On 20 October, EUSDR Priority Area 8 (PA 8) held a joint event together with the GoDanuBio project on the topic of ‘Bioeconomizing the Danube Region’. The host and co-organiser of the event was the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Croatia. The conference was organised in a hybrid format; 43 participants online, as well as 36 participants in-person at the Hotel International in Zagreb, were able to receive valuable insights into the topic of circular bioeconomy and how its deployment can improve the economies in the Danube macro-region.
The joint event had two parts: a session concentrating on bioeconomy in the Danube macro-region in the morning, while the afternoon sessions were divided into two parts; a Steering Group meeting of the Priority Area 8 of EU Strategy for the Danube Region and a Steering Group meeting of the GoDanuBio consortium.
The morning session opened with presentations of Ms. Anita Sever-Koren from Croatian Ministry of Agriculture and Ms. Anamarija Šopron Bognar from the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development who gave presentations in physical form while Prof. Dr. Orest Kiyko from the Furniture and Wooden Products Technology Department of the Ukrainian National Forestry University and dipl. Ing. Bernhard Zenz from the Federal Ministry of Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, Austria participated with their, also interesting and instructive presentations, in online form.
After the presentations, two panel discussions were held. The first one was on the topic of ‘The role of bioeconomy clusters in the implementation of a strategy: pros and cons’ and the second one on ‘Resilient circular bioeconomy business models’. The participants in the panels were business representatives (such as Dr. Jasmina Ranilović from Podravka d.d., Croatia) and government officials (such as Vadym Tabakera from Lviv, Ukraine), as well as cluster representatives (such as Daniel Acs from Bioeconomy Cluster in Slovakia).
The 19th Steering Group Meeting of the EUSDR PA 8, held in hybrid form, was opened with introductory welcoming by the Priority Coordinators, Ms. Nirvana Kapitan Butković (Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, Croatia) and Ms. Judit Schrick-Szenczi (Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Toursim Baden-Württemberg, Germany). Afterwards Ms. Mihaela Florea (Pillar Officer, Danube Strategy Point) presented the current acitivities of the Danube Strategy Point. The current status of applications for the synchronized call and cross-macroregional initiative “INNOVATION EXPRESS 2.0” as well as current activities within the project “Danube Alliance for SME Competitiveness”, the new flagship initiative whose main purpose will be to define the structure of some value chains and how to make it more resilient was presented by Dr. Gerd Meier zu Köcker and Hannah Herzig from Clusteragentur BW.
In addition, regarding the future activities of PA8, all Working Group Coordinators were given the possibility to present their activities and to discuss the potential future activities.
Overall, the 19th Steering Group Meeting was valued as success, given the fact that it had a satisfying number of participants and as it was a great opportunity to discuss and present future PA8 activities with interesting proposals from all participants.