The goal of the Interreg Alpine Space project "AlpLinkBioEco" is to establish better connections between Alpine regions and to focus more on biobased and circular value chains. BIOPRO is working to achieve this goal as part of a consortium involving 13 other European partners from France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Slovenia.
The Alpine region is a multi-faceted region that is unique in Europe. It is a historically significant settlement area that is home to almost 70 million people, a transit corridor for European traffic streams, a holiday destination for millions of people and, last but not least, a unique natural space. The Alpine region represents a microcosm of global developments. It can serve as a model for addressing climate change issues, demographic change and future energy security. Solutions to these urgent questions should not be considered in isolation. For example, the European Union’s (EU) cohesion policy seeks to find regional answers to global challenges through international cooperation.
The consortium contributes to finding solutions to these challenges through the AlpLinkBioEco project. The focus is on building a sustainable, biobased economy coupled with a circular economy in order to minimise our dependency on fossil raw materials and establish new innovative economic models and business areas.
In this context, the fourteen participants in the European "AlpLinkBioEco" project gathered in the Swiss city of Fribourg on 4th and 5th June 2018 for a kick-off meeting.
The project aims to better exploit the potential that lies in the networking of biobased value chains with a circular economy. A strategy will be formulated taking a perspective approach, using the characteristics of the Alpine region to form the basis of a joint approach. The aim is to align the society and economy of the Alpine region with the principles of the bioeconomy and circular economy. During the project period, an overview of individual biobased value-added chains of selected economic sectors in the Alpine region will be compiled, including in particular the agricultural and forestry sectors, the food and pharmaceutical product packaging sectors and the chemical industry. Value chains will be identified in the geographical catchment areas of the respective partners and the insights gained will subsequently be used to establish new biobased and circular value chains through targeted networking of the active players involved. The budget for the AlpLinkBioEco project is € 2,036,020, 85% of which is co-financed by the EU.
The participation of BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH in "AlpLinkBioEco" ensures that the expertise gained in other EU projects will be used for developing biobased and circular value chains. An intensive mutual exchange between the different actors will therefore occur beyond the respective programme boundaries.
Within the framework of the "DanuBioValNet" project, in which BIOPRO is involved as lead partner, methods and tools to improve the transnational interconnection of companies are being developed with partners from the Danube region. Cluster managers are being given intensive training in managing industrial cooperations and ensuring the creation of new value chains. During the implementation phase, the practicability of the methods and tools developed will be tested using three value chains established across national borders. Special focus will be on “phytopharma, “biobased packaging” and “sustainable building construction”. A final strategy paper on biobased cluster policies will summarise what has been achieved by the project and provide recommendations for action.
The "CirculAlps" project, also located in the Alpine region, aims to reinforce forestry in the Alpine region in terms of the bioeconomy and circular economy. BIOPRO, together with four European partners, will analyse and evaluate regional forest systems that are hard to access. The analyses will examine the extent to which the circular economy and the bioeconomy can add value to regional development.
The “AlpLinkBioEco“ project was launched on 17th April 2018 and will run for a period of three years. Within the framework of the European Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP), it is being financed with funds from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The Plastics Innovation Competence Center (PICC) at the University of Fribourg is lead partner in the “AlpLinkBioEco” project. The PICC is co-financed with funds from the Swiss Confederation’s New Regional Policy (NRP), which funds, amongst other things, participation in transnational EU projects. Further project partners are: Business Upper Austria - OÖ Wirtschaftsagentur GmbH (Austria); Association Club des Districts Industriels Français and France Clusters und Plastipolis (France); Centro di Studi Alpino di Pieve Tesino, Confindustria Lombardia, Hub Innovazione Trentino and Lombardy Green Chemistry Association (Italy); Ministrstvo za izobraževanje, znanost in šport (Ministry of Education, Science and Sports) and Poly4Eml hosted by Anteja ECG d.o.o. (Slovenia); as well as BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH, Chemie Cluster Bayern GmbH, ClusterAgentur Baden-Württemberg (Germany), hosted by VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH and INNONET Kunststoff TZ Horb GmbH & Co. KG.