European countries develop a circular bioeconomy with support CEE2ACT project

On 13 and 14 September 2022, representatives of 17 European organisations, including Wageningen University & Research, gathered in Budapest at the kick-off meeting of the CEE2ACT project, funded under the European Union’s Horizon Europe Research and Innovation programme.

The European Green Deal has set Europe on its path to being the first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and achieving a green transition that is just, fair and inclusive. One of the seven core pathways to deliver this climate neutrality is the bioeconomy. The 2018 update to the EU bioeconomy strategy highlighted the relevance of developing national bioeconomy strategies and action plans to deploy a sustainable and circular bioeconomy across Europe, considering economic, social and environmental aspects.

To date, there are still Member States, including many from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) that do not have a national bioeconomy strategy and action plan despite their high biomass resource base and new bioeconomy potential. However, there are relevant regional initiatives supporting bioeconomy in Central and Eastern European countries.

CEE2ACT in the Netherlands

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research will represent the Netherlands in this project. We have a leading position within Europe. Since 2018 we have a national strategy for the bioeconomy and the government-wide program for the circular economy 2050 (Raw Materials Agreement). Which also addresses important themes for WUR, i.e. using resources within planetary boundaries, reducing climate change, producing for humans, sustainable management of resources and cooperation in the value chain and a food agenda leading to a sustainable food system. Specifically for the food system, we are a frontrunner when it comes to food waste and loss, with our experience with ’Stichting Samen Tegen Voedselverspilling’ (Food Waste Free United) and the Refresh project.

Circular bioeconomy in Central Eastern Europe

The objective of CEE2ACT is to empower countries in Central Eastern Europe (Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia,) and beyond (Greece, Republic of Serbia) to develop circular bioeconomy strategies and action plans, through knowledge transfer and innovative governance models, building on the practice of experienced countries like ours. Within the project WUR is responsible for the knowledge transfer, both around strategy development, as well as the technological innovations that support the bioeconomy and the governance process for obtaining stakeholder cooperation from system partners.

Project activities CEE2ACT

Knowledge transfer and inspiration in creative formats that address the motivations, needs and knowledge gaps of each CEE2ACT target country will be realised through CEE2ACT National Bioeconomy Hubs. A bottom-up approach will be applied throughout the project activities, tackling specific knowledge gaps and shortcomings of the top-down conventional approach, building closer interconnections between actors. An approach Wageningen Food & Biobased Research strongly believes in.

To achieve this, a baseline assessment will be carried out, and stakeholder engagement activities will be implemented ensuring the active participation of all relevant stakeholders. Digital solutions for sustainable governance will be created, supporting the exchange of best practices on technology transfer, and building the capacities of the stakeholders to develop bottom-up bioeconomy strategies.

The findings will be used and disseminated through practical tools, guidelines, and policy recommendations to support beneficiary countries to develop flexible and inclusive bioeconomy strategies and action plans, boosting societal engagement in the countries’ transition toward a circular bioeconomy.

To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life.

Education & Programmes

Research & Results

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