BioDemo – Demonstrating the Value Chains of a New Field of Industry

The main goal of the BioDemo project, started in August 2022, is to contribute to the development of bio and circular economy business operations on an industrial scale in the Turku region. In the project, companies are brought together and the functionality of 2-3 value chains between bio and circular economy actors are built and demonstrated together on a pilot scale.

The demonstrated value chains include several actors and activities from different industries: harvesting, acquisition and procurement of biomass, refining, and processing the raw material into final products. The aim is to refine raw materials in accordance with the bio and circular economy into raw materials that can be used in, for example, the textile and cosmetics industry.

The main implementer and coordinator of the group project BioDemo is Turku Science Park Ltd, working in seamless cooperation with Åbo Akademi University and Turku University of Applied Sciences. In the project, investigation, facilitation, stakeholder engagement and research work are carried out.

BioDemo team represented by members from Åbo Akademi, Turku University of Applied Sciences and Turku Science Park in a research seminar at Aurum, Åbo Akademi in February 2023. Picture: Shoja Lak

As a result of the project, companies in the Turku region will have demonstrated the functionality of bio and/or circular economy value chains based on local raw materials, such as straw, lake reed and recycled textile fibers, and potential end products have been identified. The companies participating in the demonstrations receive valuable information for developing and growing bio and circular economy business. In the project information is also collected on the availability of bio-based raw materials in the Turku region, such as straw and lake reed, and how the availability meets the industrial raw material needs.

BioDemo strengthens the innovation activities of the entire Turku Business Region and, in the long term, supports the development and growth of a new bio- and circular economy industry in the Turku region.

The BioDemo project is still waiting for the technical funding approval from the European Regional Development Fund ERDF, but was launched at its own risk in August 2022 and will continue until July 2025. The joint project has a total budget of approximately one million euros, of which 60% is ERDF funding.

Photo: Shoja Lak

Although the project is still awaiting the official grant agreement, activities are however ongoing at full speed. At the end of February the project partners held a half-day research seminar at Åbo Akademi Aurum to discuss different research methodologies and how they would be implemented throughout the project. Turku UAS has delivered among others common reed to the research laboratories of Åbo Akademi and investigated and mapped potential raw material suppliers. Several visits to various companies from different fields and stages of the value chains have also been held.

The work packages of the project in a nutshell:

  • Work package 1: Mapping and developing supply chains of raw materials according to the bio and circular economy
  • Work package 2: Development and productization of sustainable products with a high degree of processing from raw materials compatible with the bio- and circular economy.
  • Work package 3: Demonstration of the functionality of value chains formed by companies
  • Work package 4: Communication

In the development of sustainable products with a high degree of processing, laboratory research is key. However, the need and functionality of logistics can not be undermined. Even though a lot of raw material such as common reed and straw exist in South Western Finland, the value chain from harvesting to industrial manufacturing is challenging. It is relevant to find solutions that are both economically profitable and sustainable for the environment.

Further information regarding the project can be received from the Project coordinator and manager Ida Forssell-Martikainen and Network manager Reeta Huhtinen

Text: Ida Forssell-Martikainen

Pictures: Shoja Lak