EU Bioeconomy 2012-2013 Meetings & Events -

The 2013 Stakeholders Conference - Bioeconomy Days: "Bioeconomy in the EU: achievements and directions for the future"

Background

Over the last decade, the European Commission has recognised the importance of investing in R&D to support the EU Bioeconomy. It is expected that new bio-processing technologies and approaches will deliver a sustainable and vast array of renewable, value-added biobased products from biological waste streams including agro-food and forestry residues. The production of these biobased products will contribute to economic growth and jobs within the EU – whilst at the same time limiting any negative impacts on the environment and reducing our dependency on fossil resources.

To support the development of the Bioeconomy in Europe, specific research activities and programmes have been launched by the EU and Member States. Conferences have been organised and several important policy documents have been produced at community level.

On 13 February 2012, the European Commission approved the Communication to the European Parliament and European Council on "Innovating for Sustainable Growth: a Bioeconomy for Europe". This Communication introduced a Strategy and Action Plan to develop a strong Bioeconomy which will help Europe live within its limits ensuring sustainable exploitation of biological resources thus allowing the production of more from less.

Regular Bioeconomy Stakeholder Conferences are foreseen within the Action Plan. These Conferences are an essential mechanism to engage with civil society and promote informed public debates on the development of an EU bioeconomy, associated research and innovation activities and the societal implications. Stakeholder discussion platforms involving scientists, entrepreneurs, policy makers and civil society at large will form a large part of these Stakeholder Conferences.

On the 27th March 2012 the 1st Stakeholders Conference was held in Copenhagen under the aegis of the Danish Presidency of the EU. One year later, in 2013, the European Commission in collaboration with the Irish Presidency will host the 2nd Stakeholder Conference - "Bioeconomy in the EU: achievements and directions for the future". The Conference will ensure that the development of the bioeconomy remains high on Europe's agenda as well as evaluating the progress achieved to date in relation to the proposed Action Plan.

The Conference takes place over one and half days on 14th and 15th February, 2013 in a very prestigious location in the Irish capital - Dublin Castle (include website here). The number of participants is limited to approximately 220.

In the future, a Stakeholder Conference will be held annually and the 2014 event is already scheduled to be held in Rome. It is anticipated that these yearly meetings of EU stakeholders would be mirrored by smaller national /regional events which could take place during what could be dubbed the EU Bioeconomy Week.

Objectives of the conference

The "Bioeconomy in the EU: achievements and directions for the future" Conference will be focusing on each of the different pillars of the bioeconomy strategy and action plan - i.e.,

  • i) investing in research, innovation and skills;
  • ii) reinforced policy interaction and stakeholder engagement; and
  • iii) enhancement of markets and competitiveness in bioeconomy sectors- by debating on some concrete examples in plenary sessions.

During the conference, speakers will report on achievements - at EU, national, regional and local levels - with respect to the Action Plan and debate future prospects and opportunities for the EU Bioeconomy. The conference will provide a platform for informed and structured debate among a wide range of stakeholders using a series of key note speeches and panel discussions to illustrate the current situation and the issues at stake.

During the conference, sessions have been designed to address the following questions:

  • Which challenges and which opportunities arise for the bioeconomy sectors from policy developments in the European Union?
  • How to foster growth and competitiveness in bioeconomy sectors?
  • Which new research, innovation and skills are needed for a European Bioeconomy?
  • How to unlock the full potential of the bioeconomy?
  • What are the main challenges in the bioeconomy sectors for 2013 and development of possible solutions and guidelines for the future?

Venue and timing: 1.5 day event on 14-15 February 2013, Dublin Castle, Dublin

Contact information:
EC: Alessio Vassarotti (alessio.vassarotti@ec.europa.eu), Davide Amato (davide.amato@ec.europa.eu), DG RTD Dir E, Unit E1
Irish Presidency: Dale Crammond (dale.crammond@agriculture.gov.ie)

Satellite events
At the same venue (or very close by) and running in parallel to the official conference, dedicated spaces and time slots may be assigned to organise satellite events. For instance, a training course on “Communicating EU Research & Innovation” organized by COMMNET, will take place at the University College Dublin on 12-13t February 2013. For additional information please contact Rhonda Smith (rhonda@minervacomms.net).