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Revitalisation of European local (rural / peri-urban) communities with innovative bio-based business models and social innovation

  • Proposals will benefit from social creativity and economic opportunities at local/regional scale unleashed for bio-based systems, taking care of their high environmental performances, in terms of local bio-based feedstock, resources, processes, skills, materials and products. Impacts and trade-offs, such as lower carbon footprint and environmental impacts of the whole value chains shall be part of the assessment of the bio-based systems.
  • Communication and dissemination activities need to take into account the inclusive nature of engagement of local actors (e.g. use of languages, mutual learning process, trust building measures), to achieve exchange of best practice at European level, and connection to appropriate local governance structure.
  • Integration of regional, local, or macro-regional policy makers is considered essential, as is the involvement of civil society (NGOs, consumer organisations, etc). This should include the assessment of robustness of existing governance schemes, to allow replication across Europe (taking into account the issues such as the income generation for all stakeholders, labour conditions, environmental indicators, social engagement, innovation parameters etc).
  • The development of novel bio-based models shall involve economic actors, primarily SMEs, but also rural entrepreneurial structures (e.g. cooperatives, professional associations). Digital solutions to connect and inform all stakeholders, including consumers, shall be given due consideration.
  • Projects should build on past or parallel activities, e.g. Horizon 2020 projects Power4Bio, BE-Rural or the projects funded under the call HORIZON-CL6-2021-GOVERNANCE-01-09: Revitalisation of European local communities with innovative bio-based business models and social innovation, as well as the past/on-going projects under the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), seeking synergies and links with upcoming activities of the Circular Bio-based Europe Partnership[[]], as well as Horizon Europe calls[[ E.g. under the Destination – Resilient, inclusive, healthy and green rural, coastal and urban communities e.g. see topic HORIZON-CL6-2024-COMMUNITIES-02-1-two-stage: Innovating for climate-neutral rural communities by 2050.]].
  • In order to avoid the risk of duplication of efforts and to limit the focus to rural and peri-urban actions, the present topic excludes blue (marine and maritime) bio-based activities from its scope.
  • International cooperation should be considered, aiming at exchange of best practice.
  • Social innovation is recommended when the solution is at the socio-technical interface and requires social change, new social practices, social ownership or market uptake. Proposal should explore intersectionality approaches and consider aspects like gender, ethnicity, migrant or refugee status, social class, sexual orientation and disability to ensure inclusion of marginalised groups in citizen engagement and the development of tools and guidelines.
  • This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities.