afternoon, Tim Benton, professor of Population Ecology, will address the links between bioeconomy and sustainability. The winners of the Bioeconomy Photo Competition and the Awards & Academy Prize will be announced.
Free innovation procurement assistance offered to European procurers
The eafip initiative is offering 12 public procurers from EU Member States interested in improving their innovation procurement activities (both pre-commercial procurement and public procurement of innovation) the chance to gain targeted assistance. Selected procurers will be guided through the start-up and implementation of an innovation procurement process, including legal assistance.
Procurers will be selected on the basis of four criteria: concrete interest and commitment to starting a PCP or PPI project, the potential impact of the procurement, geographical balance of the cases across EU Member States, and level of experience in the implementation of innovation procurement projects. To take part, applicants must complete an online questionnaire.
The deadline for applications is 14 February 2017. The EU-funded eafip initiative aims to promote innovation procurement and provide assistance to public procurers to help them carry out the procurement of innovative ICT based solutions. The project runs from 2015 - 2017.
Lille to host the bio-based solutions international conference and exhibition
Plant Based Summit, the bio-based solutions international conference and exhibition, will hold its 4th edition from 25th to 27th of April in Lille, France. The event is focused on promoting innovation and business meetings on the sector.
During these three days, there will be discussions on global topics such as the EU policy environment to boost market demand, financing emerging bio-based business in a time of low oil price, and sustainable sourcing, a driver and a must-have of bio-based product development. There will be some sessions to covering specific sectors: construction, automotive sector, packaging, personal care and innovation. One of the objectives to demonstrate how further use of bio-based solutions in everyday products will benefit consumers and society.
During the Summit, the Agrobiobase award ceremony will take place. This award is given for innovations in the bio-based sector that are evaluated according to three criteria: their innovative features, their bio-based content, and their environmental and socio-economic impact.
New study estimates 1,455 tonnes of plastic float in the Mediterranean
Researchers have issued a study that estimates that a rough total of 1,455 tonnes of floating plastic is present across the Mediterranean Sea. The team of researchers highlights that the issue is likely to worsen if the global production keeps on increasing, and waste-management systems do not respond to this problem. They call on raising awareness on the relevance of plastic waste reduction.
Researchers gathered floating plastics using trawl nets and found that micro-plastics with a surface area of around 1 square millimetre (mm2) were the most abundant size of plastic particles found. Micro-plastics are harmful to marine animals, and they can also negative impacts on fishing, aquaculture and tourism.
Due to currents and other specificities of the Mediterranean Sea, four potential areas of plastic accumulation have been identified: the Otranto Strait, the northern coast of Sicily, the Ionian Islands and the Menorca Channel.
To know more about the study, visit here. For further information on the positive impacts of bio-based products and their sustainability, as well as on biodegradability check the InnProBio factsheets.
Neobuild Innovation Centre, a building using 100% bio-based paint
The Neobuild Innovation Centre – Living Lab of construction technology solutions is the highlighted October case of BUILD-UP, the European Portal for Energy Efficiency in Buildings. The building incorporates a number of innovative processes and materials in its construction, amongst those, bio-based and recycled materials.
The building, located in Luxembourg, uses solid wood, cellulose, cement particle board, stone aggregates, wooden cladding and 100% bio-based paint. Alongside the environmental aspect, health and comfort are the two other key aspects of the building. The idea is that all users can enjoy a bright and functional space that uses materials that naturally regulate humidity in the rooms and have suitable ventilation. The bio-based paint has also contributed to this health and comfort aspect.
The Neobuild Innovation Centre is also considered a smart building, as it has over 1,500 sensors with multiple functions to monitor it. It anticipates on the Net Zero Energy buildings of 2020.
Procurers from Denmark, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands took home the 2016 Procura+ Awards at a ceremony in Malmö (Sweden) on Wednesday, 30th November. The awards recognise the most outstanding procurement activities carried out in Europe in three categories. The award ceremony was held as part of the Sustainable City Development conference, an international event exploring how cities can work towards implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The City of Copenhagen (Denmark) beat off competition in the category "Sustainable procurement of the year" for its procurement of healthy, sustainable, biodiverse and appetising food. The city aims to ensure that 90 percent of all food procured by the municipality should be organic. Transport for London was awarded “Innovation procurement of the year”. The British capital’s public transport operator sought to reduce the whole life-cycle cost associated with lighting the expansive London Underground network. Rijkswaterstaat (RWS), the body within the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment responsible for infrastructure facilities, was recognised in the category "Tender procedure of the year". RWS used an innovative contract to procure the works and services necessary to widen the A6 motorway.
“I would like to congratulate each award winner for their fantastic achievement. Each organisation has demonstrated how procurement can be used as a valuable tool to achieve strategic sustainability aims,” said Åsa Karlsson Björkmarker, Deputy Mayor, Växjö. The Procura+ Awards are held as part of ICLEI Europe’s Procura+ Network, a network of public authorities at the forefront of sustainable and innovation procurement in Europe.