BERST – BioEconomy Regional Strategy Toolkit

BERST is a European project that develops a toolkit to help regions in their trajectory of bioeconomy development. BERST also provides a network to promote the development of smart specialization strategies based on regional bioeconomic potentials. The toolkit is developed through interaction with regions who meet at Community of Practice meetings, where they share their experiences and enhance their understanding of regional bioeconomy development.


The implementation of the European bioeconomy occurs in a regional context under the impulsion of entrepreneurs, including farmers and foresters, and political authorities, assisted by R&D workers.

The drivers behind the bioeconomy are:

  • the search for alternative resources for fossil fuels;
  • the response to climate warming by reducing CO2;
  • the industrial demand for new functionalities offered by biobased materials and chemicals.

Regions are seeking help in finding ways to support, encourage and enhance concrete actions towards the bioeconomy, i.e. in applying strategies that give a boost to investors and to current and potential entrepreneurs within a bioeconomy.


BERST aims to understand and to estimate the potentials and challenges of regional bioeconomies. The project will develop regional profiles and smart strategies for bioregions, taking the performances of Good Practice regions as exemplars for their future possibilities. These regional profiles are meant to:

  • advise on how to enhance the bioeconomy potential;
  • promote stakeholder relations within bioregions, so that entrepreneurs can guide regional priorities in the development of the bioeconomy.
In principle, all regions can be regarded as potential bioregions and can be encouraged to undertake actions to enhance their bioeconomy.


The aim of BERST is to provide a Toolkit – with catalogues, guidelines and a network – that helps regions with their trajectory towards building a regional bioeconomy.


  • BERST will address the need for science-based evidence and online available information for bioeconomy and bioregions.
  • BERST will demonstrate how a (sub)region can utilize the bioeconomy criteria, prepared by the research partners, in cooperation with regional partners.
  • BERST will offer tools and a support network – well aligned within the EU and with perennial status – in order to promote smart specialisation strategies of regional development based on bioeconomic potential.
  • BERST will contribute to the competitiveness and cohesion policies of Europe by enhancing the sustainable utilisation of regional and local biobased resources, and encouraging decision makers in their work in boosting bioeconomies.

Project set-up

Research themes & roadmap

1 Determining criteria and indicators

  • determining economic, environmental and social criteria related to the bioeconomy;
  • relating criteria to indicators for measuring the regional existing bioeconomy and
  • building criteria/indicator database based on NUTS geographic levels

2 Determining instruments and measures

  • inventory of instruments and;
  • alignment of instruments and measures against criteria, and including in database structure

3 Catalogue of good practices and case studies

  • inventory of good practices in use of criteria in association with instruments and measures;
  • preparation of case studies;
  • generating catalogue with good practices,as examples of experience in developing smart bioeconomy strategies.

4 Developing regional profiles

  • guidelines for regional profiles, based on criteria;
  • elaborating and testing of regional profiles by regional partners;
  • regional Profile Utility Assessment; feedback ofregional partners.

5 Establishing a bioeconomy regional network with perennial status

  • stakeholder network dedicated to regional bioeconomy development at EU level.