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About the Author: Innovarum

Content produced by the Innovarum Team with inputs from different team members.

The MainstreamBIO consortium is meeting in Almere, the Netherlands, on 10-11 October for its third project consortium meeting. The partners will discuss the progress made during the first year of the project, and will propose their action plans for the next six months. In the following months, MainstreamBIO will launch its first Innovation Round by providing technical and business support services to applicants with rural business ideas around the bioeconomy.

On the second day of the meeting, project partners will visit the facilities of Farm of the Future, a Dutch initiative in which Wageningen University and farmers from Lelystad collaborate to find viable solutions to the challenges facing agriculture in the country. The goal will be to learn how the initiative is working to supports agriculture systems that are respectful with the nature and the landscape, and at the same time minimise GHG emissions.

A successful first year for the project

Since its kick-off last year, MainstreamBIO has carried out several tasks to lay the groundwork and design the services to be made available to rural stakeholders in the study regions. In the first months of the project, the partners carried out an analysis of the development, characteristics and actors involved in the rural bioeconomy in the study regions of each of the countries involved (Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland, Bulgaria, Sweden and Denmark). To this end, multiple interviews have been conducted with these identified agents and co-creation workshops have been held in each of the regions, where rural stakeholders have identified the specific needs of their region and collaborated in the fine-tuning of the technical and business services that will be launched in the last quarter of this year.

For the selection of candidates to provide services to, each region launched an Open call during the summer to encourage individual agents or groups of rural agents with business ideas around the bioeconomy to be recipients of such services. In the Spanish case, led by Innovarum, the Open call for rural agents from Navarra, Aragon and Catalonia closed on 4 October. During the next few days, the decision will be communicated to the selected candidates, and the consortium will start providing services from November to June next year.

For more information and monitoring of the project, visit the MainstreamBIO project website.

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