Our focal regions

Bulgaria

About the focal region

The agricultural and food processing sectors, along with forestry, are the leading sectors in the regional bioeconomy of the South Central region. With a significant forest biomass potential and opportunities for utilizing residual biomass sources, these sectors hold promise for sustainable growth. However, companies in the region face challenges in bio-based research and development, and the connection between industry and research institutions needs improvement.

To address these challenges, MainstreamBIO offers a solution to enhance stakeholder focus on bioeconomy opportunities and create new value chains. Urgent adoption of a national bioeconomy strategy is necessary to prioritize and finance bioeconomy activities effectively. In the region, the forestry sector is particularly active, presenting opportunities for utilizing bio-waste and residual lignocellulosic products.

By leveraging these opportunities and embracing MainstreamBIO, the South Central region can unlock the potential of the bioeconomy, promote sustainable practices, and drive economic development.

Regional feedstock and value chains

Opportunities and Challenges

  • Significant forest resource in the South-central region, occupying over a quarter of the region’s area.
  • Dominance of state-owned enterprises in the forestry sector suggests government interest in supporting forestry for the local bio-economy.
  • Bio-waste constitutes up to 50% of the harvested wood in the region’s forests.
  • Residual lignocellulose products from forestry serve as a substantial raw material source for industry and energy.

Opportunities:

  • Seek synergies in corporate strategies of companies for bioeconomy development.
  • Collaboration between large business structures and small suppliers of bio-based products.
  • Big players prioritize sustainability and add value through specialized suppliers of bio-based additives, technologies, packaging, or labels.

Challenges:

  • Limited access to bio-based technologies.
  • Availability of experienced specialists in the field.
  • Mindset of actors along the value chain focused on cost over sustainability.
  • Energy-intensive bio-based industries impacted by rising gas prices.
  • Lack of direct bridge between research and development in the bioeconomy and local businesses.

Context and needs of rural stakeholders

What MainstreamBIO brings

  • The majority stakeholders express unsatisfactory progress in the bioeconomy.
  • Most stakeholders note the application of bioeconomy principles in the agricultural sector.
  • Emerging sectors include compost production, biodegradable materials, and energy.
  • Factors constraining bioeconomy growth:
    • Lack of government subsidies
    • Absence of political vision and framework
    • Impact of inflation and negative economic processes
    • Shortage of qualified personnel
  • Catalogue of technologies, business models and social innovations for small-scale bio-based solutions.
  • Best practices for improved nutrient recycling practices in rural areas.
  • MainstreamBIO‚Äôs innovation support services and digital toolkit.

Contact

Petar Borisov (peterborisov@gmail)

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