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Bridging Consumers, Brands and Bio Based Industry to improve the market of sustainable bio-based products

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - BIOBRIDGES (Bridging Consumers, Brands and Bio Based Industry to improve the market of sustainable bio-based products)

Reporting period: 2019-09-01 to 2020-12-31

"The Biobridges project was a 28-month project which started in September 2018 and was funded by the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant Agreement No 792236).
The consortium is made up of nine partners from eight different countries: Portugal, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Slovakia, Germany, Croatia and Spain.

BIOBRIDGES’s overall aim was to enchance the marketability of bio-based products by establishing primary partnerships between Bio-based Industries, Brand owners and consumer representatives and in cooperation with other stakeholders like local communities, local authorities and industrial actors create new cross-sector interconnections in bio-based economy cluster.
In order to have long-lasting impact on bio-based value chains, BIOBRIDGES has designed and implemented replicable methodologies, procedures and good practices supporting multi-stakeholders co-creation, leading to new cross-sector partnerships. A replicable model on how to establish, support and valorise the results of this cross-sector partnerships in the bio-based economy was developed.

The implementation of the project led to the 15 following results grouped in 5 categories:
1. Studies, analysis and methodologies
• Identified cooperation challenges among consumers, brand owners and bio-based industries
• Framework and good practices for multi-stakeholders and cross-sector interconnections
• Stakeholders’ consultation on cooperation drivers and barriers and hints for improvements
• Biobridges’ methodology for co-creation events
• Biobridges gamified and interactive co-creation experiences
2. Communication and awareness campaigns
• Bio-based economy awareness toolkit
• #BioHeroes campaign
3. Connections and networking
• Bridge2brands – pitching of sustainable solutions
• Bridge2value – fostering connections for value chain generation
• Synergies and exchange of experience established with other initiatives
4. . Policy papers and recommendations
• Proceedings from co-creation events and policy debates
• Policy paper – “Improving the public acceptance of bio-based products and processes at the local and regional level”
• Good practices, procedures and recommendations for boosting inter-sectorial cooperation
• Biobridges’ Action Plan for raising consumers’ awareness on bioeconomy and bio-based products
5. Data
• Survey for assessing consumers’ awareness on bio-based products – Raw data"
WP2
- Identified and analysed the factors that hinder or facilitate the collaboration among bio-based industry (producers), brand owners and retailers (introducing bio-based products into the market) and citizens (consumers);
- Analysed the supporting environment (strategies, incentives, etc.) facilitating multi-stakeholder and cross-sector cooperation for the development of bio-based products (BBPs) aligned with consumers’ needs; and
- Validated, enriched and updated WP2 findings, during a dedicated Focus Group Workshop, held in June 2019 in Brussels, with external experts active in various fields of bioeconomy.

WP3
- The Biobridges database was continuously updated with contacts by all partners, to obtain a comprehensive contact list with relevant stakeholders in each category, to widen the reach and impact of the project. The rules of the GDPR were checked and followed.
- All partners enriched the database with additional stakeholder, such as policy makers, NGOs, researchers, associations, local community representatives etc. A list of projects was created to establish synergies. The list of contacts was leveraged for T7.4 Liaison with existing networks and initiatives and other Biobridges activities.
- The number of the Ambassadors and Advisory Board members were increased. Moreover, the initial target was achieved for both cases and in the case of Ambassadors, the number exceeded almost doubled.
- The Advisory Board consisted of experts, that supported the project activities, with different roles and type of involvement.
- The Biobridges Ambassadors, promoted/demonstrated the concept of the bioeconomy and the benefits of bio-based products, and therefore increased the project's impact.

WP4
- The Biobridges Platform, Structures and Procedures were created to support the co-creation events among Consumers, Bio-based Industries and Brand Owners that will be implemented in WP5.
- The visual promotional materials to support the involvement and engagement of stakeholders in the co-creation events was defined, as well as the concepts and strategy for the serious game supporting the process and the 3 videos tackling the respective target groups.

WP5
- 68 co-creation workshops were organized by the BIOBRIDGES project. Each event has detailed the information related to the scale of the events, the country where the events took place, the total amount of events organised, together with the information about the organisers of the event.

WP6
- Creation of 3 cross-sector interconnection created by the BIOBRIDGES project.
- the realisation of an Action plan’s for raising consumer’s awareness (mainly through the design of a survey not initially planned in the DoA);
- identification and recommendations about bio-economy sectors’ most profitable cooperation possibilities.

WP7
- to create the conditions for an efficient and sound communication and dissemination of the project, namely the definition of the appropriate strategies and planning considering the scope of the project, developing the materials for a good communication (i.e. stationery), setting solid channels for communication (i.e. website, social networks, email marketing), develop promotional material (i.e. brochures, posters, roll-up, merchandising), and support the participation in events.
- consortium’s efforts under WP7 were mainly focused on valorising, consolidating and increasing the visibility of project outputs and its activities.

Regarding the results and their exploitation and dissemination, it was created a deliverable that draws out the exploitation and sustainability plan of the whole project in order to achieve a long-lasting impact useful to gap the lack of cooperation among bioeconomy stakeholders.
It is possible to sum-up and define 4 possible future exploitation activities and channels, explained in detail in the document:
• Publication and availability of all Biobridges assets in the website;
• Publication of the assets in the LIFT Bioeconomy Library and promotion within the EuBioNet community or in public events;
• Adoption of the Biobridges’ assets from the Biovoices and Transition2BIO projects;
• Biobridges’ partners individual exploitation activities.
The main potential impact of BIOBRIDGES was to create at least 2 new cross-sector interconnections in bio-based economy clusters. During the project we have created 3 of these interconnections.

In addition, the organisation of 68 co-creation events involving 249 stakeholders, have contributed to increase consumers’ and brand owners’ confidence, trust and benefits’ awareness as well to establish primary partnerships between consumers’ representative, brand owners and bio-based industries to foster the acceptance and uptake of bio-based products to consumer markets, thus creating new bio-based value chains.
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