BIOREGIO partners and stakeholders met for the first time in Lahti, Finland from April 25th to 27th, 2017. The goal of this first transnational meeting was to learn about best practices of Päijät-Hame region. Also, the round table discussion revealed many similarities as well as differences in the six partner regions, which shows that there is a great potential for knowledge and experience transfer and productive cooperation.
The agenda of the meeting also involved site visits representing the best practices of the Päijät-Hame region. Partners and stakeholders discovered the efficient industrial symbioses of the Päijät-Hame Waste Management, the biggest Finnish biogas and composting company, LABIO, as well as Lahti Energia, to learn about a unique gasification plant and ongoing constructions of the new biomass operated plant. Some of the meeting was dedicated to workshops where the project team defined circular economy, obstacles that each region encounters and examples of existing innovative solutions.
BIOREGIO partners and stakeholders also visited the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment in Helsinki, where the Finnish Bioeconomy Strategy was presented. For Finland, bioeconomy significantly accounts for turnover (€64 bn), share of employment (11%) and exports (26%). Finland strives for bioeconomy output to reach €100 bn by 2025 and, at the same time, to create 100 000 new jobs. Lastly, the consortium met with five entrepreneurs whose businesses promote bio-based circular economy, which extends the knowledge and will enrich future discussions in the project.
The first transnational BIOREGIO meeting ended with strong positive team spirit, common goals and a lot of new information in mind. The BIOREGIO project team, including project partners and stakeholders, will meet again in November in Spain.