Periodic Reporting for period 2 - BLOOM (Boosting European citizens knowledge and awareness of bioeconomy)
Reporting period: 2019-05-01 to 2020-12-31
As a result of these challenges described above, BLOOM has the following main objectives:
Objective a): Raise awareness and enhance knowledge on bioeconomy
BLOOM conducted 110 outreach activities and reached with that around 88.500 persons. The co-created face to face formats proved to be successful in reaching the specific target groups including the broad public. In reaching the latter it proved very important to implement activities in the public space or in the everyday living environment. However, online formats that were necessary due to the Corona pandemic are not as successful when it comes to reaching out to a broader public. To reach beyond usual target groups, online formats need to be promoted through low threshold social media posts and they must address catchy, sometimes even provoking environment topics, which raise the interest of people with different socio-economic and educational backgrounds.
Objective b): Reduce the fragmentation of awareness strategies and build up and strengthen a bioeconomy community
The BLOOM hub activities started on a small, local level, engaging regional stakeholders. These regional stakeholders were involved in co-creation workshops where they had the possibility to shape and develop awareness raising activities and materials in their own region. These stakeholders became multipliers for outreach activities and contributed to growing networks within their region. Through the interaction across regional hubs these networks got in contact and connected and became part of a European bioeconomy community.
Objective c): Gain a common understanding
The common understanding was central in the co-creation processes within the hubs. In regions where national bioeconomy strategies existed easier agreed on a common understanding based on these documents. However, discussions on values, meaning and aspiration for a region were always important and central before co-creation. The outreach activities then build on the common understanding agreed upon in co-creation.
Objective d): Foster (social) learning and education
Also the second period showed the need for bioeconomy teaching resources and that the BLOOM teachers acted as pioneers promoting bioeconomy teaching for STEM classes in primary and secondary school levels through teacher trainings. Teacher competitions proved to be adequate formats to create further bioeconomy teaching resources. A high number of international teachers were eager to participate which shows the interest beyond European borders. Additionally, the multi stakeholder groups in the regional hubs often chose young people as target group, strengthening informal learning. Creative outreach formats can perfectly be interlinked with educational activities in primary and secondary schools and also with university level.
Additionally the dissemination team produced audio visual materials (5 episodes of the BLOOM documentary series, subtitled in all hub languages, 3 short information videos; 8 podcasts, BLOOM quiz, etc.) which were especially important for online use during the Corona pandemic and to support the hubs in their outreach activities. Moreover the dissemination team was responsible to communicate the topic of bioeconomy and the BLOOM results on social media. Partners responsible for content and frameworks of bioeconomy, dissemination partners, school network and hubs collaborated closely in order to create clear and well accessible information (also tools) for different target groups.
All BLOOM results are available on the BLOOMer platform which is going to be maintained until 2025. Materials and formats will be further used by network members, participants and school network. Collected data is available on ZENODO for further research use. Multimedia materials; videos and podcasts are also available on YouTube and Spotify.
The benefit of the BLOOM co-creation and outreach process was twofold: for one, the citizens and stakeholder will gain knowledge on benefits and issues pertaining to bioeconomy. At the same time, multi-stakeholder networks could be set up.
BLOOM raised citizen awareness and the communication between regional industry representatives, decision makers and citizens was strengthened. Bioeconomy development can help rural areas to strengthen their unique regional profile and to explore their comparative advantages with other regions.
BLOOM developed and applied the BLOOM school box, which addresses boys and girls of different ages and provides different ways of bringing the topic of bieconomy closer. The BLOOM teachers became pioneers in developing bioeconomy teaching resources which proved to be very useful in education.