So, what is a good practice?
So what is a good practice.jpg

During the 2nd project meeting, Richard van Lijssel from Darling Ingredients presented ECOSON as a good practice showcase. Let’s have a closer look into ECOSON and their approach.

Pig manure is so rich in phosphate that in the Netherlands, a country known for its intensive livestock farming, it has become the cause of a significant mineral surplus. As a result, Dutch pig farmers are legally required to find an acceptable processing solution for their excess manure. ECOSON created a solution.

ECOSON is a specialist in repurposing residuals into renewable resources. Working with local partners, they collect manure, organic food waste and swill from restaurants and food manufacturers, and use these materials to create high-quality, high-value solutions. Combining state-of-the-art technology with uniquely sustainable processes, ECOSON produces renewable electricity and renewable gas for the local energy market and organic phosphate-based fertilizer for agriculture.

ECOSON is an example of closing the loop on economic and ecological sustainability for urgent challenges in (national) agricultural sector. Through chain collaboration ECOSON is able to make a farmer’s challenge/problem an economic opportunity to combine fertilizer production for farmers abroad with renewable energy production for local society.

Nikos Kyriakoulis
Why do we collect good practices?

On our first issue, we presented the concept of good practices. The collection and identification of these good practices is very important since it will lead us to the next milestone which is a permanent coaching service. The coaching service will be available through an online interface provided via the website, to support biomass producers or the BBP Industry (Bio-Based Products and Processes) for the uptake of emerging best practices.

Farmers and/or Biomass Industries can utilize this service to ask for advice and guidance on how to adopt ongoing good practices. Through this online platform they can connect with industrial partners and maximize business opportunities. Furthermore, they will have access to scientific and technical papers on BBPs, studies on the economic, environmental and social impact related to BBPs and they can request for legal support for future or existing BBP businesses.

Nikos Kyriakoulis
Study visit in WNRI

ENABLING project is the first step in a process that will create, structure and expand the EU Community of Biomass and BBPs stakeholders.

Within this framework, one of the stakeholders of the Italian cluster led by partner Itabia, Montani Institute, has started a collaboration with the partner Western Norway Research Institute (WNRI).

During the 1st week of September, three Italian guests from the Chemistry department of the Montani Institute (Fermo, Italy) participated in the study visit in the WNRI (Sogndal, Norway). Otto Andersen welcomed the students Ilaria Caffarini and Annalaura Luciani and their tutor Teresa Cecchi. He introduced them to the activities of the WNRI that supports local industries in the management of municipal, fishery, agro-food, and forest waste and their upcycling by using a "cradle to grave" vision. The smart disposal of bioplastic (PLA) glasses has been one of the most interesting aspects of this work experience.

The two institutes are sharing a similar approach to overcome some environmental impacts linked to the waste recycling, with a further valorization of residues. The Chemistry department of Montani Institute has created innovative pathways for the valorization of fishing and rural waste to produce bioplastics using mussel and clam shells or agro-food residues.

That shared approach is principally based on smart upcycling of agro-industrial wastes to produce new composites in order to:

(i) avoid the cost of waste disposal

(ii) reduce bio-based composites price (the high-cost prevents the take-off of this sector)

(iii) avoid taking edible resources as a starting material for bio-based composites

(iv) result in a bio-based output different from the usual ones (bio-fuels or bio-energy)

(v) reduce environmental pollution

The exchange and dissemination of best practices for the emergence of biomass value chains are crucial for a circular and sustainable economy and for a thriving bio-based sector, to kick off innovation by a promotion of biomaterials

Nikos Kyriakoulis
We met again in the Netherlands
We met again in the Netherlands.png

The 2nd project meeting of the European project ENABLING, “Enhance New Approaches in Bio-based Local Innovation Networks for Growth”, was held in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands on 29-30 May 2018.

Partner ZLTO hosted the 2nd partners’ meeting in its headquarters in Den Bosch. 

Partners discussed the status quo of the project, what has been achieved so far and what are the upcoming priorities.

The initiation of the brokerage platform and the showcase of the good practices in the website are the next immediate actions that will be realized.

We were happy and honored to have with us Richard van Lijssel from Darling Ingredients that presented ECOSON as a good practice showcase.

Nikos Kyriakoulis
What is the BBP status in my region?
What is the BBP status in my region.jpg

The ENABLING "Biomass Matrix Tool" has been developed to help the user in evaluating the potential and available biomass and industrial processes, considering the different bioproducts pathways.

The aim of the Biomass Matrix Tool is to give general indications on typologies and quantities of biomass that could stimulate the BioBased Products (BBP) industry sector to invest and also to identify BBP industries present either in the region, or within a sufficiently close reach, to allow the development of sustainable supply chains.

The Biomass Matrix Tool has 2 main components: a Biomass Calculation Sheet; and an Industrial Processes Sheet.

The Biomass Calculation Sheet has been designed for Enabling Partners to collect data on the most important biomass resources in selected Region(s), following the criteria:

  • availability;
  • identification of competition with other markets (feed and food);
  • industrial interests;
  • potential for higher valorisation (with or without future innovation) 

The Biomass Calculation Sheet considers quantitative aspects of biomasses and their respective extractable components (i.e. starch, fibre for BBPs).

The Industrial Processes Sheet has been designed for Enabling Partners to identify not only the technology, but also the current status of the technology (e.g. pre-pilot), the products produced, the actual process involved, the constituents used in the technology (which can then be related to the available biomass residues identified in the Biomass Calculation Sheet) and the minimum requirement (as a percentage) of the constituent contained in a biomass source for the technology / process to be viable. 

It is important to identify not only consolidated industrial players, but to also consider small and innovative young companies or entrepreneurs with the potential to stimulate innovation, knowledge transfer and the uptake of research.

Nikos Kyriakoulis
What is going on in Europe?
What is going on in Europe.png

In ENABLING we collect good BBP practices, from inside and outside Europe, that are wholly or partly transferable to other regions, or serve as an inspiration for partners in the value chain. Sharing this knowledge and implementing (part of) the practice in other regions drives innovation, enhances growth of the agricultural sector and biobased industry, and strengthens the transition towards a circular economy. 

These good practices show how different sources of biomass are processed and valorised into innovative biobased products, and have to some extent a positive social, economic and environmental impact. The practice should also be beneficial for practitioners (like agricultural entrepreneurs, industry, and logistic partners), in order to build a sustainable business model. 


Nikos Kyriakoulis
what is Enabling.jpg

The ENABLING project intends to respond to the need, felt by practitioners across Europe, of improving and systematising collaboration among the different stakeholders, and in particular between the source of biomass streams, and the processing and transformation industry, or Bio-Based Industry (BBI). So far, biomass production has mainly generated input for bioenergy and biofuels, in sectors characterised by large industrial players and low labour intervention. On the other hand, the bio-materials and bio-plastics processes require higher and specialised labour, thus representing a significant potential for diversification (especially in rural areas) and job creation.

Currently, most biomass supply chains for BBPs (Bio-Based Products and Processes) do not take advantage of structured networks. Most agricultural business involved in the production of biomass for the BBPs do so in a bilateral relationship with their industrial counterpart. The lack of optimised value chains tends to penalise small rural business and tends to hinder economic development on both sides.

ENABLING is based on the consortium’s vision that the biomass to BBPs value chains can enhance economic growth, a sound management of natural resources and positively contribute to job-creation in the regions and countries where they can be deployed.

Nikos Kyriakoulis
We kicked-off in Rome

The kick of meeting of the European project ENABLING, Enhance New Approaches in Bio-based Local Innovation Networks for Growth, was held in Rome on 11-12 December 2017.

The project coordinator Federunacoma hosted 16 partners from 13 EU and associated (IL, NO) countries.

Partners discussed ENABLING project aims and overview actions and introduced the plan for the next months.

The first day of the meeting was dedicated to the presentation of project participants, an overview on the objective and activities of the project and on the presentation of single Work Packages by WP leaders.

Day 2 has been open to the discussion of the immediate project actions.

Nikos Kyriakoulis