A green recovery to overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

The pandemic has highlighted the limits of the current economic system at the global level, and the need to relocalise the economy and supply chains to develop the resilience of territories. This need goes hand in hand with the need to decarbonise our economy, as climate change projections are increasingly alarming. In order to meet these challenges, the following actions can be considered: the transition to a circular bioeconomy, which supports the development of short supply chains, the substitution of fossil-based materials with renewable biological materials, the increase in durability of these materials through recovery and the limitation of waste. But how to implement these actions in the local areas? SMEs are key players in the local economy and represent a significant potential for employment, innovation and attractiveness. Therefore, their support can be a significant opportunity for regions to achieve the ecological transition.

Therefore, on 25.01.2022, the European partners of the BIOREGIO project organised the webinar “Boosting the circular bioeconomy with SMEs to overcome the impact of COVID“, to exchange their experiences and good practices on the financing of the circular bioeconomy and exemplary projects in their local areas. As part of the Pays de la Loire Regional Council’s participation in the BIOREGIO project, Héloïse EVEN (Biowaste/Biomass Programme Officer at the Directorate of Energy Transition and Environment) and Chloé BESNARD (ERDF Programme Officer at the Directorate of European Policies) came to present the existing and future funding instruments to support SMEs and other actors in the recovery of biomass and biowaste, and the closing of biological loops in the region.

Among these instruments, the call for Circular Economy projects aims to support innovative and exemplary projects, with a strong potential for replicability in the region. This call, launched for the first time in 2018 by the Regional Council, and then from 2019 jointly with ADEME and DREAL, has financed so far 27 projects related to the circular bioeconomy, for an envelope of more than 1,600,000 € over 4 years. During the webinar, the partners were able to discover different actors supported by the call, such as the craft brewery LES COUREURS DE LUNE, which reuses its draffs as a substrate for growing mushrooms distributed in short supply chains to local restaurants; and Les Alchimistes, which offers an urban composting platform for the recovery of bio-waste.

With the new ERDF programming for the period 2021-2027, the Regional Council has included the circular economy among its specific objectives (SO). The operational programme is currently being developed, with the aim of including the circular bioeconomy in these SO and acting in complementarity with the regional call for Circular Economy projects. Project leaders can fill in an online form to inform the Regional Council and receive advice on their project idea. After an approval procedure of the new Regional Operational Programme by the European Commission, it is envisaged that the submission of projects for the ERDF could start in Autumn of 2022.

To learn more about the circular bioeconomy and the funding instruments to finance it, find all the articles on the BIOREGIO project website.


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