The food and agriculture sector is one of the areas where collaboration between research and industry is strongest. Expertise and familiarity with practical issues are worth their weight in gold for companies. In return, it is crucial for researchers that their knowledge is exploited for the benefit of industry.
One of the main objectives of the H2020-supported ERA-Net Cofund, FACCE SURPLUS, is to improve the collaboration across the European Research Area in the range of diverse, but integrated, food and non-food biomass production and transformation systems, including biorefining.
To present the 14 funded projects to relevant stakeholders and industry representatives, FACCE SURPLUS hosted a kick-off meeting at Aarhus University, Denmark, in September 2016. The event was part of the International Biorefining Seminar and Partnering Workshop which aimed at facilitating European consortia establishment in the field of biorefining and food production.
The event attracted researchers and companies from seventeen countries, and provided guests with an opportunity to provide valuable insights and feedback to the projects, addressing the potential expectations of stakeholders. Speakers at the meeting included representatives from the LEGO Group, who talked about the need for bio-based plastic, the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC), and the European Commission.
Project coordinator Nicolas Tinois is very satisfied with the meeting.
- The large participation of representatives from both the research community and the industry made fruitful discussions possible. The atmosphere was very vibrant and lots of tricky questions were asked. In general, networking initiatives are important in order to create synergies between researchers and stakeholders and to foster new perspectives for the bioeconomy. In terms of this, it is safe to say that the FACCE SURPLUS Kick-off meeting was a real success, Nicolas Tinois says.
During the meeting participants were also invited to attend a number of workshops where they had the opportunity to meet European colleagues and cultivate networks. These networks addressed issues such as new agricultural systems, the conversion of biomass to fuel and other high-value products, and the use of green biomass for producing protein for pigs and poultry.