BLOOM, Boosting European Citizens' Knowledge and Awareness of Bio-Economy Research and Innovation
BLOOM (Boosting European Citizens' Knowledge and Awareness of Bio-Economy Research and Innovation) aims at bringing together partners from across Europe to debate, communicate and engage the public in the potentials of the bioeconomy. This is an economy based on biomass promises to foster a circular economy and to enhance climate change mitigation, while reducing dependence on fossil fuels.
BLOOM (Boosting European Citizens' Knowledge and Awareness of Bio-Economy Research and Innovation) is a Coordination and Support Action, funded by the Horizon 2020 framework of the European Union. The project runs from 2017 to 2020 and aims at bringing together partners from across Europe to debate, communicate and engage the public in the potentials of the bioeconomy. This is an economy that is based on biomass promises to foster a circular economy and to enhance climate change mitigation, while reducing dependence on fossil fuels. The bioeconomy covers a broad range of sectors, ranging from agriculture and the agrifood industry to fisheries, forestry, biorefineries, chemistry and (bio)energy. But despite its multiple applications, it has yet to enter into the public consciousness as an exciting solution to societal challenges.
The BLOOM project has the following four main objectives:
- Raise awareness: BLOOM aims at strengthening awareness and knowledge about bioeconomy research and innovation by stimulating activities via regional hubs and developing outreach activities for citizens of the European Union, demonstrating the potential economic, environmental and social impact of the bioeconomy.
- Reduce the fragmentation of awareness strategies and build up and strengthen a bioeconomy community: BLOOM enlarges the engagement of triple helix partners, from the domains of the market, government and knowledge, partners from civil society and the education sector, and thereby completes the innovation ecosystem, which is needed for the deployment of the bioeconomy.
- Gain a common understanding: BLOOM creates spaces for a necessary debate on preferences and values concerning the bioeconomy, for interaction and exchange of information, knowledge, meaning and aspirations, with the aim of establishing consensus on how a bioeconomy can be achieved.
- Foster (social) learning and education: BLOOM makes knowledge and research about the bioeconomy available for educational purposes. It provides applications for different levels of educational school programmes, vocational training, and others. BLOOM supports learning processes between regional knowledge and innovation centres and citizens towards advancing capacities and competences.
BLOOM aims at reaching its objectives with the following approach:
Across Europe, five regional hubs are established to foster public engagement in the bioeconomy and to create a space for information exchanges and debates. The hubs focus on various subjects that are important to the regions. They enlarge their regional networks with Civil Society Organisations and engage young European citizens, science communication networks, non-governmental organisations, media and – crucially – the general public, through a series of co-creation workshops and outreach activities. Additionally, schools in different European countries are involved and the bioeconomy integrated into school systems in Europe.
LinkedIn: BLOOM EU
Country: Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden
Coordinator: ZSI - Centre for Social Innovation, Austria https://www.zsi.at/en
- WILAB - Wissenschaftsladen Bonn e.V., Germany.
- WR - Wageningen Research, The Netherlands.
- EUN - European Schoolnet, Belgium.
- MWL - Medienwerkstatt Linz, Austria.
- GEN - Global Ecovillage Network of Europe e.V., Spain/Germany.
- ceiA3 - The Agrifood Campus of International Excellence, Spain.
- CSC - Centrum Nauki Kopernik, Poland.
- UAK - University of Agriculture in Krakow, Poland.
- VA - Vetenskap & Allmänhet, Sweden.
- JAMK - University of Applied Sciences, Finland.
- EFE - Ökosoziales Forum Europe, Austria.
Programme: Horizon 2020
Target groups: general public, industry, policy makers, primary school students, secondary school students, teachers
Topic: Agriculture, Biochemistry, Biology, Biotechnology, Earth science, Ecology, Energy, Environmental sciences, Fisheries science, Food science, Forestry science, Education, Other
Start year: 2017
End year: 2020
Contact person: Teodora Ioan, Email teodora.ioan (at) eun.org
The anchor points are five BLOOM hubs across Europe that form communities of practice. These are composed of the project’s consortium and network partners, the regional triple helix’s partners and other stakeholders of the bioeconomy. Together, they build workgroups based on examples of living labs. In mutual learning and awareness activities and network extensions, partners and stakeholders work towards increased public engagement in the bioeconomy.
The BLOOM hubs have the following focus areas:
- Spanish Hub (Cordoba) - Food and Agriculture: Promotes networking among all the actors involved in the agri-food sector in the Mediterranean area, fostering innovation and raising awareness about the bioeconomy.
- Polish Hub (Krakow & Warsaw) - Food and Agriculture: Raises public awareness about the bioeconomy, by showcasing new food packaging materials, use of waste in agricultural production, use of biomass waste in agriculture and organic food production. Works towards increasing interest in the bioeconomy and related studies and education.
- Dutch Hub (Wageningen) - Bio-chemicals and Bio-plastics: Follows and promotes the new cross-sectoral collaboration between chemical companies and the agro-industry. Gathers and promotes a dialogue among all stakeholders of the bioeconomy across the region.
- Swedish & Finnish Hub (Stockholm & Jyväskylä) - Forest and Wood: Raises public awareness about the possibilities of forest products and showcases new innovative materials and products, as well as increasing interest in studies and education related to the bioeconomy.
- Austrian & German Hub (Vienna & Bonn) - Bio-chemicals and Bio-plastics: Demonstrates how the bioeconomy can develop new innovative products and materials. Thereby, the bioeconomy provides economic opportunities for manifold sectors, industries and products, and diminishes the environmental burden caused by the fossil-based economy. Integrates stakeholders and increases general interest in the bioeconomy.
20 pilot teachers, two per country, representing schools from Greece, Austria, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Israel, Croatia, have been selected by the project’s consortium to produce new teaching resources about the bioeconomy, test those resources in their schools/classrooms and provide feedback on their implementation. These pilot teachers teach physics, biology, mathematics, engineering, technology and chemistry in their respective schools.
Additionally, those pilot teachers encourage, train and support other teachers and schools in using resources of the BLOOM project and disseminating its work, resources and opportunities related to the bioeconomy in their regions. They also support and contribute to the development of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) dedicated to the bioeconomy and its applications in teaching, at primary and secondary education levels.
The BLOOM repository is a searchable tool with information about the bioeconomy and educational content, already available on the Internet, and all materials generated by the project, including educational and outreach materials, videos, virtual experiments, posts, virtual live events, dissemination activities, and more.