This action is expected to contribute to the implementation of 'The BIOEAST Initiative' vision paper with its related action plan. This calls for the further alignment and convergence of national research, knowledge and innovation activities and other relevant initiatives and investments with the different actors and across different sectors, in primis between the European countries from the CEE macro-region and the whole EU. Proposals should support the BIOEAST Initiative to steer the development of strategies and evidence-based policies, to identify common challenges and validate common research areas, to map and establish data-driven support for the design and implementation of policies, the improvement of skills and the development of synergies between European and national funds. Proposals should therefore also improve Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKISs) in the CEE macro-region, make them more interconnected and structured and embed them within the European Research Area (ERA) and the European Innovation Partnership (EIP-AGRI). The activities should strengthen rural communities looking also at local small-scale value chains with strong rural development features.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 3 million would allow this specific scope to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
Proposals shall include a task to cluster with other projects financed under RUR-09-2018. In agreement with the Commission services, projects should ensure appropriate flexibility to respond in real time to potentially fast-changing policy scenarios.
Many European macro-regions have very high potential to develop functioning circular bioeconomies, exploiting their land, aquatic or waste based resources, but they often suffer the drawbacks of less developed knowledge and innovation systems. Neither traditional nor innovative value-chains are fully exploited and the opportunities for creating value added processes are not recognised or not well understood. A systemic and integrated approach for sustainable production and consumption is often missing and rural communities fail to exploit the potential of an evidence-based, sustainable circular bioeconomy.
These challenges are deeply inter-connected and mutually reinforce each other. Within this frame, coordinated and integrated actions need to be carried out to create synergies and complementarities between sectors and countries. This is to provide added value to regional, national and EU investments, remove barriers, avoid duplication and reduce fragmentation, as it was put forward in the Vision Paper of the “Central and Eastern European Initiative for Knowledge-based Agriculture, Aquaculture and Forestry in the Bioeconomy”, the BIOEAST Initiative[[http://bioeast.eu/vision]].
In the framework of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 8, 12, 13, 15 and in order to contribute to the implementation of the EU Bioeconomy Strategy, the Common Agricultural Policy and EU Forest Strategy, activities shall
In the short term:
- Contribute to the implementation of the BIOEAST Initiative Vision and its related action plan
- Develop national bioeconomy strategies to tackle specific environmental and climatic challenges identified in the BIOEAST Initiative Vision Paper.
- Facilitate evidence-based policy making by developing bioeconomy-relevant statistical and administrative data.
- Promote co-creation of innovation and the multi-actor approach, improve knowledge flows and connection between actors within national and regional AKISs, and better link these with the ERA and the EIP-AGRI.
In the medium term:
- Increase sustainable biomass production while maintaining or improving biodiversity and biosecurity.
- Facilitate the creation of new value-chains and value-added jobs and competences to sustain viable rural society.
- Boost knowledge and innovation in rural communities, ensuring that they participate in the knowledge economy and maximise opportunities arising from advances in the research and innovation system as well as incentivising bottom-up innovative ideas.
- Support stability and socio-economic development.