Bioeconomy-led development: Opportunities through Nordic-Southern Cone countries cooperation

As part of the Finnish University Partnership for International Development (UniPID) network activities, an International Seminar on Bioeconomy-led development: Opportunities through Nordic-Southern Cone countries cooperation was held on 18-19 October 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Seminar background
Since 2013 the UniPID network has coordinated the FinCEAL initiative aimed to support research and innovation cooperation between Finland, other European countries and the LAC region; and build on EU-CELAC STI policy priorities.

Seminar objectives
In order to support partnership building and increase the number of joint projects in specific themes of mutual interest, including bioeconomy, the seminar aimed at:
Increase dialogue and synergies between existing bilateral initiatives between the Southern Cone and Nordic countries
Incentivise new multilateral R&I cooperation projects in different bioeconomy subtopics
Promote collaboration between CIECTI, FinCEAL, Finnish Natural Resources Institute (LUKE), VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Lund University and other supporting organizations

The seminar included four plenary sessions on the following topics:

The meaning of bioeconomy for development;
Three central thematic areas;
Forest bioeconomy
Agro-based new technologies and innovative uses of agro biomass material
Blue bioeconomy

Funding opportunities for R&I cooperation in bioeconomy; and
Prospective analysis on bioeconomy in the Southern Cone and the social impact of bioeconomy (on employment, skills, labor migration, etc.) as topics to expand the cooperation agenda.

In addition to the plenaries, two parallel sessions were organized for each central thematic area. The sessions were not open to the public, but were convened by invitation. The thematic sessions were aimed to be constitute platforms for experts from the Nordic and Southern Cone countries to:
deepen the exchange started in the plenaries,
identify specific topics for concrete joint project ideas, and
connect relevant actors with the necessary expertise and interest to get involved in the projects that might emerge.

Key cooperation areas on ‘Forest bioeconomy’

Bioproducts and bio-refineries as options for the integral exploitation of the biomass coming from forest plantations
Non-wood forest products (NWFP) from the native forest
Forest bioenergy

Key cooperation areas on ‘Agro-based new technologies’

Sustainable agricultural intensification
Small-scale agro biorefineries

Key cooperation area on ‘Using sea biodiversity and sustainable use of water’

New technologies for the sustainable use of water and the production of new bioproducts

Next steps for all participating organisations

More precise definition of the topics for future projects as well as the experts and institutions that would be involved in each one of them

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