At the recent European Bioeconomy Congress, efforts to intensify cooperation between regional stakeholders from Central and Eastern Europe were at the top of the agenda. Along with the publication of the Łódź Declaration of Bioregions, the Bio-Based Industry Consortium (BIC), the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), and eight Polish regions signed a Letter of Intent to develop new bioeconomy partnerships.

Signed by the Łódzkie, Lubelskie, Małopolska, Mazowieckie, Opole, Pomeranian, Wielkopolska, and the West Pomeranian region, the BBI JU, and BIC, the Łódź Letter of Intent will pave the way for regional actors to identify synergies between financial instruments and political frameworks to set up local bioeconomy value chains. All eight of the Polish signatories have selected the bioeconomy as a smart specialization strategy, ensuring limited resources are channeled into the sector they believe will provide the best opportunity for regional development.

“The Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking wants to be the catalyst for helping regions realize their potential for sustainable regeneration and growth, through concrete bioeconomy strategies and through synergies between national and regional funding and the BBI JU program,” said Philippe Mengal, executive director of BBI.

“Many of the regions in Central and Eastern Europe have a strong agricultural tradition and have selected the bioeconomy as a smart specialization strategy,” said Witold Stępień, marshal of the Łódzkie region. “The Letter of Intent shows our joint determination to integrate regional efforts to build local biocommunities by focusing on common priorities and strategies.”

“Harmonizing the implementation of EU and national polices to further develop the bioeconomy involves finding synergies between different financial instruments,” said Suzy Renckens, public affairs and communications for BIC. “The Letter of Intent means that where synergies exist, signatories will be able to spend a significant part of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) budget on bioeconomy development.”

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