Author: Moa Jonsson

Last week, the BIOMODEL4REGIONS consortium meet in Kozani, Greece. Eight partners shared the work done over the past six months and discussed how the work will continue in the coming year. Currently, the project are developing six regional bio-based economy strategy blueprints, which will be a major focus of our efforts this fall.

We also had the opportunity to listen to a presentation of the MarginUp! project by Greenovate, ATB, and CluBE. The presentation providing valuable insights and fostering collaboration.

It is always inspiring and enjoyable to meet the people involved in the project. We learn from each other and share ideas and thoughts about the project’s continuation. One thing we know for sure is that we are moving full speed ahead!

Last week Biomodel4Regions project coordinator Patrizia Circelli attended CBE JU Info Day in Brussels. To gain insights into the CBE JU 2024 call for project proposals and spread the word about the project.

“It was very interesting to join the CBE event, where it was possible to gain further insights about the upcoming calls on bioeconomy & agrifood, since these are burning and challenging topics where it is instrumental to connect to key stakeholders, and liase with strategic partners,” says Patrizia Circelli.

If you want to know more about the call where a total of €213 million will be dedicated to advancing competitive circular bio-based industries in Europe – click here!

The implementation of strategies takes place in the regions and our network of regions has been important in shaping the Swedish bioeconomy strategy. The differences between the regions’ have been noted when the Swedish strategy was designed. The regions have answered the investigators’ questions and BioFuel Region organized meetings where the regions’ answers have been developed. The network has previously designed indicators for regional statistic and this is a necessity for the regions to be able to follow the development of the bioeconomy. In December 2023 the inquiry to a Swedish Bioeconomy was handed over to the Swedish Government.

Swedish bioeconomy Strategy

The purpose of a Swedish bioeconomy Strategy is to promote sustainable growth, innovation, and employment throughout the country, contribute to environmental and climate benefits, increase the strength of supply, and reduce the vulnerability within society, by using sustainable biomass from forestry, agriculture, and fishing, as well as residual raw materials from food processing industries.

Quantitative indicators

Three examples of goals that should be followed up are; the value added of the bioeconomy has increased by 60 percent, the export value of the bioeconomy has increased by 100 percent, at least 50 percent of the regions have increased the number of employees in the bioeconomy by at least two percent.

Statistics Sweden and the Swedish government representatives are now discussing to update and refine the Bioeconomy statistics for all 21 Swedish regions.

All the experiences, especially the questions designed by the Swedish government, can now contribute to BioModel4Regions work with the strategies for bioeconomy in Europe.

At the end of January 2024, BioFuel Region organized a conference for Swedish regional strategists titled “Bioeconomy – Union, Nation and Region.” The purpose was to clarify and discuss the Swedish bioeconomy strategy Inquiry. Also, to discuss how the EU’s directives will impact the continued work. 

 Since 2023, the Swedish Government has been working with the Bioeconomy Strategy Inquiry. Coordinated by BioFuel Region, a network of regional strategists has contributed insights to the Inquiry, responding to questions from the Government Office through interviews and digital surveys. BioFuel Region was responsible for gathering and synthesizing these inputs, in addition to organizing network meetings. 

The assignment was reported to the Swedish Government on the 1st of December 2023. These results of the regional input will be used in the ongoing work within BioModel4Regions.  

In the picture from the left: Carina Christiansen, Project Manager Bioeconomy, North Sweden European Office, Eva Fridman,  Bioeconomy expert, BioFuel Region, Lena Bruce, Principal Secretary, Government Offices, Ministry of Rural Affairs and Infrastructure, Andreas Eriksson, Swedish Forest Agency.

BIOMODEL4REGIONS is mentioned in the newspaper “Equipamientos y Servicios Municipales”. This magazine’s main concept is bringing examples of how cities and regions in Europe are tackling the issue of biowaste.

The article focuses mainly on the results of CityLoops and makes reference to the different approaches Chorizo and Biomodel4Regions have. One topic the text addresses is, Tuscany, an Italian region within the project, has committed to revolutionising waste management by implementing circular practices —extracting molecules, generating bioenergy, and producing bio-fertilizers.

If you want to read the entire article, it is available (at page 90) in Spanish here:

The BIOMODE4REGIONS project recently attended ECOMONDO, the reference international event in Europe and the Mediterranean basin for technologies, services, and industrial solutions in the green and circular economy sectors. A hub for research and innovation, the event hosts the leading companies in environmental services, solutions, and technologies, covering water management, waste disposal, textiles, bioenergy, soil management and protection, transport, agriculture, and sustainable cities.

Our project co-coordinator Patrizia Circelli represented BIOMODEL4REGIONS at the CIAOTECH PNO booth, where she presented the main project features to many stakeholders and visitors. Moreover, the project was showcased during a poster session in the frame of ‘Verso un programma nazionale per la simbiosi industriale: prospettive e opportunità per l’Italia’ workshop.

In the eyes of the European Union, clusters can foster innovation along value chains and guide strategic initiatives at both regional and national levels. ICLEI Europe is supporting the establishment of innovative governance models aimed to achieve better informed decision-making processes, boost social engagement and stimulate innovation in the field of the bio-based economy in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Biomodel4Regions project, with the help of ICLEI Europe, is looking for two regions or clusters in the North, Mediterranean, East or Central-West of Europe with aspirations to develop their own bio-based economy strategy covering agri-food, forestry, shellfish, or Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Waste (OFMSW).

Participating in this initiative offers regions a wealth of advantages. Regions selected will gain access to valuable knowledge-sharing and community building with other bio-based clusters across Europe and can tap into the extensive network of regions and expertise within the Circular Cities and Regions Initiative (CCRI). Furthermore, participants will have the opportunity to acquire hands-on experience crafting blueprints for their own sustainable Bio-based Economy Strategy. They will also be able to conduct self-assessments to identify governance and policy gaps in their regional bio-based economies using the Biomodel4Regions’ Bio-based Governance Framework and actively contribute to its finalisation.

Interested regions can apply through this application form by 1 December 2023.

Learn more on how Biomodel4Regions is helping develop bio-based innovation capacity here.

The Circular Cities and Regions Initiative (CCRI) is holding its 1st General Conference on 8 November 2023 in Brussels and online.

Organised by the European Commission, this Conference will provide a forum for all interested circular economy stakeholders to come together to discuss and exchange on circular solutions at the local and regional scale.

The Conference will be an occasion to get inspired by other EU cities and regions and exchange with relevant stakeholders. It will explore themes such as coupling circularity with climate and environmental challenges, financing the circular economy and engaging with stakeholders, as well as how the CCRI can support the circular economy in collaboration with CCRI Projects and Associated Partners.

This event will provide a unique opportunity for policymakers, business leaders and circular economy experts from across Europe to:

Register for the Conference today!

On September 5-6, 2023, BioFuel Region organised a network meeting in Stockholm. Representatives from 12 out of Sweden’s 21 regions, came together to exchange best practises to further develop the bioeconomy.  

Everyone agreed that the bioeconomy is about changing society in a holistic way. There are many ideas and concepts connected to the bioeconomy such as circularity, security of supply, and the green transition of our industries. This makes it challenging to communicate.  

The interest for the network “Swedish Region for a Bioeconomy “is growing, and the important role of regions in is now more recognised. A workshop was organized together with representatives from the Swedish government to summarize input received from interviews and to give final input into the Sweden’s bioeconomy    

Discussions on how regions can be part of an upcoming strategic innovation program took place in collaboration with the Forest Industries, Food Industries, and Bio innovation programme. The latest bioeconomy news was presented, directly from Brussels. The regions exchanged challenges and best practices from everyday work in supporting bioeconomy in their specific region. 

“Better understanding of the different regional perspectives in Sweden and all over EU is crucial to further support growth in the bioeconomy”, commented Magnus Matisons from BioFuel Region, who is the Swedish partner in BioModel4Regions. 


At the beginning of the summer, the BIOMODEL4REGIONS consortium had the opportunity to meet in Milan. The meeting consisted of a summary of the first year and discussions on how to proceed. Some examples of what we discussed follow here. 

In terms of engaging stakeholders effectively, combining project activities with other non-project related activities can be a success factor. The importance of supporting environmentally friendly behavior has been discussed during workshops and interviews. The assignment to create a picture of what the landscape for current policy work, regarding bioeconomy, looks like was supplemented. This with an example how regions in Sweden, on behalf of the government office, define their obstacles and prerequisites. Lastly, the optimal way to communicate the project’s results was discussed. 

The meeting concluded with a tour of laboratories where recyclable materials are tested. It was a rewarding day, especially in terms of meeting all the pleasant and competent partners in the project. We are looking forward to continuing to work together.  


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