On 4th June the second co-creation session in Emmen, North of the Netherlands, took place. 15 participants from different stakeholder groups commonly worked on the definition and planning of outreach activities.
The meeting started with the bioeconomy concepts, which form the base of the BLOOM project. The Wageningen Research partner presented the concepts of biomass valorisation, the potential routes, the steps of conversion and the final biobased products. Also, the conditions for regional innovation and the transition into a bioeconomy have been presented.
Moreover, the context of the Hub of North Netherlands was presented and discussed. Jan Jager, lector from NHL Stenden, university of Applied Science, presented the current state of the regional biobased innovation, technologically as well as from ecosystem perspective. The focus of Emmen is on the production of specialities, the production of yarns, based on bioplastics and fibres. There is a cluster of knowledge institutes, lab facilities, campus development and innovation brokers who collaboratively explore new technologies, applications and product development. It is currently still small scale, but Emmen is really specializing very smartly and in a very focussed way. To arrive in the following phase of development, there is a need for capacities, investments and larger facilities, but also for new biomass resources. Although Emmen has been a (bio)chemical cluster for a long time, the developments and the potentials of creating a new green industry and economy is still unknown among citizens.
During the co-creation workshop, the participants have worked on outreach activities. For the North of the Netherlands we have selected the following activities:
1. Educational materials
Development of educational materials for the schools and students in Emmen region, focussing on vocational training as well as higher primary and secondary education. The materials will be developed by representatives of Nature Educational organization, sustainability professionals and the educational organizations. Wageningen Research will support this activity. The materials may also be of interest to inform and educate other participants of the bioeconomy network.
Development of a Masterclass for a diversity of target groups and specific organizations. This Masterclass should be made available online and should run on YouTube or through a webinar. The Masterclass will be developed by lectors of the Institutes of Higher Education in North of the Netherlands and by Wageningen Research.
3. Gallery Walks
A Gallery Walk will be set up as an exhibition with information and explanation panels about bioeconomy, bioeconomy in Emmen Region, with a focus on definitions, concepts, perspectives, conditions, initiatives and products. The target groups are: families, children, visitors of the city centre. The exhibition will travel along municipalities and locations with many visitors, as for instance the Emmen Zoo and Festivals. The Gallery Walk will be set up by representatives of the Municipality of Emmen and local sustainability professionals, supported by Wageningen Research.
4. Biobased cups at events and festivals
To raise awareness among large parts of the general public, we have decided to select large events in the region. The regional partners will develop biodegradable cups with messages about the bioeconomy. The activity will be elaborated by NHL Stenden, two communication professionals from province of Drenthe, supported by Wageningen Research.
5. Dutch Design Week
At the Dutch Design Week, October 18-27, the Bloom project will participate in the Embassy of Sustainable Design, where we will be able to reach out to 30.000 visitors with the perspectives, concepts and products of the bioeconomy. The partners of the Hub of North Netherlands are interested to present the Emmen Cluster at this big event. The presentation will be prepared by Wageningen Research, Municipality of Emmen and an Institute of Higher Education.
Remco Kranendonk, Wageningen University & Research