Alliances sought for wood bioeconomy

Alliances sought for wood bioeconomy

A new call for proposals has been launched as part of the "Bioeconomy in the North" funding initiative. It calls for collaborations that research and develop new wood-based biorefinery concepts and products.

Holzstapel auf Wiese vorm Wald
Wood is one of the most important resources of the bioeconomy.

With its national bioeconomy strategy, the German government aims to support the shift from an economy based predominantly on fossil raw materials to a sustainable, biobased economy oriented toward natural material cycles. To leverage the potential of the bioeconomy, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports numerous research projects - including with international partners. This is where the Bioeconomy in the North (BiN) initiative, founded in 2017 with partners from Finland, Norway, Sweden, Canada and Germany, comes in. The aim of the measure is to support research and innovation on new products and services from non-food/non-feed biomass resources in Northern Europe and Canada with the help of funding for international collaborative projects, thereby strengthening the implementation of the National Bioeconomy Strategy in an international context.

International alliances for wood utilization

With „Bioeconomy in the North 2022“, a new guideline for the funding of international collaborative projects has now been published. Forestry occupies a special position here, as it is the second most important branch of industry after agriculture that provides biogenic raw materials for the bioeconomy. The aim of the funding is to expand the use of wood in order to bring new innovative high-tech products made of wood and wood components to the market so that they can gain in importance. The key to implementation is the use of biological knowledge.

New wood-based high-tech products and processes

Funding is provided for research and development projects in two main areas. The first involves wood-derived materials that serve as the basis for improved processes and products: These include projects that address new biorefinery concepts for circular economy and bioeconomy, optimization of biorefinery processes in terms of energy and water consumption, raw material efficiency and waste reduction, and development of products with high added value through extraction and production of natural materials.

Bioeconomy in the North

More information on the current funding measure under the "Bioeconomy in the North 2022" initiative can be found here.

The second priority focuses on new wood-based products. Here, projects are funded that address the development of sustainable, high-quality wood-based consumer products, the creation of value through digitalization and functionalization in the development of wood-based materials, and the improvement of wood products.

Funding is available for transnational collaborative projects with at least three partners from at least three of the participating countries - including at least one industrial partner. The duration of the project funding is up to three years. The application procedure has two stages. In addition to universities and non-university research and science institutions, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based in Germany are also eligible to apply.

Project outlines can be submitted via the Bioeconomy in the North website no later than May 4, 2022.