Regional stakeholders from Central and Eastern Europe must intensify cooperation. This is the strong message coming from the European Bioeconomy Congress, organised 6-7 October 2016 in Łódź, Poland. Alongside the publication of the Łódź Declaration of Bioregions, the Bio-Based Industry Consortium (BIC), the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) and eight Polish regions signed a Letter of Intent to develop new bioeconomy partnerships.
Signed by the Łódzkie Region, the Lubelskie Region, the Małopolska Region, the Mazowieckie Region, the Opole Region, the Pomeranian Region, the Wielkopolska Region, the West Pomeranian Region, the BBI JU and BIC, the Łódź Letter of Intent paves the way for regional actors to identify synergies between financial instruments and political frameworks to set up local bioeconomy value chains.
All eight of the Polish signatories have selected the bioeconomy as a smart specialisation strategy (RIS3), ensuring limited resources are channelled into the sector they believe will provide the best opportunity for regional development.
At the signing of the Letter of Intent, Philippe Mengal, BBI JU Executive Director said, “The Bio- based Industries Joint Undertaking wants to be the catalyst for helping regions realise their potential for sustainable regeneration and growth, through concrete bioeconomy strategies and through synergies between national and regional funding and the BBI JU programme.”
Witold Stępień, Marshal of the Łódzkie Region said, “Many of the regions in Central and Eastern Europe have a strong agricultural tradition and have selected the bioeconomy as a smart specialisation strategy. The Letter of Intent shows our joint determination to integrate regional efforts to build local biocommunities by focusing on common priorities and strategies.”
Suzy Renckens, BIC Public Affairs and Communications said, “Harmonising the implementation of EU and national polices to further develop the bioeconomy involves finding synergies between different financial instruments. The Letter of Intent means that where synergies exist, signatories will be able to spend a significant part of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) budget on bioeconomy development.”