Almost seven years have passed since the start of the ERA-NET Cofund FACCE SURPLUS. In this time, the Network launched three trans-national calls, with the projects of the 2nd call reaching their end-term and projects of the 3rd call being at their mid-term at the end of 2021. A status seminar organised on 28-29 September was considered a good opportunity to recognise the research projects’ outcomes and achievements so far.
The FACCE SURPLUS status seminar saw projects presenting key results, messages and updates. It was also accompanied by a Horizon Europe Info Event and a meeting of funders.
“The event was a real success”, says Stefanie Margraf, Project Management Jülich, head of the FACCE-JPI organising team. “We had 90 participants representing Funding Agencies, Industry, Policy Makers, Representative of Farmers and Farmer Associations and of course also Scientists.”
Status of the FACCE SURPLUS Projects
Project coordinators of the presented results on biomass conversion, (marginal) land use, the utilisation of different feedstocks such as food waste, urban waste as well asoptions for new value strains for the food and feed industry and as potential substrates for the agricultural and chemical industry. Many projects showed a strong multi-disciplinary set-up and are close-to-market. Project Coordinators presented initial results regarding the utilisation of second-class vegetables and fruits, sunflower by-products, upcycling of (agricultural) waste streams and upgrading of marginal land for the use of biomass.
FACCE SURPLUS Valorisation workshop
The workshop aimed to enable an open dialogue on how to interact with stakeholders, how to shape the available project results for valorisation and how to respond to societal, political and other questions/problems. Key aspects of the discussion were:
- the active involvement of stakeholders in the design of the projects as well as in the utilisation of their outputs
- have valorisation activities such as workshops with stakeholders that support the uptake of project results
- have a synthesis of projects or short project profiles tailored to the stakeholders’ needs/ These need to be easy to digest and provide short answers in short time frames, which is especially important for policymakers
Furthermore, it was suggested that regional organisations may work as a bridge between science and practice. It was stressed that policy regulations, legislative frameworks and bureaucracy hinder the exploitation of scientific knowledge and that more public support is needed to achieve higher Technology Readiness Level particularly to implement high-risk projects like demo plants.
Representatives of COPA-COGECA, BIOVEGEN - Spanish Technology Platform for Plant Biotechnology, BIC - Biobased Industries Consortium, BASF & Plant ETP, European Commission’s Knowledge Centre for Bioeconomy, JRC, and the private company Filamania Ltd., Hungary were present.
The full report of the status seminar is available on the FACCE SURPLUS website