- Dec 20, 2016
- 16 comments
The Vanguard Initiative “New growth through smart specialization” is driven by a political commitment made by regions to use their smart specialisation strategy to boost new growth through bottom-up entrepreneurial innovation and industrial renewal in European priority areas.
The Vanguard Initiative has its foundations at the regional level, as EU regions are the closest policy link to the bottom-up growth dynamics necessary for the renewal of our industrial fabric through their proximity to innovative partnerships and clusters who are the real drivers of grotwh. Such partnerships and clusters form eco-systems that are the catalyst for fast-growing innovative SMEs. Regional innovation ecosystems can and do develop solutions for significant societal challenges while delivering on the EU’s ambitions for improved international competitiveness.
The Vanguard Initiative is pioneering a new approach to support EU industry internationalisation and competitiveness by bringing regions and clusters together to discuss common objectives and find complementarities, map and better understand regions’ industrial competencies and capabilities, develop joint strategic action plans (building critical mass and complementary specialisations) and align strategic investments arising from these roadmaps. The goal of this approach is creating “inter-regional smart specialisation platforms”.
The methodology is being tested through five pilot projects, one of which focused on the bio-economy - Interregional cooperation on innovative use of non-food biomass where the following “demo cases” are currently under development:
- Biobased Aromatics (Interregional value chains and Joint Demonstration on Lignin Valorisation to Aromatics);
- Lignocellulose Refinery (Production of bulk and fine chemicals and fuels from lignocellulose biomass. Set-up of a European value chain from lignocellulose to end products using biotechnology (refinery);
- Biogas Beyond Energy (Advancing the state of the art of biogas production towards more and higher value added outputs);
- (Waste) gas into Value (Turning C1 gas streams (from biogas production, biomass gasification or industrial emissions) into chemicals or fuels);
- Bio Aviation Fuel (Promoting larger scale aviation biofuel production)
- Food & Feed from Agrofood Waste (Extracting functional foods and feed from different waste streams, such as fish, domesticated animals, cereals, fruit, and vegetables).
These projects are close to the market and therefore have a high commercial potential. They focus on applications at post-prototyping level (> TRL5), with the potential for full market deployment in a time span of 3 to 5 years. The aim is to set up a European regions cooperation networks to strengthen and exploit network synergies between demonstration facilities, companies, research institutes/facilities and Clusters for the market deployment of innovation in the above mentioned areas of the bioeconomy.