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InnProBio - eNewsletter
Issue #5 December 2017

Dear colleague,

We are pleased to send you the fifth edition of the InnProBio e-newsletter! Since the start of the project, the InnProBio team has been working to develop a community of public procurement practitioners interested in innovative bio-based products and services. Thanks for being part of it.
This newsletter provides an update of the progress so far, as well as some of the latest news on bio-based products and public procurement.

Happy reading!
Your InnProBio team

In this issue

  Project news

  Other news

  Upcoming events

  Project news

Online toolbox for bio-based procurement to make buyers’ lives easier

The InnProBio project has launched an online toolbox for bio-based procurement in the public sector. Designed to assist public buyers considering alternatives to plastics produced from fossil fuel based materials, the toolbox includes an online database of bio-based products and suppliers, good practice examples, procurement instruments and standard tender text blocks. It is available in English, German, Dutch and Polish.

The toolbox is meant to be a starting point for public buyers to get informed about the various bio-based products available on the market. It includes a database of products and suppliers of bio-based products. Information about the bio-based content, sustainability, functionality and end-of-life aspects such as biodegradability are also included. Claims are supported by references to standards, technical sheets, labels and certificates. Producers and suppliers of bio-based products are invited to add their products to the database.

In addition to the database, the online toolbox provides a number of instruments that can support the procurement of bio-based products: good practice examples showing how bio-based procurement is successfully implemented in practice, information on procurement instruments most relevant in bio-based procurement, and sample ‘tender text blocks’ that can be used when putting together tender documents.

Visit the InnProBio website at www.innprobio.eu or the online toolbox directly at tools.innprobio.eu.

Image copyright: InnProBio:

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.

                                                                                                         Image copyright: Skåne Regional Council

Use of bio-based products and innovation procurement by Dutch province for road works

Located in the south-west of the Netherlands, the Province of Zeeland’s government recently undertook an innovation procurement to commission a public works contract to widen a major road in the Netherlands (N62 Tractaatweg) - from one to two lanes, and to build four new viaducts. To take into account the challenges of purchasing bio-based solutions (such as geotextiles, biodegradable underground tree anchoring systems, etc), as these are not widely available on the mainstream market, Zeeland carried out a process of competitive dialogue.

This type of approach enabled them and potential contractors’ greatest flexibility in meeting their needs. During the dialogue process, the companies who responded to the initial expression of interest were asked to deliver two specific bio-based products, plus one or more products from a pre-identified list of market-ready bio-based options for on-site piloting. The company who was awarded the contract chose one of each of the proposed solutions for the products’ application and piloting. The bio-based products were applied to the road construction itself for construction of the road’s under-layer. Piloting of was undertaken for the installation of cabinets for traffic light installations made from bio-based composites.

A case study of the Province of Zeeland’s experience has been published as part of the EU-funded InnProBio project. The case study is available here.

Image copyright: Boskalis 

FNR releases guide on bio-based office furniture

The newly published guide "Office - Equipment, Material, Design" provides an overview of possible bio-based office products and furniture, addressing in particular consumers, purchasers and decision-makers from the public sector. The guide was published by the Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR), based in Germany.

The guide presents a few renewable, climate-friendly alternatives for office equipment and includes a few case studies, such as furniture made from bamboo, linoleum and goat hair or bioplastics. The guide also aims to provide information on recognised quality labels and provides some suggestions for public procurers (such as technical specifications for purchasing and criteria for awarding contracts) of office bio-based products.

The guide was published as part of the project "Renewable raw materials in purchasing" started by FNR in 2010.  It is available from this link on FNR’s website.

                                                                                                                                        Image copyright: FNR

New factsheet on Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Costing

The InnProBio team has issued its factsheet #5 focused on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Costing (LCC). The document gives an insight as to what the LCA method is and the environmental impacts it assesses – such as climate change or impact on natural resources. It also explains what the results of LCA can be used for, for example in comparing different products and services. The factsheet also highlights the advantages of using LCA, as well as its link with green public procurement.

LCC – an assessment of all costs which are related to a certain product, directly covered by one or several actors in the life cycle of the product (Hunkeler et al. 2007) – is also covered in this factsheet, which also lists different LCC tools for use in public procurement.

The factsheet also shows the common ground between LCA and LCC, as well as the main differences between both concepts, and why they are important for increasing the procurement of bio-based products.

For more information, and to download the factsheet, visit here.

Image copyright: Pixabay / CC0 Public Domain


  Other news

European Commission launches Knowledge Centre to provide scientific evidence on bioeconomy

On 20 July, the European Commission launched the new Bioeconomy Knowledge Centre to better support EU and national policy makers and stakeholders with science-based evidence in this field. The platform will not primarily generate knowledge, but will collect, structure and make accessible knowledge from a wide range of scientific disciplines and sources on the bioeconomy, the sustainable production of renewable biological resources and their conversion into valuable products.

The Knowledge Centre is being created by the Commission’s in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre, in cooperation with Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, responsible for the Joint Research Centre, said: “The Bioeconomy Knowledge Centre builds on the Joint Research Centre’s expertise in knowledge management, offering policy makers relevant information in a timely manner and a format that is easy to use."

"It is the fourth Knowledge Centre launched by the Commission in the last two years, after the ones on migration and demography, territorial policies and disaster risk management, and another important step in further strengthening the sound evidence base we need to tackle the societal challenges facing the EU.”

For more information, visit here.

Image copyright: Pixabay / CC0 Public Domain

Enhancing cooperation between public contracting entities and vendors of bio-based products in Germany

A new national research and communication project dealing with bio-based products in public procurement is being carried out by the University of Würzburg, Germany. The project’s aim is to bring together and intensify information exchange between public contracting entities and vendors of bio-based products. As a result more bio-based products should be purchased by public contracting entities so that the vendors will be put into a better market position. The intensified procuring of bio-based products by public contracting entities will give positive signals to private companies and consumers to do the same.

In order to bring together public contracting entities and vendors of bio-based products, scientifically sound knowledge of procurement- as well sales-related processes and issues is needed. Empirical studies are to be conducted periodically in order to analyze developments in time and the effects of measures taken during the project.

In the first empirical study more than 1000 public entities answered a questionnaire to determine their knowledge of procuring bio-based products. Based on the results a web-based communication platform that brings together public contracting entities and vendors of bio-based products was developed and implemented.

Public procurers can access the German communication platform here.

Suppliers of bio-based products can use this link.

                                                                                                Image copyright: Pixabay / CC0 Public Domain


  Upcoming events

3rd Annual Conference and Expo on Biomaterials

Biomaterials 2018 conference acts as a platform for bridging the gap between Academia and Industry through discussion on novel research methods in Biomaterials research. The conference gives best opportunity for meeting with Industrial experts, Academic speakers, Pharmaceutical Companies, Decision-makers, interacting and defining novel prospects in Biomaterials business. It helps in dynamically adding value to biomedical, pharmaceutical, R&D businesses. Novel approaches and applications about biomaterials like the gene/drug delivery systems development and industrializing insights & gain the latest technologies about novel biomaterials and bionanomaterials.

5-6 March 2018
Berlin, Germany
Link: biomaterials.conferenceseries.com

The 15th Procura+ Seminar

The City of Oslo (Norway) and ICLEI are partnering to host the 15th Procura+ Seminar on 21-22 March 2018, to bring together a diverse range of practitioners, experts and policy makers from across Europe. Participants will get the chance to hear from the City of Oslo on their new procurement strategy, and from the SPP Regions project partners on experiences of engaging with suppliers, applying circular procurement and using life cycle costing tools.

Detailed information about the Seminar will be made available on the Procura+ website. Please do not hesitate to contact at oslo2018@iclei.org with any questions or if you would like to collaborate.

21 - 22 March 2018
Oslo, Norway
Link: www.procuraplus.org/events/

11th International Conference on Bio-based Materials

Bio-based building blocks and platform chemicals will be one focus of the conference. Plenty of new bio-based building blocks, such as furan derivatives, succinic acid and 1,4-butanediol, are entering the market and thus give the opportunity to create brand new bio-based polymers. As an event that strives to highlight innovation, the conference will again dedicate a session to young and promising start-ups. High-potential start-ups from the field of bio-based chemistry, polymers and biotechnology are invited to present themselves to industry and get in contact with potential investors. To further honour and acknowledge new developments in the innovative bio-based chemicals and materials industry, every year the participants of the conference choose the winner of the Innovation Award “Bio-based Material of the Year”.

15-16 May 2018
Cologne, Germany

InnProBio - partners