Berlin, 08.12.2022 – The EU project Transition2bio in collaboration with BE-Rural’s Network of Knowledge (NoK) organised a capacity building webinar to help empower public authorities and other stakeholders in central and eastern Europe in communicating & easing the implementation of bioeconomy strategies.
The Transition2bio consortium designed a capacity building package of services to support national and regional stakeholders with contents, methodologies, tools, replicable good practices and formats to strengthen their effectiveness in the implementation of bioeconomy awareness raising, communication, and education activities. To stay connected and keep facilitating knowledge exchange amongst the regions after the end of the project, BE-Rural (2019-2022) launched the Network of Knowledge (NoK), an informal group open to all bioeconomy stakeholders interested in learning from others and exchanging experiences. The BE-Rural successfully supported the development of bioeconomy strategies, roadmaps, and business models in selected regions in five countries: Bulgaria, Latvia, North Macedonia, Poland, and Romania. In addition, the project identified several key lessons for the design and effective implementation of co-creation spaces in regional bioeconomies, including: 1) the need for increased awareness raising activities and more innovative formats with citizens; 2) the need to increase the capacity of regional coordinators to deliver interactive capacity building and knowledge exchange seminars including co-creation approaches.
With this in mind, a capacity building seminar was organised, focusing on the needs of Central and Eastern European Countries (CEE).
Dr. Javier Sanchez Lopez from the Joint Research Centre, Knowledge Centre for Bioeconomy, European Commission kicked off the training with a presentation on Bioeconomy strategy development in EU regions. The study aimed to map and analyse the deployment of bioeconomy strategies at the regional level in the EU-27. While it is clear that regional bioeconomy development is on the rise in Europe, an analysis of governance measures reveals that there is a relatively low deployment of policy measures to raise awareness on the bioeconomy at the regional level. The study further highlighted commonalities and divergences between regional strategies and provided participants with a clearer picture of the wider frameworks influencing the presence of such strategies (e.g. size and centralisation of country and existing of national bioeconomy strategies).
The study also revealed the importance of macro-regional initiatives as drivers of regional bioeconomy development. Building on this, Marie Kubankova presented an overview of the BIOEAST initiative and the ways in which it is helping to foster knowledge and cooperation based on circular bioeconomies in CEE. Eniko Matyus, BE-Rural NoK Coordinator, then provided a case study on communicating bioeconomy in the CEE country of Romania through the BE-Rural project. The presentation highlighted helpful messaging and framing ideas to ensure a successful bioeconomy communication campaign in more rural areas.
Lastly, two Transition2bio modules were presented. The first was on bioeconomy methodologies and models to drive systemic mindset change, facilitate the planning of communication and stakeholder engagement activities, and facilitate multistakeholder debate and co-creation activities. The second module was on good practices and replicable formats that participants could replicate in their own country context for a number of different awareness, communication and stakeholder engagement activities.