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Allthings.bioPRO - Game changer for the bio-based economy

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Allthings.bioPRO (Allthings.bioPRO - Game changer for the bio-based economy)

Reporting period: 2020-09-01 to 2022-02-28

Europe’s economy depends on oil and gas for energy and chemistry for all kinds of daily life products, but the use of fossil resources harms the environment and our climate. The bioeconomy offers a way out by providing industrial and consumer products made of biomass and waste.
This is a crucial moment for involving society in the transition to a more circular economy. Since all individuals, whether as citizens or consumers, will be affected, they should be able to play a role when shaping it. On the other hand, it goes without saying that the bio-based industry needs the input of citizens and consumers, to make sure that the products developed are in tune with consumers’ requirements and expectations.

In Allthings.bioPRO we put all emphasis on getting citizens involved in the bioeconomy and making their voices heard. We focus on issues and products, which connect with the daily life of citizens and consumers. Possible themes are the creation of growth and jobs, sustainable and circular use of resources or the societal dimension of the bio-based industry in Europe but also outside Europe, where the biomass products might impact societies in other countries. The personal viewpoint of a consumer considers quality, functionality and the costs of products but does also care about sustainable production and the environmental impact of daily life products.

In Allthings.bioPRO we use serious gaming to channel citizens’ voices to the bio-based industries. We develop a serious game within a co-creation and co-design process involving both citizens and experts. To ensure focus, we already decided on the subject of the serious game but left the final creation of its content to the engagement process.

AllThings.bioPRO also uses mobile phones as a means to collect data that comes from citizens. By developing a mobile application that scans logos, labels and certification schemes and provides users with information on the sustainable performance of the scanned bio-based/biodegradable products, the app generates data that can be used by bio-based industry actors and provide important insights to policy makers. Based on the assumption that the bioeconomy is in the process of transforming from a fossil-based economy to a sustainable bio-based economy, the ATB scanning tool aims to specifically inform consumers about "bio-based" aspects, providing information about what the (eco-) label stands for, on which products and product categories it can be found, which aspects it covers, what it guarantees and who owns or operates the label.
In Allthings.bioPRO the engagement activities are a central element as they deliver citizens' ideas, opinions and preferences, on the basis of which the serious game is developed. Therefore two rounds of focus groups for each mission (14 in total) and two rounds co-creation workshops for each mission (15 in total) were carried out in the local languages. For the support of these activities, content-related factsheets for each of the four game missions were developed: food packaging, fashion and textiles, kids and schools, and jobs and careers. One additional factsheet provides an overview about the general bioeconomy and can be used as an introduction into the topic. Further ustomized content on the four missions used in journalistic articles, news, quizzes, videos, factsheets, presentation and more was developed. The co-design phase is based on the co-creation results of the missions and describes the interaction between the citizens, experts and the game development partner. The first rounds of virtual co-design sessions took place in M15. A basic communication starter kit was also developed as part of the project.
An adoption strategy was developed to ensure the sustainability of the project results and to set the stage for the use of the data generated from the project. In addition, bilateral meetings were held with project stakeholders at an early stage. A matching matrix between stakeholder interests and project opportunities was also created.
The project also intends to present the project results and will serve as a communication portal, for which the organization of a roadshow and the initiation of a European Bioeconomy Citizen Action Network are foreseen. Both should take place or be initiated towards the end of the project. Stakeholders with interest in the data that will result from the network were screened and bilateral meetings with partners were held to explore possibilities for the implementation of such a network.
Allthings.bioPRO creates and implement a highly innovative gamification ecosystem combining a serious game, a smartphone app and on- and offline communication and engagement activities to enable citizens to provide direct input into the agenda of the bio-based industry. The project applies a comprehensive participatory approach to engage citizens and all quadruple helix stakeholders in the co-design and co-creation of a serious online game as innovative tool to raise awareness, support learning and gather citizen generated input and data.
The project focusses on four themes closely related to everyday life: food packaging, fashion and textiles, kids and schools, and jobs and careers. These themes are central to the serious game and also guide the smartphone app and an associated public communication campaign.
Citizen engagement was organised in a series of focus groups and co-creation workshops at a local level, suppoerted by eight regional partners and implemented in local language. The serious game and smartphone app are not only engage citizens using them, but can also be used as tool to aggregate citizens' ideas, preferences and opinions related to the four themes and relevant products. It also informs them about bio-based alternatives for fossil based products.
Based on the results of the co-design process, the project explores opportunities to create a Citizen Action Network and assesses how it can support a citizen observatory for the bioeconomy. The project findings are relevant to brand owners, bio-based industries, bioeconomy knowledge centers, policy actors, and others. Allthings.bioPRO works closely with them to ensure that project outputs are of high quality and relevance and have direct benefits. The results will help stakeholders understand citizens' perspectives and views on the bioeconomy and provide them with access to citizen-generated data on preferences and ideas for specific product applications.
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