Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

BIOWAYS Report Summary

Project ID: 720762
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.2.6.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BIOWAYS (Increase public awareness of bio-based products and applications supporting the growth of the European bioeconomy)

Reporting period: 2016-10-01 to 2017-09-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The European bioeconomy is key to helping society meet the environmental challenges it faces today. By utilising renewable resources from agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture and converting them into food, feed, fibre, bio-based products and bio-energy, dependence on fossil-based products and processes can be reduced. This in turn will transform manufacturing processes, reduce greenhouse emissions and lead to new jobs and industries with less environmental impact.

To maximise the impact the bioeconomy has in this regard, however, it is essential that consumers are aware of the benefits bio-based products and their applications deliver and have confidence in them. Raising this awareness and increasing confidence requires a comprehensive communication programme aimed at the general public and one based on science-based facts and figures. This communication also needs to include well-formulated, understandable and accessible key messages, which outline the capabilities and benefits of bio-based products.

In this context, BIOWAYS will provide the materials and activities designed to stimulate public engagement with the bioeconomy and excite citizens about its potential. It will also provide a platform for involved stakeholders to share ideas and collaborate in their efforts to promote the use of the bio-based products and develop new products and processes that bring them to market. This will involve researchers, industry, policy makers and the general public.

In order to achieve this aim, the project set out to analyse the current position of the bio-sector, assess its potential and identify industry and research champions to help increase its visibility. It also aimed to develop methods for ensuring there is ongoing communication on the value of bio-based products amongst all stakeholders.

Another important aspect of the project is to foster an ongoing dialogue between the project itself and the other bio-based initiatives in Horizon 2020. This will enable EU-funded research in this sector to benefit from the tried-and-tested communications methodologies developed and enhanced by the project and so enhance public awareness of their work and so the bioeconomy as a whole.

BIOWAYS will also oversee the development of educational materials on the benefits of the bioeconomy, while helping to ensure that the BBI JU programme, which co-funds the research effort, as a whole is implemented effectively.

Following these objectives, BIOWAYS aims to:

• Increase awareness amongst Europe’s general public, students, scientists, media and policy makers of the value of bio-based products and applications to industry, the economy and society as a whole, both in terms of what they deliver now and in terms of their future potential.
• Promote collaboration of research effort with complementary projects and researchers.
• Increase the opportunities for further funding into more research or seed investment for commercial roll-outs.
• Increase awareness of a particular challenge or opportunity, thus promoting further scientific research.
• Inspire young scientists to become involved in bio-based scientific research.
• Increase female interest toward science
• Encourage contacts and exchanges among researchers and the bio-based industry. As a result of the project’s recommendations, the European bio-based industry could benefit from new demand-led scientific discoveries creating new markets and increasing competitiveness.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Analysis was made of the current market situation and future trends of bio-based products (BBPs) and their applications in Europe based on the review of more than 100 information sources and 41 qualitative interviews.

Public opinion about bio-based products from the end-customer’s perspective was analysed following desk-top research and an EU-wide online survey.

Information about European-funded projects was screened and collected following a desktop study, which led to 34 qualitative interviews

Seven fact sheets about different BBPs categories have been developed.

One policy brief about the bioeconomy in general was produced

An infographic was developed and published.

The Biowatch platform has been developed and is fully functional and a communications campaign has been planned to promote BioWatch

BIOWAYS and BioCanndo have agreed collaboration activities to link BioWatch and AllThingsBio

108 documents relating to the bioeconomy have been collected for the BioWatch resource library, each searchable via a variety of search parameters

The target audience for the educational materials was identified and the topic areas selected.

Meetings were held with selected complementary projects.

Collaborative agreement was established with the BioStep project

A serious game Bio...What? was developed, tested and translated into Portuguese.

The project’s Reference Group was established.

BIOWAYS partners have arranged events at which the project and the bioeconomy were promoted.

The project’s monitoring and assessment activities have been taking place during the first reporting period

Short questionnaires have been developed and used at BIOWAYS events to study participants’ initial awareness of bio-based products and their applications.

The data Management Plan was devised.

A full collection of dissemination and communications activities were developed

An ethics report was developed.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Through its focus on the five established value chains of the bioeconomy and specific types of bio-based products, BIOWAYS has developed:
• An understanding of current awareness of and confidence in bio-based products and applications amongst the general public
• A broad understanding and explanation of the benefits and potential of bio-based products

By developing this broad understanding and through the work achieved in the first reporting period, BIOWAYS is now able to enhance the general public’s awareness of and confidence in bio-based products and their applications as well as increase their participation in the more generic bioeconomy through its strategic development of:

• An innovative collaborative, interactive online platform where information about the bioeconomy can be shared, ideas exchanged and collaboration opportunities pursued amongst a variety of interested stakeholders
• A series of innovative public engagement events involving complementary research efforts and all stakeholders, where the potential of bio-based products can be demonstrated and discussed and barriers to adoption addressed.
• A series of serious games that promote awareness of the bioeconomy in an accessible and entertaining way primarily aimed at children
• Collaboration with other research efforts and initiatives seeking to promote the bioeconomy and the inclusion of significant stakeholder numbers in all BIOWAYS dissemination and communication activity and in the BIOWAYS target audience database.
• Accessible, engaging fact sheets, posters and infographics about the bioeconomy
• On-going relationships with 34 complementary projects with agreements in place for collaborative activities including events, films, games, presentations and other innovative communications
• On-going monitoring of BIOWAYS communications activities to assess their impact on public awareness and acceptance of bio-based products – and processes in place to adapt activities to respond to data about what is working best.
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