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Andalusia is located in the Southwest of Europe with an extension of more than 87 000 km² and 940 km of coastal area. It is the fourth region of the European Union according to its area and the most populated in Spain, with around 8 400 000 inhabitants. The Mediterranean climate and having up to 3 000 hours of sunny days per year, makes Andalusia an ideal place for the production of biological resources and the development of new economic models. The primary sector constitutes an important employment one due to the link among people and the environment, 37% of the population lives in rural areas where resources to feed into the bioeconomy are mainly being produced. The agro-industry has a primordial input into the regional economy as it employs more than 5 000 entities. The bioeconomy represents a new productive and necessary model combining the different productive systems through innovation and knowledge in order to enable a wide range of processes, products and industries aimed at becoming the driving force of the regions. There are three main factors why the bioeconomy model is of high application in Andalusia: first, the abundant production of biomass; second, an industrial sector already expanded and; third, an extensive network of technological knowledge. The biomass being produced is mainly from the agriculture and the agro-industry where olive and intensive horticulture are the most relevant. Forestry, fisheries, algae and bio-residues are also biomass sources to have in mind with several applications in the region. There are ten public universities, several excellence campuses and technological centres providing Andalusia of an extensive network to develop new market products to support the bioeconomy and thus reaching a less dependent on fossil fuels economy. Andalusia was selected by the European Commission as model region to lead the way toward a sustainable chemical industry in Europe. In September 2018, the Andalusian Circular Bioeconomy Strategy (ACBS) was launched. The time horizon of the strategy is 2030 and for this it has resources worth around 1 400 million euros aimed at specific actions that have been developed with the collaboration of more than 50 external experts from the sectors of interest. Currently, the development of a future law on circular economy is in place in Andalusia.

Aragon

Spain

Aragon, Spanish Aragón, comunidad autónoma (autonomous community) and historical region of northeastern Spain. It encompasses the provincias (provinces) of Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Aragon is bounded by France to the north and by the autonomous communities of Catalonia to the east, Valencia to the southeast, Castile–La Mancha to the southwest, and Castile-León, La Rioja, and Navarra to the west. Aragon was established as an autonomous community by the statute of autonomy of Aug. 10, 1982. The capital is Zaragoza. Aragon Goverment prepares the S3 Aragon in order to increase, expand and systematize the investments and I+i initiatives by promoting innovation as a component of the competitive strategy of companies. The strategy includes actions of support to PYMEs through funding, thanks to Structural Funds and competitive calls for proposals. Bioeconomy has been identify as strategic in our region.

Aragon is immersed in a bioeconomic transition through innovation, investments, growth development and creating jobs including the society and citizens.

In terms of both its surface area and population size, Baden-Württemberg is the third biggest of the 16 German federal states. An area of 35,751 square kilometres hosts a population of around 11 million people. Located in Germany’s Southwest Baden-Württemberg lies at the very heart of Europe.

Home to internationally renowned corporations and thousands of successful small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) Baden-Württemberg is well known for its innovative drive and inventive spirit. Baden-Württemberg is Europe’s number one region for innovations and belongs to the regions with the highest score in the bioeconomy innovation index according to Spatial Foresight et al. (2017).

Focal points of Baden-Württemberg´s economy include primarily the following future areas (RIS3 priorities): 1.) ICT, intelligent products and industry 4.0; 2.) Sustainable mobility; 3.) Health; 4.) Resource efficiency & renewable energy; 5.) Sustainable Bioeconomy. Focussing on resource efficiency, environmentally compatible materials and sustainable production methods, Baden-Württemberg-based companies are aiming at a pioneering role in the lead industries of the future. In times of dwindling fossil fuels and scarce natural resources, the innovations, technologies and products developed and produced by companies based in Baden-Württemberg are in high demand.

An equally vital facet and economic power of Baden-Württemberg are its rural areas with its innovative agricultural and forestry industry and many successful and innovative SMEs, e.g. in the manufacturing sector. Many highly innovative SMEs are leaders in their field on the world market. The state comprises around 1.4 million hectares of forest and agricultural land. Small and medium-sized farms, which make up the vast majority of agricultural companies in Baden-Württemberg, make an important contribution to sustainable, ecological and socially responsible agriculture. The policy of the state of Baden-Württemberg sets the framework for modern agriculture in times of globalization, helps farmers to set up competitive businesses and ensures environmentally friendly management in times of climate change, the decline of many native species and dwindling resources.

Euskadi, as the Basque Country is known in Basque, is a small country but with a strong identity. With a history stretching back over 5,000 years, Euskadi has a distinctive culture and a language that is unique in the world. Euskadi is today a modern country that has managed to adapt to the times and is at the forefront of Europe in terms of quality of life and sustainable human development.

Business Region Aarhus (BRAA) is a partnership between 12 municipalities in Eastern Jutland and Denmark's largest growth area outside Copenhagen. The hearth of the Danish food cluster is in BRAA, and it is a European epicenter for innovation within food and bioressources. BRAA has one of the highest concentrations of knowledge institutions and companies within food and bioressources. 1/3 of the large Danish food export comes from BRAA. Companies (such as Arla Foods), innovation environments (such as Agro Business Park) and knowledge players (such as Aarhus University) are leading the way in technologies needed to exploit raw materials from biomass feedstocks. Biobased investments focus on agro-food and the valorization of urban and agricultural biowaste. The companies in BRAA are specialized in process equipment, dairy products, and ingredients, as well as the processing of meat and plant-based proteins. With one-third of the Danish agricultural area and one-third of the livestock production, Central Denmark is rich in residues from food production, including straw, livestock manure, and grass. The region's nutritious coastal areas offer good opportunities for mussel production and other blue biomass opportunities. Organic waste from households, supermarkets, and the industry (grey biomass) is another source of raw materials that can create value-added if better utilized. Daka Denmark A/S (in Municipality of Hedensted) has long experience in oil/fat-based biodiesel, and recently started a pilot project to investigate protein production from insect larvae in household waste. In the town of Grenaa, Aarhus University and a number of companies do R&D within sea weed as an alternative protein ressource. In 2019, the biorefining facilities opened at AU Center for Circular Bioeconomy (CBIO) in Viborg, where scientists in the coming years will explore e.g. protein extraction from grass. The local access to biomass combined with the expertise available in the region makes BRAA committed to turning the circular bioeconomy into a catalyst for growth and jobs.

Catalonia is a Mediterranean country with different landscape with a good potential for adaptation and resilience to small disturbances. The features of natural resources, agriculture-livestock, recycling, industry and energy sectors –as well as the Involvement of the private sector- allow relevant potential for bioeconomy implementation. That is the reason because the Catalan Government has identified the implementation of the bioeconomy as a main priority for the current period. Barcelona is one of the few cities in Southern Europe with full-modal transport integration. International port and airport, high-speed railway and motorways within a 12-kilometre radius, each with global connectivity. Over 200 ha of public industrial land and more than 800 ha of public logistics land are available and represent the better premises for future development.

Centru Region is located in the central part of Romania, overlapping the former historic province of Transylvania. Currently the region’s population is about 2.32 million inhabitants distributed as follows: 57% in urban areas and 43% in rural communities. Benefiting from a favorable position in terms of transport connections (along the 4-th Pan-European Transport Corridor) and significant natural resources and with a skilled workforce, Centru Region’s economy grew over the last years and now it is one of the most developed regions of Romania. According to the Eurostat data, as of 2017, the regional GDP/ capita reached 17 900 euro. In other words it reached 60% of the EU average and our region outruns several regions from Poland, Hungary or Greece. Two determinant factors fuelled the fast economic development of the region: foreign direct investments, focused on the automotive industry (it worth to mention that Centru Region is the second region of the country in terms of the total value of FDI) and the high dynamics of the exports. The main economic sectors in the region, both in financial terms and potential for rapid growth and innovation, are the following: automotive industry, aeronautics, wood processing and furniture industry, agro-food, light industry, IT and creative industries, sustainable built environment, medicine and pharmaceutics, wellness industry. Probably the most important characteristic of the past and the present of this region is its ethnic, linguistic and cultural diversity. As a result of the long term cohabitation between people with various ethnic backgrounds, in many cities and villages, some unique architecture patterns have been developed. One can find these original patterns and landmarks by visiting several touristic sites of the regions, such as: ancient remains from pre-Roman and Roman time in Alba county, the 7 fortified churches included in the UNESCO world heritage list, Sighisoara fortress – the only uninterruptedly inhabited citadel in Europe, the Vauban style citadel in Alba Iulia, the legendary castle of Bran, the city of Sibiu – the European Capital of Culture in 2007 and many other cultural and historic objectives, with national or international renown.

Emilia-Romagna is situated in central-northern Italy, in the heart of the country’s most industrialised area. It boasts an enviable geographical position making it an ideal link between northern and southern Italy, as well as connecting the Mediterranean with northern Europe. Emilia-Romagna is one of Italy's leading regions in terms of per capita income and for many years has been classified as one of the richest regions in Europe. Emilia-Romagna also ranks amongst the top regions in Italy for bureaucratic efficiency, quality of life and healthcare services. Emilia-Romagna is the Italian region with the highest proportion of R&D personnel per 1,000 inhabitants (7.2% in 2015 while Italian average is 4.3%). The region has the highest innovation capability at national level, alongside a few other regions, according to the Regional Innovation Scoreboard (EC, 2017). There are 31,919 employees in R&D sectors, while total investment in R&D amounted to 2,681 million Euro in 2015. Patent applications per million of inhabitants (EPO) are higher than the Italian and European averages. The bio-economy is a clue topic for the Emilia-Romagna region because of several traditional, consolidated industrial sectors and value chains. The Agrofood industry sector currently has a significant level of production specialization index, high absorption capacity of the enabling technologies and provides specific answers to the social challenges, high export capacity and high propensity to the internationalization with an employment rate of 16.7% (more than 300.000 jobs).

Extremadura (capital: Mérida) is located in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory covers an area of 41,634km² - roughly 8% of the whole surface of the country - and it is divided in two provinces: Badajoz and Cáceres. In 2017 the region had 1,077,525 inhabitants (Eurostat, 2018), being one of the least populated zones and continuing the negative natural growth rate trend registered during last years (Instituto Estadístico de Extremadura – ieex). Despite recent recovery signs from the financial crisis, the economy is lagging with respect of the country, and its Research, Development and Innovation system is among the least advanced. Extremadura is the only Spanish region categorised as less developed by the European Commission. However, Extremadura has many potentialities. Renowned for its environmental biodiversity; there are some famous traditional food products such as jamón ibérico, cheese and olive oil produced in the region. Furthermore, it has a beautiful landscape where the dehesa (meadows) stands out, and a rich historic heritage. Both features are pillars of the incipient touristic sector focused on the quality of life, health and wellbeing of the tourist, integrating an enjoyable rural and eco-friendly experience.

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