Boosting European Citizens' Knowledge and Awareness of Bio-Economy Research and Innovation

Although companies have come up with innovative products, society has not yet embraced them, which is why there has been no scaling up. Citizens and consumers are unfamiliar with the term ‘biobased economy’. The EU acknowledges this (see Manifesto and Bioeconomy Panel) and has launched a call to bridge the gap between biobased economy networks and civil society. Within the Top Sector, people also acknowledge that social acceptance of the biobased economy still constitutes a problem. Dutch regions and companies with innovative initiatives are finding it difficult to develop new value chains and to scale up and market biobased products.

The BLOOM consortium combines expertise from a biobased economy, regional innovation, stakeholder processes, science transfer, media and communication. The BLOOM project is being implemented within the European school network, and in a number of hubs in different European regions, which have opted for a biobased economy as a driver for their regional development. Within these regions, we are exploring how to get the social partners and citizens more involved and how best to increase knowledge levels regarding biobased products. Furthermore, we are exploring how to achieve a better understanding of the prospects of the bioeconomy, of acceptance of developments in people’s immediate surroundings, of appreciation for and interest in consuming biobased products, while also focusing on training the biobased workforce of the future.

The BLOOM project is aimed at linking knowledge (research and education) of the biobased economy with companies (and supply chains) and with society, focusing on information, education and exchange. In recent years, the EU has invested a great deal in developing technology that resulted in a number of pilots.