Latest news

1 March 2018

InnProBio comes to an end

The InnProBio project came to an end at the beginning of March 2018 following three years of work and an array of resources geared towards the public procurement community.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the readers and users of this website, and all other interested parties, for having helped us to promote, among practitioners, decision makers, companies, and other multipliers, innovative bio-based products and services.

Even though our journey has come to an end, we would still like to invite you to keep checking Nova Institute’s online news page for the latest news updates on bio-based products and materials.

Follow other initiatives on bio-based products:

BioVoices - aims to increase the quality, relevance, know-how and the social acceptability of bio-based products for a prosperous bioeconomy and a sustainable world

BioCanDo - aims to increase acceptance of bio-based materials and engage EU citizens in the new bioeconomy

BIOWAYS - seeks to promote the huge potential of bio-based research results and raise public awareness of bio-based products

To stay in touch with the sustainable and innovation public procurement community, we invite you to sign up to the Procura+ Information Service.

28 February 2018

The final InnProBio newsletter is now available

The sixth and final edition of the InnProBio newsletter is now available on the InnProBio website. The newsletter includes updates on the project’s activities, together with news related to the topic of bio-based products and services and upcoming events.

This edition features the InnProBio Handbook now available in four new languages, includes details of two bio-based events, namely a Dutch event on the standardisation process of bio-based products and a market dialogue event organised in Lodz (Poland). Furthermore, the newsletter introduces to the EU funded project BIOCANNDO, working on bio-based products and awareness raising, the new EU Plastic Strategy, and informs about the release of new factsheets to support bio-based procurement. It finally includes relevant upcoming events.

To read the latest newsletter, visit the newsletter section of the website.

21 February 2018

Market dialogue on bio-based held in Poland

A market dialogue/engagement event was held between potential local government procurers and suppliers on 11 February 2018 in Lodz - a first for Poland. Both procurers and companies had the opportunity of gaining a completely new experience and perspective of using this approach to gather information from the market' - both from the supply and demand sides. The cleaning products and services market was in focus.

Despite the novel approach, 19 people attended. The majority represented local governments and municipalities from the Lodz region, who are involved in public procurement procedures in their administrations.

The Market Dialogue session consisted of three parts, which included an introduction and presentation of the EU-funded InnProBio project (including new tools and good practice) along with the presentation of bio-based products and services identified through the project. The second session saw two presentations made by companies about their products. The first of these was a consultancy company THETA specialising in advisory services for the chemical sector and supporting both private and public entities in any technical and legal expertise required. For instance, in obtaining certificates or controlling product compliance with certain procurer's requirements. The second presentation was from Naprzód Marketing sp. z o.o. - a company specialising mainly in providing bio-based cleaning services. The third session of the day focused on face-to-face consultations and was aimed at giving procurers the possibility of engaging and discussing directly with both suppliers and the experts from the InnProBio team. This session also included a final company presentation from Werner & Mertz Professional and its products from the greenCARE Professional line.

The Market Dialogue was organised by the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Lodz, via the Centre for Public Procurement and Public-Private Partnership. The Market Dialogue was titled "Market Dialogue for Bio-based public procurement of cleaning products and services".

16 February 2018

H2020 project to develop new sustainable packaging aiming at longer preservation of food products

The project REFUCOAT, coordinated by AIMPLAS, will soon develop an innovative food packaging based on biopolymers in order to achieve environmentally sustainable packaging and allowing for longer and more efficient food conservation.

The project aims to develop fully-recyclable food packaging with enhanced gas barrier properties and new functionalities using high performance coatings. Within the project’s objective, project partners will be using active coatings in films and trays as an alternative to current metallised and modified atmospheric packaging (MAP), which can entail complex and expensive recycling steps.

Specifically, polyglycolic acid (PGA) is going to be combined with modified silica oxide in order to formulate a hybrid coating with oxygen and water vapour barrier properties. Furthermore, a new PLA grade from corn wastes will be developed, with better water vapour barrier values than commercial grades. These developments are going to be combined in order to create recyclable packages for chicken, cereals and snacks.

The project REFUCOAT involves 12 partners and is funded by the European Union, through the program H2020 programme.

For more information read Aimplas press release or visit the project’s website.

29 January 2018

Dutch event stresses the importance of biobased standards

On the 18th of January 2018, NEN and PIANOo have organised a roundtable to discuss how 'standards' can support bio-based public procurement. The event was organised as part of the InnProBio project.

Participants, mainly from national and local Dutch public authorities, were invited to share their knowledge, experiences and ideas on the topic. Different certification schemes were discussed and procurers concluded it should be up to the procuring entity to apply the most appropriate criteria, for example, based on percentage of bio-based content, sustainability of biomass, a product’s biodegradability.

Building on the Province of Zeeland’s experience of purchasing biobased products , particular attention was given to the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) Technical specifications, such as the EN 16785-1:2015, relating to methods for determining bio-based content and EN 16575, defining common terminology to biobased products. Participants felt these standards can help set up criteria for biobased products. On the other hand, some participants raised the issue of using these standards for new materials. They also raised that they find it challenging to apply existing standards and regulations to newly developed materials.

The results of the roundtable/dialogue will form part of the recommendations of the InnProBio project to the European commission to further stimulate bio-based procurement.

24 January 2018

Latvian Government publishes the Bioeconomy Strategy 2030

The Bioeconomy Strategy 2030 aims to develop Latvian bioeconomy and makes Latvia the first EU-13 Member state to publish a national bioeconomy strategy.

The main strategy’s goals include the creation of jobs in the sector; an increase on the value added of products deriving from the bioeconomy market to €3,8 billion and an increase of the value of bioeconomy production exports to €9 billion, to be achieved by 2030.

Various stakeholders, such as research institutes and working groups made up by members from different Latvian Ministries (e.g. Ministry of Economics, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development) were involved in the development of the Strategy. A strong cooperation was developed with the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia.

The Strategy encourages Latvian ministries to take into account the strategy’s recommendations in policy planning and writing, including for EU and other funding instruments, such as the Rural Development Programme 2021-2027 and other State Research Programmes.

You can read the Strategy and the Informative Report (In Latvian) on the Government’s website.

19 January 2018

European Commission publishes new strategy on plastic production and pollution

The European Commission presented on the 16th January 2017 a strategy on how the EU intends to approach plastic production and pollution over the next decade and beyond.

According to its new Plastics Strategy, the EU executive will work to ensure that all plastic packaging placed on the internal market is either reusable or easily recyclable by 2030. By the same year, the Commission hopes that more than a half of all plastic waste will be recycled, thanks to new effective waste collection programmes.

The strategy also recognizes the vital role of taxation and public procurement in supporting transition and steering investments. It affirms The European Commission will work to integrate recycled content in Green Public Procurement criteria.

For more information read the Plastic Strategy or visit EURACTIV.com article.

10 January 2018

New article sheds light on issues around bioplastics and their sustainability

A recent article has been issued focusing on issues around the real environmental impacts and life cycle of bioplastics. The article in fact considers bioplastics’ biodegradability, the side effects of bioplastics’ production, such as land use, and highlights other problems such as the materials’ discard and dismantle. The article also presents a few new types of biodegradable bioplastics being at the moment studied and developed.

Considering the estimated 9 million tons of trash entering the oceans every year, some argue bioplastics are to be considered a solution to plastic pollution. The often-cited advantages of bioplastics are reduced use of fossil fuel resources, a smaller carbon footprint, and faster decomposition.

However, the article stresses the importance of considering the materials’ life cycle. Bioplastics, in fact, can result in greater amounts of pollutants, due to the fertilizers and pesticides used for their production, can contribute more to ozone depletion and require extensive land use. Not only, but in order to biodegrade bioplastics, high temperature industrial composting facilities are required and not all cities have the infrastructure to deal with this.

The study concludes by mentioning a few new types of bioplastics under study, such as biodegradable bioplastic deriving from wastewater and solid waste and biodegradable bioplastics produced from organic waste such as food waste and crop residue.

To read the article, visit here. For further information on bio-based products and their sustainability, as well as on biodegradability check the InnProBio factsheets.

11 December 2017

InnProBio newsletter #5 is now available

The fifth edition of the InnProBio newsletter is now available on the InnProBio website. The newsletter includes updates on the project’s activities, together with news related to the topic of bio-based products and services and upcoming events.

This edition features the two latest InnProBio case studies on the bio-based public procurement carried out by the Province of Zeeland and Skåne Regional Council, on the purchase of bio-based products for road works and disposable bio-based aprons, respectively. It includes information on Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR) latest guide on bio-based office furniture and InnProBio latest factsheet on Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Costing.

To read the latest newsletter, visit the newsletter section of the website.

16 November 2017

Disposable bio-based aprons for Skåne’s healthcare sector

Skåne Regional Council, Swedish southernmost county with Malmö as its main city, undertook with financial support from the Swedish Energy Agency, an innovation procurement for the supply of 5.2 million bio-based disposable aprons.

Thanks to an analysis of the region’s climate impact conducted in 2011, it discovered that its healthcare sector was one of the biggest contributors of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – in fact 40% of the region’s total CO2 emissions. Following the analysis, the region decided to carry out an innovation-oriented public procurement for the purchase of aprons mostly made from renewable (bio-based) material. The procurement involved four phases: a preliminary market dialogue/sounding phase; a qualification round to select potential suppliers; a negotiation phase; and an award phase.

The process began in 2014 and concluded in May 2016 with the contract awarded to a company for the supply of disposable aprons consisting of 91% renewable material. The purchase/use of the bio-based aprons is expected to result in savings of 250 tonnes per year of CO2 emissions.

A case study of the Region of Skåne’s experience has been published as part of the EU-funded InnProBio project. The case study is available on the InnProBio website.