June 19, 2024 – The PRIMED consortium held its 2nd General Assembly (GA) online, six months after the project’s Kick-off Meeting (KoM). This milestone event showcased significant progress in PRIMED’s mission to redesign the primary sector for enhanced bioeconomy development across Europe. The project focuses on integrating primary producers into innovative value chains, promoting sustainable rural economies through a collaborative multi-actor approach.

The assembly focused on two key areas: Circular Business Models in Bioeconomy (CBMB) and Living Labs.

CBMBs represent innovative forms of cooperation that integrate primary producers into new bioeconomy value chains. These models address critical challenges such as fragmented knowledge sharing, complex supply chains, and the need for new logistical networks.

PRIMED Living Labs, established in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Finland, serve as real-world environments where these models are demonstrated and tested. Detailed factsheets have been prepared for each lab, enabling ongoing critical analysis and identification of political, technical and economic barriers. The project is actively engaged in discussions on methodologies, transformations, and processes to be applied in new business cases, along with assessing associated risks and benefits. A key focus of these Living Labs is the validation of high-value bio-based products developed for end-use applications.

Key achievements reported at the assembly include:

  • Advanced development of the Open Access Toolbox: This digital platform, designed to facilitate collaboration among stakeholders, will include the Business Model Navigator, Business Cases, Governance Models, and Shared Agendas developed during the PRIMED project. Currently, the design of the Toolbox is at an advanced stage.
  • Progress in CBMB: Analysis is underway for the five value chains associated with the Living Labs, focusing on new bio-based products, processes, and integrated services to identify their value generation architecture, value capture sources, and key challenges. Additionally, a policy analysis, governance analysis, investment options, and indicators and impact monitoring methodology for each CBMB developed for the Living Labs are being carried out.
  • Launch of the 1st Open Call for end-users: In support of the Living Labs’ objectives, guidelines and selection criteria have been published to validate high-value bio-based products in end-use applications. End-user selections will be announced in November.
  • Enhanced project visibility: The PRIMED website and social media channels are now live, with a comprehensive video overview of the project planned for early 2025.

The 2nd GA concluded with a comprehensive review of the progress made and the challenges ahead. This session outlined the successful developments in CBMB and set forth the short-term goals to be achieved. Key next steps include further refinement of methodologies for stakeholder engagement, the initiation of defining Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to calculate the impact of CBMBs, and the continued promotion and execution of the Open Call, to secure at least one end-user for each Living Lab and ensure success.

The PRIMED project, funded by the European Commission’s Horizon Europe program, brings together 13 partners from 7 European countries. The consortium includes business model experts from RUB – Ruhr-Universität Bochum, biological and chemical researchers, Living Labs (Alcarràs Bioproductors, CeNTI – Centro de Nanotecnologia e Materiais Técnicos, Funcionais e Inteligentes, FILSE – Finanziaria Ligure per lo Sviluppo Economico, IBF – Irish Bioeconomy Foundation and VTT – Technical Research Centre of Finland), policy experts (the European Association for Bioindustries), governance and social impact researchers (LUT University), biomass and techno-economic experts (SINTEF), and consultants in agri-food, agriculture, and sustainability (AKIS Research, BioHubCat and INVENIAM Group, and NAKED Innovations). The next General Assembly is scheduled for December 2024 in Catalonia, Spain.


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Authors: Mario González