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

Expert roundtables on bioeconomy

In order to give the participants the opportunity to get deeper insights into one particular topic and to discuss within a smaller group, in the end of the AlpBioEco final conference, expert roundtables were set up. Here, we would like to share some impressions of those sessions by including statements of speakers and participants.

Expert roundtable: experiences of regional walnut production and marketing in Southern Germany

Speakers: Cornelia Ptach, Food chemist and CEO of Sinne & Sensorik; Ulfried Miller, Agricultural biologist and CEO of Friends of the Earth Germany, regional group "BUND" Lake of Constance-Upper Swabia

I was surprised by the great interest and the willingness to contribute to our walnut network. We discussed many important topics, from quality assurance, over the shelf-live, up to the necessary machines or tactics for drying the walnuts. Once again, also the great variety of walnuts became clear, and we were also talking about the best varieties for certain regions. Next to the interesting discussions, we also gained new contacts ourselves, as for instance the ministry of Baden-Württemberg which is responsible for bio certification. All in all, I am very happy about the session and believe that the positive atmosphere and the in-depth discussions promoted new ideas and maybe even innovations.”  Cornelia Ptach

Expert roundtable: Interreg Alpine Space 2021 & outlook to the next programme period

Speaker: Primoz Skrt, Project Officer at the Joint Secretariat - Interreg Alpine Space Programme

It was very interesting to hear about the next Interreg Alpine Space project period, and to thus get an insight into the structure of the projects that will follow AlpBioEco. I believe that the four priorities areas that were already chosen for the next programme period, help improving sustainability and innovation in the Alpine space. The priorities include, for instance, a climate resilient, carbon neutral and resource sensitive Alpine region. Therefore, the legacy of the now finished projects is also ensured. As the first project call is probably launched in autumn 2021, the first projects could start in 2022 – I am already excited to see which projects are set up!” Lisa-Marie Schröder, AlpBioEco project assistant (University of Applied Sciences Albstadt-Sigmaringen)

Expert roundtable: insights into alternative packaging from apple pomace

Speaker: Dr. Bettina Schwarzinger, University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, FH OÖ Forschungs- und Entwicklungs GmbH

We got a deep insight into the analysis of apple pomace – is was really interesting to see how different this raw material can be and that not every sort of apple pomace is suitable for packaging. In the beginning, we had a short survey and it was surprising for me that more than half of the participants stated that they have already used sustainable packaging/tableware. I think that we actually found an interested company, which would like to try the sustainable packaging/tableware, as soon as the business model is more advanced. Maybe we can also connect this company with our experts from the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, which attended our session as well.”  Kristina Eder from the AlpBioEco project partner Business Upper Austria – OÖ Wirtschaftsagentur GmbH

Expert roundtable: transition2bio - Training on boosting bioeconomy

Speaker: Susanna Albertini, Initiator of the European Bioeconomy Network and Project Leader at FVA New Media Design

The content of Susanna's presentation gave a good overview of all the perspectives to be taken in terms of communication for the bioeconomy. As Communication Officer for the AlpBioEco project, I have been confronted with the challenges listed by Susanna: how to inspire, inform, evaluate, connect and co-create for the development of the bioeconomy? Susanna is an expert with an incredible network. I very much appreciated that she delivered her recommendations to the participants!” Audrey Leclerc, AlpBioEco communication manager (University of Applied Sciences Albstadt-Sigmaringen)

Expert roundtable: C2C concept for a greener and brighter future

Speaker: Tina Kovacic, Founder of FruitFibres and Waste Into Treasure

Cradle-to-cradle (C2C) or regenerative design is a holistic framework that suggests that the industry must protect and enrich ecosystems in a sustainable way following the zero-waste principles. Tina Kovačič from FruitFibers company presented her inspirational, innovative and sustainable business idea on using the biodegradable fruit waste, mainly from apples, to obtain a material that can be used in design industry. She showed us a few products, such as a notebook cover, a belt, or a wallet that she already developed in collaboration with experts from the National Institute of Chemistry. The most impressing thing is that her collection of products is growing, research continues, and her products will soon be present on the market. She concluded that networking with scientists was crucial for bringing her business idea to light. Only together we can create a greener and brighter future for all, one apple at a time!” Vesna Miličić from the AlpBioEco project partner Chamber of Commerce and Industry Slovenia

Expert roundtable: interactive lab: the path to the creation of an eco-innovative business concept

Speaker: Sonia Barani, Junior Project Officer at the AlpBioEco project partner Italian Chamber of Commerce for Germany ITKAM

What I appreciated the most during the AlpBioEco Final Conference was the possibility to connect with people with different backgrounds. The conference was attended by representatives of institutions, academia, (would-be) entrepreneurs, and students who gave us feedback and new valuable insights. During the expert roundtable “Interactive Lab: the path to the creation of an eco-innovative business concept” we tried to apply the methodology already tested by the AlpBioEco team to another value chain and another product – namely to fish and fish leather. The transfer of the project outputs is crucial to enable the capitalization of our findings. Some takeaways from the conference: crucial factors to boost sustainable innovation: networking, knowledge transfer and communication of the benefits of bioeconomy to the general public and the consumers.” Sonia Barani