The Interreg Danube Translational Programme’s ”DanuBioValNet” project aims to establish new biobased value chains. Under the leadership of BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH, 17 partners from the Danube region met on 1st January 2017 to pave the ground for transnational collaboration in the biobased industry. Regional cluster organisations are expected to drive the change from a fossil fuel-based industry to a biobased industry forward and will be given intensive training to help them initiate transnational networking in this sector.
The EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) was adopted by the European Union in 2011, and is aimed at developing the economic potential of the Danube region, improving environmental conditions and enhancing the overall prosperity and quality of life of the region’s population. The bioeconomy’s major focus, i.e. promoting the transition from a fossil fuel-based economy to a biobased economy, addresses important challenges in the Danube region. These include creating a sea change in raw material use, which could potentially reduce our dependence on fossil fuels as well as reducing climate-damaging emissions. In addition, innovations in a biobased economy can support regional development by contributing to the diversification of the local economy and providing new employment opportunities, for example by supplying biogenic raw materials that are then processed into intermediate products or by manufacturing biobased final products.
In order to make as many companies as possible aware of the emerging new opportunities within the framework of a bioeconomy, mainly cluster organisations were chosen as central contacts for driving the envisaged development forward. Eleven of the 17 DanuBioValNet consortium partners from ten countries (Germany - represented by the state of Baden-Württemberg, Austria, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro) are cluster organisations, four are ministries and two are academic institutions. The project aims, inter alia, to develop new methods and tools for facilitating transnational networking between companies. Cluster managers will be given intensive training on how to organise industry collaborations and ensure the creation of new value chains. Clusters are sustainable partners in the project as they catalyse the implementation of the findings in industry, science and politics. The long-term goal is to create a biobased industry network in the Danube region.
Pilot actions in the automotive, phytopharma and bioenergy sectors
The practicability of the methods and tools developed will be assessed during the implementation phase using three example value chains that will be established across national borders. The main areas of focus will be phytopharma, automotive and bioenergy. If other sectors, e.g. the textile or packaging industries, will, as the project progresses, turn out to be promising areas for the creation of biobased value chains, transnational collaborations will also be established in these industries. The DanuBioValNet project is funded by the European Union (ERDF, IPA) under the Danube Translational Programme (DTP) and will receive around 2.3 million euros for a period of 30 months.
The DanuBioValNet consortium will kick off the project with an initial meeting in Prague on 30th March 2017. In addition to a best-practice example, i.e. biobased products manufactured and marketed by fischerwerke GmbH, the meeting will also feature a brokerage event for cluster organisations. Companies interested in biobased products as well as other stakeholders such as NGOs and politicians are also welcome to join the kick-off event.