European regions are diverse – economically, ecologically and culturally. These areas are home to a wealth of ecosystems and resources, where the bioeconomy carries the promise of opportunities for rural employment and sustainable growth. This transition towards a new, bio-based regional economy requires the active involvement of a broad spectrum of stakeholders and the sustainable use of agricultural, forest and marine ecosystems. Building on this idea, BE-Rural will explore the potential of regional and local bio-based economies and support the development of bioeconomy strategies, roadmaps and business models. To this end, the project will focus on establishing Open Innovation Platforms (OIPs) within selected regions in five countries: Bulgaria, Latvia, North Macedonia, Poland and Romania.
Centred on the key principles of co-creation, openness and inclusiveness, and sustainability, BE-Rural will map the regional biomass potential and identify suitable technology options for each OIP. This knowledge will feed into a co-creation process in which key people from each region come together to discuss business models and develop bio-based strategies and roadmaps. This exchange will be reinforced by the formation of a permanent “Network of Knowledge” to share best practices at an interregional level. Parallel to these activities, bio-based pop-up stores and events will be held to inform and engage interested citizens. Further, educational material and events will be designed and organised to expand the theoretical and practical knowledge on bioeconomy and sustainability.