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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.

Last October 25th, Innovarum attended the II Bioeconomy Forum of Castilla y León, organized in Soria on October 25th and 26th by the Institute for Business Competitiveness (ICE) with the coordination of the Cesefor Foundation, and the collaboration of the Efficient Habitat Cluster (AEICE), the Spanish Biomass Association (Avebiom), the CARTIF Technology Center, the Regional Public Entity of Energy of Castilla y León (EREN), the Agricultural Technology Institute of Castilla y León (ITACyL), and the Food Industry Association of Castilla y León (VITARTIS).

The event, whose main objective was to highlight the central role of the bioeconomy in the economic and social development of the region, and to show how it can boost job creation, business growth and improve the quality of life of citizens, was attended by more than 200 participants, representatives of the quadruple helix of the regional bioeconomy.

The four pillars

The first day was structured around plenary sessions and working tables highlighting the 4 pillars of the bioeconomy: Agricultural and Agrifood Bioeconomy, Bioenergy, Forestry Bioeconomy and Circular Bioeconomy. At the end of the day, a networking session took place in which projects, good practices and business models were presented as examples of business development around biomass in the region. In this session, framed as the final event of the BRANCHES project, Innovarum was presenting the MainstreamBIO and Oleaf4Value projects to the regional agents. One as an example of boosting business models around the rural bioeconomy, and the other as a practical case of circular use of biomass to obtain value-added products.

Networking & Meetings

The second day included several thematic meetings (Contributions of the habitat sector to the bioeconomy, Bioinnovation in the agri-food sector, Public-private promotion in construction with wood and biomaterials, Bioenergy: contribution and potential within an energy model in transition, Industrialized construction with wood as a business opportunity, and New bio business models for the primary sector), as well as practical demonstrations of construction with wood and a visit to the LIFE Smart Agromobility project in Sauquillo de Boñices.

Among the conclusions of the event, the fundamental role played by the bioeconomy in the economic and social development of Castilla y León was highlighted, as well as the great opportunity offered by its abundant renewable resources to contribute to solving many of the current challenges, both environmental and depopulation, through the generation of new products, services and competitive business models. The organization of the third edition of this forum was confirmed by representatives of the Junta de Castilla y León for next year, with the aim of “positioning the province and the region as a reference in bioeconomy”.

Link of interest: Bioeconomy Forum – Soria 2023

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