Valorisation of innovative bio-economical potentials along bio-based food & botanical extract value chains in the Alpine Space


AlpBioEco is a three year research and innovation project focusing on bioeconomy. It is co-financed through the Interreg Alpine Space Programme of the European Union (EU) and by the „Federal Transnational Cooperation Programme“ of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community. In the project, we are 13 project partners from 5 Alpine countries who work together for an innovative sustainable development in the Alpine space. We focus on the potential of bioeconomy in the value chains of herbal foods and essences. In four working packages, we investigate current value chains for apples, walnuts and herbs, develop new eco-innovative product ideas as well as business model concepts for small and medium-sized enterprises, which will be tested in pilot studies. In addition, we also develop guidelines to promote the implementation of eco-innovative business models and to contribute to better framework conditions for innovation and bioeconomy in the Alpine region.

What is AlpBioEco - aims and approach

The EU bioeconomy strategy addresses the production of renewable biological resources and their conversion into vital products. Expanding bioeconomy, particularly in rural areas, represents a major development potential. In the Alpine regions, this potential can however only be harnessed if the actors and municipalities cooperate closely and pursue shared objectives. The overall objective of AlpBioEco is to foster the sustainability of the local economy in the Alpine Space by the valorisation of innovative bioeconomical potentials. In our project we focus on bio-based food and botanical extract value chains.

By implementing and stimulating eco-innovations in practice, exemplarily the three VCs for apples, walnuts and herbs are analysed, while a cross-sectoral multi-level stakeholder approach is applied. SMEs, clusters and initiatives, administration and politics as well as academia work together. Within a validation report the approach of eco-innovation along bio-based food production value chains in Alpine regions is provided. Thus, AlpBioEco increases capacities of SMEs to jointly develop bio-based products. Through concepts of `Open Innovation´, it intensifies transnational cooperation for eco-innovations in the bio-based economy. In sum, this project contributes to a better cohesion and integrated territorial development since rural regions become connected in new bio-based value chains. Thereby high value jobs will be induced in various fields of bioeconomy. On a macro-regional level, AlpBioEco contributes to a lower disparity of the Alpine Space.

Project start: April 2018
Project closure: April 2021