When looking at the German Bioeconomy landscape one thing became obvious right from the beginning of the project: there are many big players in it already. The concept of bioeconomy is nothing new to German markets and industries. The challenge, however, is how to reach the public. The big players are well aware that in order to move the idea of bioeconomy forward they HAVE to activate the public and thus the future consumers. There is quite the competitive struggle for finding participants for workshops and events on bioeconomy as the bioeconomy landscape is almost oversaturated.
Thus, one could say, the major insight here is: Networking is key! So, this is where the German Hub found its niche. And so, despite all the restraint in the beginning, the German Hub found a level of cooperation with other projects and institutions. The insights and science communication skills the hub had to offer were finally seen and accepted and BLOOM became a visible platform and mediator in the landscape of bio-based research and innovation for outreach and activities in Germany. This opened up many possibilities and led to many great collaborations with other projects and partners that even can still be intensified. In addition, partnering with other events and docking onto them has brought about many possibilities and contacts for future work, too.
Working with civil society and getting into dialogue has shown many interesting insights. The main outcome, like in other hubs as well, is that the concept of bioeconomy is quite hard to grasp. Participants of activities always ask for concrete examples of bioeconomy products. It became quite obvious that communication is more than just speaking, listening and discussing. Sometimes it needs all senses to communicate and understand. So, between juggling not being a promoter of products, but getting into dialogue and offering a safe space for critical thinking, the German hub experienced their engaged participants to always be very interested, always asking many questions but also being sceptical, questioning the concept and taking active part in the lively discussions. Stakeholders in Germany have also proven to be very flexible and reacted and adapted quickly to changing situations, in this case due to Covid-19, and worked together with the German hub to find alternative formats to meet and exchange. Once engaged, they are very invested!