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Organisation of the EU international Bioeconomy Stakeholders Conference - Utrecht 2016

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BEU2016 (Organisation of the EU international Bioeconomy Stakeholders Conference - Utrecht 2016)

Reporting period: 2016-02-05 to 2016-11-04

"In order to cope with an increasing global population, rapid depletion of many resources, increasing environmental pressures and climate change, Europe needs to radically change its approach to production, consumption, processing, storage, recycling and disposal of biological resources. The Europe 2020 strategy calls for a Bioeconomy as a key element for smart and green growth in Europe.
Bioeconomy in Europe holds a great potential;

• It can maintain and create economic growth and jobs in rural, coastal and industrial areas, reduce fossil fuel dependence and improve the economic and environmental sustainability of primary production,
• It can create strong innovation potential to sectors and industries due to their use of a wide range of sciences, enabling Bioeconomy along with local en tacit knowledge
• Advancements in Bioeconomy research and innovation uptake will allow Europe to improve the management of its renewable biological resources and to open new and diversified markets in food and bio based products.

The Bio Economy Stakeholders conference in Utrecht 2016 (BEU2016) was the international stakeholders conference focusing on the crucial role of adapting and innovating to find resilient and efficient alternatives for the fossil resources based economy. The two days conference brought together research, industry, education, finance and policy from Bio economy domains from all over Europe to identify priorities that are crucial to strengthen the European innovation ecosystem. Keywords during the two day conference were ""co-creation and interactive approach, take responsiblity and the need to act now.

During the plenary ceremony on April 13th , The European Bio economy Stakeholders Manifesto Building blocks , where presented as the final result of the conference. This Utrecht Manifesto includes recommendations to speed up path towards a European Bio economy.

Bio economy Utrecht 2016 was held in Utrecht (the Netherlands) on April 12 and 13th 2016, as an associated event of the Netherlands Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2016. Main objectives of the conference were to:

1. facilitate participative governance and informed dialogue with society and co creation of the European agenda for the Bio economy;
2. to identify priorities, building blocks and key messages for the review of the Bio economy strategy and action plan;
3. and to inspire research, industry and policy to engage in new collaborations in the field of Bio economy, using innovative technologies.
we believe that an interactive approach and involvement of stakeholders is an ongoing, step by step proces that not only is the core of the 2 day conference itself. In order to get European stakeholders really involved we desided on a co-creation approach which means that stakeholders will not only be involved as participants of the conference but have an important role in the design, setup and priorities of the coference as well as in the formulaion and implementation of the actions dirived from the 2 day confernce

Looking at the work preformed we chose a step by step approach:
Stakeholder analyses and interviews to determine the current state of play in bio economy and formulate the scope of the conference together with stakeholders during two preparaty meetings in Brussel.
organising a 2 day international conference in which different working and co creating methods helped gathering input from a very difers group of stakeholders and encouraged participants to bring forward suggestions and concrete best practices that inspire and will help innovate towards a new bio economy

The interactive workshops on 10 locations in the Netherlands and the worldcafe setting during the disccussion really helped people to consider their role in implementing and speeding up the Bio economy

Looking back we can say this aim of co creation is and was of great added value and precived very positive by involved stakeholders
The conference resulted in a collection on buildingblocks that are now used in the development of the new Naitonal and intenrational agenda voor Bio economy.
After conference efforts were mainly foccused towards a dialogue wiht EU and several counsils at EU level. Movie and after movie of the conference turned out to be key in dessimination of the results of the confeence towards EC

at this moment, all planned acitvities are implemented. and so the project is finalised as well
The conference contributes to knowledge valorisation and knowledge dissemination between different stakeholders. For all groups a central aim was to provide them with a platform that enables a dialogue with other groups participating in the conference. The view of the organisers is that making the delegates attending the conference aware of each other’s needs will lead to new initiatives in the field of research, industry, policy and education. In addition investors will be convinced of the opportunities laying ahead for exploitation and students will be attracted to technology and more specific to Bioeconomy

Communication leverages the effective identification of key stakeholders (a.o. industry, policy makers, public and private partnerships, associations, NGO’s ) that are present and active in the different areas of Bioeconomy. This is why communication and outreach is a key impact expected as result of this Support action as it be a horizontal and leading motive throughout the project preparation and implementation. This will foster a continuous communication and involvement of a broad range of stakeholders in a societal dialogue and the society at large, acting as a stakeholders ‘dialogue platform’ to ensure that legitimate societal concerns are taken into account.
At the start the communication was aimed creating general awareness in the community, aimed at attracting sponsors, speakers, exhibitors and participants. Before and during the event the goal was to inform, inspire and engage the participants and facilitate networking and matchmaking and support the operations. Afterwards the aim was to disseminate the insights, the results and the impact of the conference.
The conference and all marketing & communication were branded with a strong and attractive image to create a EU wide branding for the congress that appeals to the industry, government, research and education communities.

General public: A broad social support for the transition to the Bioeconomy is crucial for the adoption and implementation of new technologies. Through media and social media, the broader public will be informed about the future developments to create awareness during the conference. NGO’s will be able to present their goals and interest and will be involved as key note speaker as well.
Panel discussion during the Bio Economy conference Utrecht