Latest news

12 May 2017

Procurers and suppliers share their challenges on the bio-based field in an event organised by InnProBio

The InnProBio team hosted the first workshop and market dialogue on public procurement of bio-based products and services in Germany. The event took place last 25 April in Bonn. At the workshop, resources and results of the project were presented to the participants. All supporting tools for public procurers are available at the InnProBio website. The team is currently working on a Decision Support Tool that will be finalised and launched in September. Its aims it to serve as a guideline for public procurers interested in purchasing bio-based products.

During the workshops, participants discussed barriers in procuring bio-based products, such as, including the term “bio-based” in tenders. They also mentioned that the main reasons hindering the inclusion of specific criteria on bio-based are the overall knowledge of what bio-based is, where to find this kind of products, and what certificates currently exist. The InnProBio Decision Support Tool aims at helping procurers with their information search.

The market dialogue allowed public procurers to meet product suppliers. Bio-based textiles, catering products, office materials, maintenance service and wood furniture were showcased. Participants could share their views and obstacles from the demand and the offer sides.

The workshop and the market dialogue were organised in cooperation with the Competence Centre for Sustainable Procurement in Bonn.

Check the presentations here

28 April 2017

Review of bio-based products available in France

The French report ‘Recensement des produits biosourcés disponibles sur le marché et identification des marché publics cibles’ reviews and identifies bio-based products available (supply-side analysis) and opportunities for an increased public use of bio-based products (demand-side analysis) in France.

Methods to take into account a product’s bio-based nature in public procurement procedures are also presented in the report, and suggestions of future courses of action to foster the procurement of bio-based products and their related services are also provided. The results provide public buyers with benchmarks for the sourcing of bio-based products and the drafting of public tenders.

The report was published by the Directorate General for Enterprises, which is part of the Ministry for Economy and Financial Affairs, and can be downloaded here (in French).

21 April 2017

Bio-based products and services as part of the circular economy

Does encouraging the public procurement of bio-based products also contribute to fostering a circular economy? A new factsheet published at the beginning of April through the InnProBio project has specifically addressed this very question. The factsheet focuses on how bio-based products and services fit into the circular economy, and also introduces the circular economy and circular procurement in broader terms.

The circular economy focuses mainly on the efficient use of finite resources and ensures that those are reused or recycled as long as possible. The bioeconomy uses renewable resources (that is, biomass, such as plants, trees or animals) instead of fossil resources, and can provide products that contribute to the enhanced circularity of our current economic model. As products reach their end of life, assumptions are usually made on the capacity of bio-based materials to be circular. What are the end-of-life options available? The factsheet also gives special attention to bio-based plastics and recycling.

This new factsheet is available for download from the InnProBio website. It is the fourth in a series of factsheets published in the framework of the European InnProBio project. The other factsheets – ‘What are bio-based products?’, ‘Sustainability of bio-based products’, and ‘Biodegradability: Exposing some of the myths and facts’ are available also in Dutch from the same page.

12 April 2017

Purchasing hot drinks made from bio-based cups

The first good practice case study resulting in a purchase of a bio-based product has just been published by the InnProBio team. The case study details the process that was undertaken by the Dutch national government to purchase cups for one of their hot drink vending machines, whereby a preference for a cup made from bio-based materials was given.

The case study opens with an explanation on how public procurement is managed in the Netherlands and also the policy background supporting the preference for bio-based products to support the development of the bioeconomy. The intention behind this particular purchase was to stimulate the supply of bio-based products and also encourage further innovation of these products in the not too distant future. The environmental characteristics of the product purchased as well as its end of life – how it should be disposed and further processed – were points that were strongly considered in the contract award. A number of lessons learned are also presented in the case study.

The good practice case is the first in a series of four case studies on public procurement which will be published during the course of this year through the InnProBio project. These aim to provide a further source of information to the public sector in support of their purchasing actions and approaches.

To read the full case study, visit here.

31 March 2017

New resource on procurement of bio-based products and services

What are bio-based products and services? Why is it called procurement of innovative bio-based products and services? Why should bio-based products be promoted or preferred through public procurement? What are the advantages of bio-based products for users/consumers compared to traditional products? These are some of the interrogatives that the new “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)” section in the InnProBio website answers.

The aim of it is to clarify common questions that procurers might ask themselves or that other public servants might ask to procurers. By providing them with clear answers, procurers are much better informed to reply to any doubts and enquiries raised. The InnProBio FAQ also seeks to encourage practitioners to start procurement processes to purchase bio-based products, given their benefits.

This resource will be part of the Decision Support Tool that is currently under development by the InnProBio team, and that will be one of the main outcomes of the project. To check the “Frequently Asked Questions” section visit here.

24 March 2017

Successful InnProBio workshop in Lodz, Poland

The first workshop on bio-based products and services organised by the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Lodz, partner of the InnProBio team, took place on March 23rd. The workshop was titled "Green public procurement. Innovative bio-based products and services" and covered introduction to the topic of bio-based products and services, via green public procurement and ways of promoting environmentally friendly solutions in public procurement.

A total of 35 persons attended the event. Vast majority of participants were representatives of local government units and municipalities from Lodz region, who directly conduct or assist procurement procedures in their institutions.

Workshop was divided into three parts: started with a theoretical introduction on general rules regarding green public procurement, continued with a presentation of bio-based projects and services identified by the InnProBio project, and finished with presentation on empirical implementation of green public procurement in practice of the City of Lodz.

All the participants expressed the desire to attend more workshops and training sessions on the topic of bio-based products and services in the future.

17 March 2017

BioCannDo organises a webinar on communication of bio-based products

The H2020 project BioCannDo – Bioeconomy Awareness and Discourse Project – organises a webinar addressed to all stakeholders involved in the development of the bioeconomy and/or of innovative bio-based products that want to engage with others and learn more on how to communicate the benefits of the bioeconomy. The webinar will take place on 30th of March.

BioCannDo explains the idea of a bioeconomy and bio-based end-products in clear and understandable language, in a scientifically correct manner, and connect it to everyday life. Collaboration partners can share and learn about good practices in approaches and formats for communication to the general public.

The BioCannDo project website already offers information on different bio-based products related to catering, construction, gardening, home and transport.

To take part in the webinar, register here.

24 February 2017

InnProBio workshop and market dialogue in Bonn

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.

For further information, visit here.

10 February 2017

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.

To read the full document, click here