From problem to product

Representatives from local biomass producers, processors, relevant funding agencies and regional authorities exchanged knowledge and project ideas on bioeconomy at an ENABLING workshop in Sogndal on June 12th.

Otto Andersen and Torunn G. Hønsi from Vestlandsforsking shared information about the ENABLING project, which offers both new tools, activities and knowledge to those who want to give biowaste and by-product new value.

- The county of Western Norway has almost half of the fruit and berry production in the country, and one third of both the fishing industry and forest production. Of biomass, which can get new and better uses, the forest is supreme, but it can also be a lot to win for farmers, who have bio residues from their production of fruit and berries, said researcher and project manager Otto Andersen in his presentation.

 Sale and purchase

Other examples of biomass and biological waste from the region include food waste, residues from beer production, slaughterhouse waste, fish sludge, manure, wood waste, garden waste and other agricultural waste. Vestlandsforsking has since the 1990s had projects on industrial ecology and waste recycling, elaboration of emissions from industry, transport and agriculture and has recently looked at alternative protein sources for animal feed.

- When the ENABLING project is finished, we will have created a marketplace for locally purchase and sale of such bio-resources, says Andersen.

 Regional value creation

- We will assist producers of bio-residues in finding business partners who can utilize these in a way that is both climate-friendly and profitable, said Torunn G. Hønsi. In the ENABLING workshop, participants from Lærdal Grønt (association of fruit and vegetable producers), Kunnskapsparken (Sogndal Science Park), Sogn School of Organic Agriculture and Horticulture, SIMAS (Sogn Inter-municipal Waste Handling Company), Vik municipality, Aurland municipality, Sogn og Fjordane county governor, Sogn og Fjordane county municipality and Njøs Næringsutvikling (bio-business development) shared ideas and visions on better utilization of biomasses from the region.

 Meeting place ENABLING

The participants concluded that they need new efficient meeting places, where there is a short way from the idea to financing and practical solutions in collaboration with others. Based on ENABLING and the EU focus on such local collaboration and exchange of experience within the bioeconomy, Vestlandsforsking will be able to meet such needs. We will facilitate several workshops, seminars and excursions, which will be open to all interested.

- ENABLING implies making it possible - to create a market and demand for biomass for the bio-based industry, making it possible to create new bio-based products, which will make us less dependent on a fossil oil-based economy, says Hønsi. The Norwegian Research Council co-hosted the workshop, together with the ENABLING project.

Nikos Kyriakoulis