Today, rural areas cover around 80% of the European Union territory, hosting 30% of its population (137 million people) and therefore play a key role in enhancing sustainable bio-based value chains through different lines of action, such as sustainable food and raw materials, renewable energies, decrease of fossil dependency and preservation of biodiversity.
The BRILIAN project, in which Aitiip Technology Centre participates, has been designed to support the adoption of sustainable and cooperative business models in rural areas and enable a better transition towards bio-based economies, playing a key role in the revitalisation of these regions and fostering sustainable economic and social development, turning primary producers into active actors in the supply chain, in line with the objectives set out in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the Green Pact and the European Bioeconomy Strategy.
With the aim of expanding the agribusiness business model and exploiting its full potential, BRILLIAN will work with 10 bio-based value chains starting from thistle, safflower and sunflower (in Italy), potato (in Spain) and rapeseed (in Denmark) as raw materials, to develop sustainable business models covering a wide range of bio-based products with high added value, such as bioplastics, biolubricants, proteins, bioadhesives, bioherbicides, products for animal feed or cosmetics. This will allow primary producers to diversify their sources of income while reducing risk.
The Spanish pilot, led by Aitiip, will take place at the facilities of the PATURPAT cooperative in Vitoria, and will include the participation of the company, also from Aragon, TECNOPACKING, an expert in plastic packaging materials, with all three entities being members of the Ebro Valley Food Cluster, FOOD+i, also a partner in the project.
Maider Gómez, Project Manager at the CIRCE Technology Centre, specialised in the field of energy and sustainability, and coordinator of the BRILIAN project, said that "finding the formula that allows the European agro-industrial fabric to develop its potential as a biorefinery in rural areas is key to achieving the objectives of sustainability while strengthening the sector".
BRILIAN is an ambitious four-year project with a budget of more than 6 million euros, co-funded by the Circular Bio-Based Europe (CBE) joint initiative within the framework of the European programme for innovation and research 'Horizon Europe 2021-2027' (HE).
Thirteen entities from six different countries are part of the project: Spain, Italy, Denmark, Belgium, Czech Republic and Greece, grouping 3 large companies, 3 SMEs, 3 research organisations, 2 clusters and 2 associations.