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GoDanuBio – a new European Danube Transnational Programme

The ‘GoDanuBio’ project is part of the Interreg Danube Transnational Programme, and its goal is to promote regional development in the Danube region through the bioeconomy. The ‘GoDanuBio’ project is designed to increase the attractiveness of rural areas in the Danube region, create new jobs, and thereby prevent the migration of young people to the cities. Demographic change is to be managed at the regional and local level through participatory governance and citizen involvement. For this purpose, BIOPRO is working in cooperation with 19 project partners and 7 associated partners from 10 countries in the Danube region.

Rural exodus and demographic change in the Danube region

Map showing the countries involved in the Danube Transnational Programme. © Danube Transnational Programme (DTP)

Cities and regions around the Danube face major social changes as a result of demographic change. Better job opportunities and the prospect of a better life are attracting young people to the cities from the countryside. As a result, the exodus of workers leads to depopulated areas, leaving behind an ageing and increasingly unskilled population. The EU project GoDanuBio aims to counteract this process: the project is taking various approaches that aim to increase the attractiveness of rural areas and provide young people with new incentives to revive rural areas.

Bioeconomy as the key to increasing the attractiveness of rural areas

The bioeconomy is used as a tool to foster regional development, i.e. the transition from a fossil-resource based economy towards an economy that makes use of the sustainable production of biological resources and processes to develop new products and services. The development of rural areas is particularly supported by promoting the bioeconomy in the Danube region. The use of renewable raw materials and their sustainable and regional production make an important contribution to the implementation of the bioeconomy.

Implementation of the goals of GoDanuBio

  • establish new participatory policy systems and approaches to address demographic change at regional and local levels
  • use of the bioeconomy as a key to increasing the attractiveness of rural areas, especially for young people
  • promote transregional cooperation and strategic development of the bioeconomy in the Danube macroregion.

At the beginning of the project, local stakeholders will be identified and cross-sector collaborations established. By demonstrating the economic and societal values of biobased ecosystems, the benefits of ‘bioeconomisation’ will be highlighted in the regional context.

Furthermore, rural-urban, supraregional and transnational cooperation opportunities will be developed to achieve a circular bioeconomy across the entire Danube region. Ultimately, this will create a multi-level system with stakeholders from regional policy, industry, science and civil organisations. The goal here is to leverage the institutional capacities of the participating regions and establish transformative processes to address demographic change and the associated talent drain.

Interdisciplinary cooperation between public administration and various production sectors is necessary to actively counter demographic change. The concept of the bioeconomy can act as a catalyst here. In this sense, GoDanuBio will boost the attractiveness of rural areas through participatory governance, the development of biobased value chains and the exchange of knowledge between the stakeholders involved - and ultimately perhaps even encourage people to relocate from the city to rural areas. This will also be actively implemented in Baden-Württemberg. A political foundation already exists in the bioeconomy field in Baden-Württemberg in the form of the state’s "Sustainable Bioeconomy for Baden-Württemberg" strategy which was published in 2019. This can be used as a basis for future work on the abovementioned fields of action.

Final video of the GoDanuBio project

GoDanuBio project consortium

The GoDanuBio project has been ongoing since July 2020 and will be completed in December 2022. A kick-off meeting was held on July 30, 2020, online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The total funding for the project is €2,713,796.50 of which €2,214,155.21 comes from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The project is funded within the framework of the Interreg Danube Transnational Programme (DTP). The consortium includes 19 project partners from 10 countries within the Danube macroregion (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia) and 7 associated partners. BIOPRO assumes the role of lead partner. 70 % of the project partners are clusters, cluster associations and/or business development organisations.

Website address: https://www.bio-pro.de/en/projects/Completed-projects/godanubio