Creating a favourable environment requires regional planning
BioRural partners performed during spring 2023 a consultation to more than 400 rural stakeholders and more than 45 experts, in order to find keys for the adoption of small scale biobased solutions on circular bioeconomy in rural areas (full set of results and analysis available into Deliverable D1.2 report). The report concludes that it is necessary for that to establish coordinated actions at regional or state level, to create a favourable environment, which include: awareness campaigns and training, policy and regulatory support, community collaboration, market access and promotion, research and development.
But, how to apply these recommendations to be inclusive for rural stakeholders?
The survey results evidences that:
- rural stakeholders profiles are, in respect to urban and industry actors, of smaller size, with lower education level and more distant from R&D poles.
- the more remote, small, and with lower education level, the less proneness to adopt innovations and to get involved in standard R&D projects. In contrast they are more prone to actions of consultancy and training.
- practical benefits are the key for adopting innovations: economics (gains/savings), improved products or easiness to adopt
According to AVEBIOM interpretation, the further adoption of small scale solutions applicable to circular bioeconomy in rural areas, requires tailoring, not always included in the spirit of regional programs. Rural actors, being of smaller size, and distant form research, usually lack of specific R&D profile, department or personnel. As well their size require shorter periods of recovery and tailored solutions more synergistic with local resources or available providers.
As such the recommendations highlighted by AVEBIOM were:
- it is crucial advice, support, training to provide vision on the available solutions.
- Understanding from practice is crucial, therefore transfer is improved by direct contact with other early adopters, visits to showcases and testimonials
- Rural actors, more accustomed to advisory, need alternative innovation paths, different from usual R&D projects. Co-creation or living labs are good options for triggering innovations
- practical aspects are crucial, therefore to base on proved innovations easily replicable and ensuring economic return and/or product improvement
Recommendations transferred at two relevant events at Spain and EU levels
Bioeconomy Forum of Castilla y León
This is the referential biennial event organised by the Government of Castilla y León, to capture ideas to steer and improve the regional policies on bioeconomy and on circularity. It was held on 25th October in Soria, one of the Spanish provinces with rural profile, low population and remote rural zones. AVEBIOM had the opportunity to be there, participating in the Working table on Circular economy and transferring the BioRural recommendations to the event’s audience.
BRANCHES final conference at FAO (Rome)
The BRANCHES project celebrated its final conference at FAO (Rome), invited by the Mountain Partnership who hosted the event. This partnership is a United Nations voluntary alliance of partners dedicated to improving the lives of mountain peoples and protecting mountain environments around the world. AVEBIOM presented BioRural analysis and recommendations in this hybrid event. The recommendations were an input to elaborate the BRANCHES project final press release.