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About the Author: Ana Casillas

Innovation Consultant - Ana holds a B.Sc. degree in Biochemistry, which she completed in the Bioremediation department of Queen’s University (Kingston – CA) through the TASSEP Program, and a M.Sc. degree in Applied Plant Biology, both from the Complutense University of Madrid. She started her professional career developing projects in BIOPLAT (the Spanish Technology and Innovation Platform ‘Biomass for the Bioeconomy’) and continued as a Bioeconomy Advisor in the bioeconomy area of the Andalusian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development. Ana defines herself as a defender of the environment and critical thinking.

On 9 May, Expobiomasa, the largest biomass recovery fair in Europe, hosted the workshop Inspiring practices for innovating with biomass, where INNOVARUM presented the MainstreamBIO project, which focused on the promotion of small-scale bioeconomy solutions in rural areas. The workshop, organised by AVEBIOM and open to more than 12,000 professionals from 40 countries attending the fair, included presentations of 20 projects on innovation in the bioeconomy and biomass technologies, highlighting areas for the creation of synergies. The day included several spaces reserved for networking, with the aim of establishing an environment to create significant synergies between all the participating projects.

In search of synergies between projects

Synergy is implicit in MainstreamBIO, as it builds on the results of European projects such as RUBIZMO, BE RURAL, or POWER4BIO, and has many points in common with projects such as BIORURAL, SCALE-UP or BRANCHES, the latter with the same study region as MainstreamBIO (Ebro Valley).

BIORURAL responds to the same topic as MainstreamBIO, and has its focus on rural areas, but its main objective is the creation of a European Bioeconomy Network. The SCALE-UP project also aims to create regional platforms and a support programme for bio-based solutions, with the difference that its study area in Spain focuses on Andalusia. The BRANCHES project, the workshop’s organiser, has served as the basis for characterising the bioeconomy and detecting agents of interest in the Ebro Valley. MainstreamBIO has already collaborated with BRANCHES in the organisation of the joint workshop in Alcarrás (Lleida) last April.

During the presentations, the representatives of more than 20 projects took the opportunity to highlight the areas of their projects in which they can establish synergies and for which they are looking for collaborators. MainstreamBIO explained the work carried out in the project so far, with the characterisation of the bioeconomy and the identification of key agents and explained how the support services that are being defined would be made available to the public through two rounds of innovation.

The day, which has been a meeting point and a boiling point for ideas between projects with related objectives, ended with a networking lunch to consolidate future collaborations and alignments between projects

You can watch the recording of the workshop here:

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