Biochemicals and biomaterials

๐’๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ž๐œ๐ก๐ง๐จ๐ฅ๐จ๐ ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ฅ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐›๐ข๐จ๐ฆ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ: ๐’๐ข๐๐ž-๐’๐ญ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฆ๐ฌ, ๐…๐จ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฒ & ๐–๐จ๐จ๐ ๐๐ซ๐จ๐œ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐ 

Primoลพ Oven
The lecture delves into the crucial topic of biomass side streams in forestry and wood processing. It places these discussions within the framework of the circular bioeconomy concept, offering an alternative to the conventional linear economy that has led to adverse climate and environmental outcomes. An audit by the European Court of Auditors highlighted the need to focus on circular product design and production processes rather than waste management, signaling the urgency for change. The lecture emphasizes the potential for integrating biobased solutions, particularly in rural regions, by first addressing fundamental concepts related to biomass in forestry and the wood industry. It provides insights into the structure and properties of woody biomass, underlining the importance of understanding this versatile material. The discussion then moves to the potential of biorefining, offering a path to harness the diverse utility of woody biomass. An exploration of cascading valorization exemplifies how low-quality woody biomass residues can be transformed into high-value products. This involves extracting valuable compounds, such as extractives and nanocellulose. Extractives, defined by their solubility in polar and non-polar solvents, serve as low-volume, high-value bio-based materials. Nanocellulose, derived from extractive-free woody biomass, emerges as a high-tech material with virtually limitless applications. In conclusion, the lecture delivers three core takeaways: woody biomass, as a renewable resource, can participate in cascading processes and diversified small-scale biorefining, even in rural settings. The key lies in adhering to circular bioeconomy principles, which offer sustainable, eco-friendly alternatives to conventional practices. This lecture plays a vital role in advocating for the valorization of biomass side streams in forestry, furthering the cause of the circular bioeconomy.

๐’๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐“๐ž๐œ๐ก๐ง๐จ๐ฅ๐จ๐ ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ฅ ๐๐ซ๐จ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐๐ข๐จ๐ฆ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐’๐ข๐๐ž-๐’๐ญ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฆ๐ฌ: ๐€๐ ๐ซ๐ข๐Ÿ๐จ๐จ๐ ๐’๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐จ๐ซ

Gasan Osojnik
The research conducted by a National Institute of Chemistry researcher and a University of Ljubljana assistant professor in Agri-Food Chemistry provides a comprehensive overview of biomass streams in the Agri-food sector. The study addresses the vulnerabilities, properties, and opportunities related to efficiently harnessing these resources. The environmental impact of the food system is undeniable, with European food consumption alone responsible for a significant portion of the overall climate impact. The European food system, in its current form, places an unsustainable demand on planetary resources, requiring 3.6 times the Earth’s ecological capacity. Key to addressing this issue is understanding the biomass generated in the agriculture and food production processes. The European agriculture sector yields one billion tons of biomass, which, when converted to energy equivalents, represents a substantial energy resource, with one-third coming from food waste. Surprisingly, energy crops contribute significantly less, raising questions about resource allocation. Food processing generates diverse production residues and by-products, which can offer valuable bio-based solutions. Identifying and categorizing these streams is essential for optimizing their utilization. Processing residues, including everything that isn’t a primary product, generate a staggering 55 million tons of waste in the European Union. This study emphasizes the importance of preventing food waste, reducing it, and putting surplus to human or animal use. Any remaining biomass should be processed into valuable fractions, such as bioactives, fibers, and materials for chemical transformation. This cascading approach ensures the most efficient and sustainable use of Agri-food biomass. Promising applications are emerging, such as functional food ingredients, combining dietary fibers and protein-rich by-products for new food formulations, innovative extraction technologies, and natural fiber solutions for non-wood-based paper and packaging production. Additionally, the study highlights opportunities for energy farming and the production of biogenic chemicals without disrupting traditional food production. In conclusion, this research offers a comprehensive understanding of Agri-food biomass streams and presents innovative solutions to address environmental concerns while capitalizing on the potential of these resources. These insights are invaluable for moving toward a more sustainable and circular Agri-food system.

๐’๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐“๐ž๐œ๐ก๐ง๐จ๐ฅ๐จ๐ ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ฅ ๐๐ซ๐จ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐ž๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐๐ข๐จ๐ฆ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐’๐ข๐๐ž-๐’๐ญ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฆ๐ฌ: ๐€๐ช๐ฎ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐œ ๐’๐ฒ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ฆ๐ฌ

Maja Berden Zrimec
The focus of this presentation is on various aquatic systems, ranging from ponds and rivers to oceans, and their vital role in providing diverse bio materials and bioactive compounds. These resources, with their unique properties, offer promising applications in industries such as agriculture, food production, and biotechnology. The presentation emphasizes the importance of transitioning from waste to resource utilization, following established technologies like anaerobic digestion, fermentation, and extraction. It introduces a novel approach to wastewater management, utilizing algae. Algae-based wastewater treatment not only reduces costs but also enhances treatment quality, removes pathogens, and reduces emissions significantly. Case studies from around the world illustrate the practicality of this approach in turning wastewater into biomass for agricultural purposes and beyond. The versatility of algae is highlighted, from biofuels and animal feed to cosmetics and food additives. The discussion also addresses the challenges facing algae-based biofuels in terms of cost competitiveness and outlines their enormous potential in agriculture. Algae are more than simple fertilizers; they enhance soil quality, water retention, and offer biological benefits for plant health. As Europe moves toward a circular economy, algae technology is recognized as a valuable solution. Algen collaborates with various partners in research projects, contributing to the ongoing development and implementation of algae technology in diverse applications, such as carbon capture, biofuel production, and resource utilization. The presentation underscores the promising prospects of algae in revolutionizing our approach to waste management, energy production, and sustainable agriculture.

๐…๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐๐ข๐จ๐ฆ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐๐ข๐จ๐ฆ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ข๐š๐ฅ๐ฌ: ๐“๐ž๐œ๐ก๐ง๐จ๐ฅ๐จ๐ ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ฅ ๐๐š๐ญ๐ก๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐€๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ

Sabina Berne
In our current economy heavily reliant on non-renewable resources, the depletion of these resources and the acceleration of climate change through the release of sequestered carbon into the atmosphere pose significant challenges. In the pursuit of a circular bioeconomy, biomass emerges as a sustainable feedstock to produce bio-based products, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. When biomass enters the conversion system, the resulting bio-based products can be considered carbon-neutral, as the carbon released is already part of the biogenic carbon cycle. Bio-based products, derived partially or wholly from biomass, encompass a range of intermediates, including fibers, composites, polymers, chemicals, as well as semi-finished and final products. Standards for bio-based products play a crucial role in increasing market transparency, providing common reference methods and requirements for verifying claims regarding bio-based content and sustainability criteria. Bio-refining, a key strategy in the circular bioeconomy, involves the sustainable processing of biomass into a spectrum of marketable products. This approach enables the closure of feedstock material, water, and carbon cycles, ensuring optimal and sustainable use of biomass on a large scale, with positive social, economic, and environmental impacts. The IEA Bioenergy Task 42 developed a bio-refinery classification system, outlining various platforms for bio-refining processes. Examining the status of bio-refineries in the EU27, countries like Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, and Italy lead in the number of bio-refineries, predominantly utilizing secondary biomass. Different types of feedstocks, including primary (aquatic biomass, dedicated specialty crops) and secondary biomass (microbial biomass, residues from agriculture and forestry, recycled bio-based products), contribute to bio-refining processes. Conversion processes involve biochemical, chemical, thermal-chemical, and mechanical methods. Notably, biochemical processes like fermentation are widely employed, with anaerobic digestion being a prominent example. The diversity of bio-refinery conversion pathways is highlighted, with both bottom-up (upgrading existing biomass processing facilities) and top-down approaches (new highly integrated industrial value chains) shaping the future landscape. The market for bio-based chemicals and polymers is growing annually, driven by green chemistry requirements and increased demand for sustainable alternatives in various sectors. In conclusion, the adoption of biomass as a feedstock in bio-refining processes holds promise for achieving sustainability goals in the circular bioeconomy.

๐’๐ฆ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ-๐ฌ๐œ๐š๐ฅ๐ž ๐๐ข๐จ๐ซ๐ž๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐ข๐ง๐  ๐’๐จ๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ: ๐Ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฏ๐ข๐ž๐ฐ & ๐‚๐ก๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ฌ

Blaลพ Likozar
The presentation delves into the concept, relevance, and challenges of small-scale verified solutions in the realm of bio-refining. Addressing the imperative of transitioning away from fossil fuels, the authors explore the state of biomass technology in Europe and globally. Notably, they highlight the predominant focus of bio-refineries on energy and biofuel, emphasizing the challenges posed by the economy of scale. The presentation underscores the necessity of localized bio-refining solutions, aligning with industrial structures and minimizing carbon footprints associated with material transportation. Drawing insights from the Slovenian context, where biomass resources are comparatively abundant, the authors argue for a paradigm shift toward materials and chemicals in bio-refining. Key considerations include the scarcity of technologies catering to the fractionation of biomass and the need for hands-on processes. The authors present a case study of a Slovenian pilot bio-refinery, outlining its strategic importance in addressing the bottleneck of biomass resource availability. They stress the relevance of establishing such facilities along the value chain of processing industries. The relevance of bio-refining in regions with underexploited waste or residual biomass becomes evident. The lecturer proposes a shift in focus from energy-centric bio-refining to material-centric bio-refining, aligning with the strengths of the local industrial structure. This approach, the authors argue, would bridge the gap between strong industrial demand for bio-based products and the need for locally sourced materials. In conclusion with a call to address the challenges of scaling up bio-refining operations, emphasizing the need for intermediate-scale infrastructure. A focus on delivering high-quality lignin and cellulose, along with the flexibility to cater to diverse biomass compositions and sizes, is crucial for fostering sustainable bio-based materials. The authors present ongoing efforts to tackle these challenges, citing a reference case in China and outlining plans for a pilot bio-refinery in the Valencia region. Despite facing administrative hurdles, the authors express optimism about overcoming these obstacles and realizing the potential of bio-refining for sustainable material development.

๐…๐จ๐จ๐ ๐’๐ฎ๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐–๐จ๐จ๐ ๐„๐ฑ๐ญ๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ

Marko Domazet
Ars Pharmae, led by CEO Marko, is dedicated to Research and Development activities. Established in June 2007, their core mission is to offer high-quality, natural products for families, including food supplements for both children and adults. Ars Pharmae’s commitment to excellence is underscored by their research-driven approach, with a particular focus on developing ingredients and products backed by clinical studies. The overarching goal is to enhance people’s quality of life and well-being. Marko emphasized their collaboration with esteemed institutions, including universities in Ljubljana and Maribor. Their patent for abanol, a natural ingredient derived from silver fir bark, underscores their dedication to innovation. The company maintains the highest quality standards in their product manufacturing process. Their products are readily accessible in Slovenia through pharmacies and specialized health shops, and they also have an online presence, enabling global access. Notably, their product against fatigue and burnout has earned recognition as the number one product in Slovenia. Additionally, the company has been honored in the United States as one of the five most innovative products in 2010 and 2016. The company’s dedication extends to the realm of sports, where they actively support athletes in basketball and skiing. This includes partnerships with the Slovenian Ski Association and the national basketball team. Ars Pharmae’s origin story is rooted in their dissatisfaction with conventional treatments, which often led to side effects and superficial symptom relief. This drove their quest for a more holistic and natural approach to health. Their work also aligns with the growing demand for integrated well-being solutions and a desire for healthier, longer lives. Recognizing the aging population and the widespread presence of chronic diseases, Ars Pharmae has delved into bioactive compounds that have a positive impact on various aspects of health, from the brain to the cardiovascular system, and even mitigating silent inflammation in the body. Their research has culminated in the extraction of valuable bioactive compounds from silver fir bark, which they incorporate into their food supplements. Their manufacturing process, starting with the careful selection of silver fir trees, ensures the highest quality of raw materials. The extraction process utilizes only water, avoiding solvents in line with sustainable practices. Rigorous quality control and traceability from sourcing to commercialization are central to their commitment to maintaining product consistency. Ars Pharmae takes pride in their range of products, all of which contain their unique extract, offering a wide array of health benefits. This includes addressing fatigue and stress, preventing cardiovascular diseases, and boosting immunity. The high antioxidant properties of their extract enable its versatile use in various applications. In conclusion, Ars Pharmae, under Marko’s leadership, is a pioneering company with a strong commitment to innovation and improving the quality of life for individuals and families.

๐•๐š๐ฅ๐จ๐ซ๐ข๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐’๐ข๐๐ž-๐’๐ญ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฆ๐ฌ ๐…๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐Ž๐ฅ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐๐ซ๐จ๐๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง

Jakub Sandak
The presentation, explores a vital initiative aimed at maximizing the utilization of olive by-products. The project, aptly named “Only For Value,” represents a collaborative effort with partners across Europe and focuses on developing a comprehensive valorization system for olive leaves and other by-products. Olive cultivation, one of humanity’s most enduring practices, yields not only the renowned fruits but also a significant volume of leaves. These leaves are often overlooked, despite their potential value across multiple industries, including food, feed, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. The composition of these leaves, however, can vary widely due to seasonal, genetic, and cultural factors. The heart of this project lies in understanding the variability of olive by-products, particularly the leaves, and how they can be leveraged efficiently. The aim is to transform what is often considered agricultural waste into a valuable resource for diverse applications. Jakub explains that there are two main sources of olive leaves: spring pruning to allow more light for the trees and autumn harvesting when leaves naturally fall. These processes generate substantial biomass, but farmers often struggle with disposing of it. The dilemma is that these olive leaves harbor an abundance of valuable chemicals, more than a thousand of which are wasted each year when the biomass is burned to prevent insect infestation. “Olea4Value” seeks to change this narrative. The project involves the development of a “smart biorefinery” concept, with a primary focus on a Biomass Suitability Index (BSI). This index acts as a critical guide in determining the most suitable valorization processes for the diverse biomass resources. The BSI, ranging from 0 to 1, assesses the biomass’s suitability for biorefinery. A high value does not necessarily indicate a one-size-fits-all solution; instead, the selection of valorization processes considers factors such as sustainability, economics, and environmental impact. To measure the quality properties of the biomass, spectroscopic solutions are employed. Portable instruments, which are capable of determining origin, moisture content, chemical composition, and more, are utilized to streamline the assessment process. The success of this technique is evident in its ability to predict the content of essential compounds, such as oleuropein. In summary, the “Olea4Value” project is a sustainability initiative aimed at unlocking the untapped potential of olive by-products. The incorporation of a Biomass Suitability Index and spectroscopic solutions provides a comprehensive framework for valorization, emphasizing sustainability and efficiency. This project marks a promising step toward a greener, more sustainable future in the olive industry.

๐‡๐ข๐ ๐ก-๐ž๐ง๐ ๐’๐จ๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง ๐…๐ฎ๐ง๐ ๐ข ๐‚๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง

Andrej Gregori
The presentation provides insights into the remarkable journey of a company that originated in a century-old barn in northwestern Slovenia, close to international borders. The founder, a former student specializing in medicinal compounds, embarked on a small-scale venture involving the cultivation of mushrooms from agricultural leftovers, such as olive oil pomace and spent brewery grains. The company’s journey is marked by collaborations with various academic institutions and extensive research projects. The research initiatives cover a wide spectrum, including the investigation of antioxidant compounds in mushrooms, revealing variations even within strains of the same species. Beyond their culinary use, mushrooms offer incredible potential, such as the production of enzymes that contribute to sustainable paper production. Innovative applications of mushroom mycelium are also explored, ranging from creating materials for furniture and lamps to developing various composites. Collaboration with international faculties and institutions furthers the research in this domain. One of the company’s primary focuses is on the medicinal properties of mushrooms, particularly those related to addressing metabolic syndrome and preventing tumor proliferation. Collaborative projects span regions from Serbia and Turkey to Russia, China, and Switzerland. Maintaining a diversified collection of medicinal and cultivated mushroom strains, the company is equipped to lead pioneering projects. For example, ongoing research involves the extraction and purification of compounds from mushrooms for addressing metabolic syndrome. Despite being a small company, the business is highly tech-oriented. This enterprise operates in a tourist area, categorized as an agricultural enterprise, and boasts organic and vegetarian products. With a stringent focus on research and quality, the company avoids heavy marketing and invests heavily in R&D. This approach has sustained the business for over two decades. The company’s product range encompasses food supplements for humans and animals, and it supplies raw materials to other supplement producers. The overarching theme of the presentation underscores a commitment to research, innovation, and sustainable practices, which has been the cornerstone of the company’s remarkable journey.

๐‚๐ข๐ซ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐š๐ซ ๐๐š๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ - ๐๐š๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐๐ข๐จ๐ฆ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐–๐š๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž ๐’๐ญ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฆ

David Ravnjak
The Pulp and Paper Institute presentation highlights the journey of paper innovation that is centered around utilizing residual biomass, specifically cellulose-rich materials, for sustainable paper production. The discussion emerges from the background of the Pulp and Paper Institute, an institution specializing in the development of materials and products from biomass. The core challenge addressed is the growing need for cellulose fibers, as the paper industry relies significantly on recycled fibers. This led to the quest for alternative sources and the exploration of non-wood fibers. Insights from the European Association of Paper Industry’s recognition of non-wood fibers as an innovation frontier for Europe set the stage. The Pulp and Paper Institute explores diverse sources of biomass, including fast-growing plants cultivated intentionally for cellulose production, waste streams from agriculture and food processing, and invasive alien plants targeted for removal. A chemical analysis reveals that these alternative biomass sources contain significant cellulose, lower lignin, and valuable hemicellulose. Assessment of the quality of paper produced from these alternative sources indicates mechanical and printing properties on par with conventional paper. Moreover, these cellulose sources offer opportunities for producing cardboard and packaging materials, demonstrating the versatility of these innovations. Challenges encompass seasonal and geographical variations in biomass availability, the limited presence of specialized biorefineries for conversion, and the economic feasibility of utilizing materials with low cellulose content. Additionally, the high variability in paper properties from these alternative cellulose sources necessitates strategic use in partial exchange for conventional fiber materials, depending on the desired paper characteristics. The Pulp and Paper Institute not only delves into these innovative approaches but also provides a valuable entry point into further research and exploration, setting the stage for a sustainable and diversified future in the paper industry.

๐’๐จ๐ฅ๐ฎ๐›๐ฅ๐ž ๐†๐ซ๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐๐š๐œ๐ค๐š๐ ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐’๐จ๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ

Callum O’Connell
The discussion delves into the pressing issue of plastic pollution, particularly its proliferation in single-use plastic packaging. While plastics are incredibly versatile and useful, their persistence in the environment poses a significant problem. Microplastics have even been found within living organisms, exemplifying the scale of the issue. The talk introduces seaweed as a sustainable and biodegradable alternative to address this problem. The journey begins with a company founded in 2017, committed to making single-use plastic packaging disappear. They initially developed edible water capsules made from seaweed, designed to replace single-use plastic bottles. This simple concept evolved into a broader exploration of seaweed’s diverse properties. The company utilizes both seaweed extracts and less refined seaweed materials in their product development. Seaweed extracts have proven valuable in creating films, pouches, and coating boxes with outstanding water and oil barrier properties. These innovations aim to displace traditional plastic products and reduce plastic waste in the environment. Sustainable sourcing of seaweed remains a significant challenge. Engaging with rural communities and community-owned seaweed farms, like Carry More, is a crucial step in promoting sustainable seaweed cultivation and benefiting local communities. Notably, these initiatives have generated jobs and improved well-being in rural areas. The environmental impact of seaweed-based products is substantial, with millions of single-use plastics being replaced. Seaweed is emerging as a versatile and eco-friendly resource. The presentation emphasizes the importance of continuing to replace traditional plastics with seaweed-based alternatives to foster a more sustainable future. This journey towards sustainable packaging solutions has garnered recognition, such as the Shop Prize, and has provided opportunities to raise awareness of seaweed as a valuable resource. Resources are provided for those interested in exploring the economic, industrial, and environmental aspects of seaweed utilization.

๐†๐ซ๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐‚๐ก๐ž๐ฆ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ฅ๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐๐ฒ๐ซ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฒ๐ฌ๐ข๐ฌ ๐Ž๐ข๐ฅ ๐š๐ฌ ๐–๐จ๐จ๐ ๐๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ž๐ซ๐ฏ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐š๐ง๐ ๐€๐๐ก๐ž๐ฌ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ

Bror Sundqvist
The presentation outlines a research project supported by the Swedish government, focusing on innovative alternatives to fossil-based chemicals. With only 2% of global chemicals derived from non-fossil sources, the project explores the untapped potential of forest residues, viewed from both a technical and market feasibility perspective. Situated in a rural area, the initiative is perfectly aligned with the local ethos. The project, part of a broader innovation program, encompasses two phases and has a consortium of three agencies working together. The budget for this endeavor is 4.2 million Swedish crowns, and the project is slated to continue from the present until 2025. The first phase successfully evaluated pyrolysis oil produced as a byproduct by a high-quality biochar company, revealing promising results in terms of the potential applications of the compounds in various chemical processes. As a next step, the project required downstream partners within the value chain. After overcoming challenges, such as risk assessments and non-disclosure agreements, the second phase was approved in March 2023. In this phase, the project will investigate potential applications of these compounds as additives in paint formulations and other products, with the participation of prominent companies like Sherman Williams. The project is structured into six work packages, aimed at addressing coordination, dissemination, technical feasibility, techno-economy, sustainability, and market analysis. Challenges on the horizon include ensuring oil stability, managing seasonal variations, determining the effectiveness and economic feasibility of chemical conversions, and evaluating market acceptance and product performance. The ultimate goal of this project is to contribute to the sustainable production of green chemicals and demonstrate that stable pyrolysis oil production from forest residues is a viable endeavor. Moreover, the growing demand for environmentally friendly additives due to stricter environmental regulations makes this project even more relevant. This presentation offers insight into the current status of the project and its future objectives, encouraging questions and discussions for those interested in its progress.

๐€๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ƒ๐ž๐ฌ๐ข๐ ๐ง ๐“๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ข๐ง ๐๐ž๐ฐ ๐๐ซ๐จ๐๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ ๐ƒ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ฅ๐จ๐ฉ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ

Blaลพ Zupan
In the world of research, product development can be an enigma, but it’s also an opportunity to bring innovative solutions to the market. This presentation delves into the realm of new product development, showing how design thinking can expedite the process while enhancing efficiency and success rates. Driven by a decade of experience as a mentor, professor, consultant, and entrepreneur, the speaker explores how to convert market opportunities into viable products that cater to real needs. Dr. Blaลพ Zupan emphasizes that understanding the problem at its core is pivotal. He introduces the design thinking methodology, a structured approach to problem-solving that comprises five key stages: understand, define, ideate, prototype, and test. For the sake of brevity, we’ll focus on the understand and test stages here. Understanding begins with data collection and research, fostering an informed foundation for decision-making. The speaker stresses the importance of data in making effective, rational choices. The subsequent test phase is where ideas and prototypes are put to the test, iterating and improving the product as data reveals insights. Research experience is invaluable in these stages, as it aligns with the process of experimenting, testing hypotheses, and basing decisions on data. Dr. Zupan highlights that the best entrepreneurs often consist of two key individuals: a data-oriented researcher and a sales-savvy extrovert. Combining these skills can create a successful entrepreneurial partnership, underscoring the role of teamwork in product development. In essence, new product development is a structured journey where understanding the problem and rigorous testing pave the way for innovative solutions. The presentation provides a glimpse into the world of entrepreneurial research, offering valuable insights for those embarking on this endeavor.

๐๐ข๐จ-๐›๐š๐ฌ๐ž๐ ๐‚๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐‚๐ž๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง - ๐๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐๐ข๐จ๐ฆ๐š๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐‚๐ž๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ข๐œ๐š๐ญ๐ž

Harmen Willemse
Harmen, a seasoned expert in standards development and certification systems, sheds light on two certification schemes in the sustainability domain. As a freelance consultant, he manages these schemes, one dedicated to the sustainability of biomass and the other to bio-based materials. The journey begins with a glimpse into Harmen’s extensive background, including his tenure at the Dutch standards institute and his present freelance consultancy role. This segues into an exploration of the certification schemes he currently oversees. The focus is on answering two pivotal questions in the realm of bio-based products: What is the bio-based content, and is the biomass used from sustainable sources? The first question delves into the bio-based share in a product, as defined by European standards. Here, companies can gain certification to display a label denoting their product’s bio-based content percentage, which may range from 1 to 100. This approach ensures clarity in conveying a product’s bio-based attributes, considering factors beyond carbon to include hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and more. The second question revolves around biomass sustainability, as it’s paramount to ensure that the benefits of using sustainable biomass aren’t negated by negative impacts. The certification scheme here focuses on all forms of biomass, excluding food and feed. It encompasses applications like electricity, heating, and transport fuels. The sustainability criteria extend beyond environmental factors to encompass socio-economic aspects like labor conditions and local economic prosperity. Companies aiming for certification must adhere to comprehensive requirements that cover aspects of greenhouse gases, carbon sinks, biodiversity, soil quality, and socio-economic sustainability. Certification involves a rigorous audit process to ensure compliance with these criteria, with surveillance audits conducted annually. The presentation offers valuable insights into the importance of sustainability in biomass use and the role of certification in communicating these sustainability practices to the market. The documents and resources available on the website provide further details on these certification schemes, enhancing understanding and transparency in the bio-based industry.

๐ˆ๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ฅ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ฎ๐š๐ฅ ๐๐ซ๐จ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ญ๐ฒ ๐Œ๐š๐ง๐š๐ ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ, ๐‚๐จ๐ฆ๐ฆ๐ž๐ซ๐œ๐ข๐š๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ˆ๐ง๐ง๐จ๐ฏ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐๐ข๐จ๐›๐š๐ฌ๐ž๐ ๐๐ซ๐จ๐๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐ฌ

Gabriela Droga Mazovec
The presentation offers a comprehensive overview of intellectual property management and the commercialization of novel bio-based products. Intellectual property encompasses a realm of legally protected creations, from patents to trademarks, copyrights, and industrial designs. These protections not only grant recognition but also financial benefits to inventors. The focus of this presentation centers on patents, which bestow exclusive rights to the patent holder for a limited period, typically up to 20 years. Novelty is at the heart of patents. An invention must be genuinely innovative, including at least one inventive step. This presentation clarifies the distinction between patentable subject matter (e.g., processes, machines, chemicals, and physical mixtures) and non-patentable concepts like ideas or laws of nature. A crucial point emphasized is the importance of not prematurely publishing your invention, as this can jeopardize your patent eligibility. It is imperative to conduct thorough research, engage with relevant authorities or transfer offices, and explore patent protection strategies. The speaker underscores that the innovator should play a central role in the initial search, as no one knows their invention better in the early stages. The presentation provides valuable resources for patent searches, including major patent databases like Google Patents, Espacenet, and others. The necessity of conducting a wide and comprehensive search is stressed to ensure novelty. Furthermore, the speaker highlights that patent protection can be an essential driver of innovation, as demonstrated by historical examples, like the impact of the assembly line in the automobile industry. In the field of life sciences, with a particular focus on bio-based products, patents play a significant role in protecting novel production processes. However, the presentation emphasizes that each case is unique and may require consultation with a patent attorney. Notably, the presentation goes beyond patents and discusses alternative approaches such as trade secrets, where the Coca-Cola recipe serves as a prominent example. The final part of the presentation highlights the necessity of seeking partners and preparing for the market as a patent’s publication deadline approaches. In the field of life sciences, especially in the development of bio-based products, this preparation is critical as most production processes are patentable. The presentation offers a comprehensive guide for innovators in the life sciences sector to navigate the complex landscape of intellectual property management. In conclusion, the speaker makes a valuable offer to address any questions post-conference, demonstrating a commitment to furthering the understanding of intellectual property in the field of bio-based products.
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