SPRING was created with the aim of implementing a national platform for green chemistry and circular bioeconomy that strives for the sustainable economic growth of local areas as well as for the entire national economy system. The Cluster SPRING aims to facilitate the transition from a product-based economy to a system-based economy, starting from the valorization of territories and local resources through the engagement and the collaboration of the different public and private stakeholders along the entire value chains.
The cluster stimulates actions of research, demonstration, technological transfer, dissemination and training, in constant dialogue with the local stakeholders, in order to foster innovation and to support the creation of integrated circular value chains for the valorization of renewable feedstocks in to added-value products through sustainable processes that embrace the circular bioeconomy approach.
SPRING therefore contributes to the widespread growth of a common culture on circular economy and bioeconomy, in collaboration with relevant regions and stakeholders, and in dialogue with actors all around Europe.
More than 100 stakeholders are involved in the Cluster, operating in different ways in the field of circular bioeconomy and representing the entire supply chain of “green chemistry”, from the agricultural stage to the final products, from municipalities to transformers, thus ensuring the multi-level and multi-sectoral approach needed to achieve the Cluster’s objectives on a short, medium and long-term basis.
During 2019, SPRING developed and presented to the Italian Ministry of University and Research a triennial Action Plan where four development roadmaps and related practical actions that have been identified
The main objectives are to support the exploitation of territorial opportunities from an economic, social, environmental and occupational point of view, through a circular approach to bioeconomy, deploying research and development results in order to optimize a cascading utilization and valorization of biomass, byproducts, wastes and waste waters, in an integrated system among the different territorial sectors.
SPRING has also established a Permanent Working Group of supporting Regions representatives (15 Italian Regions are part of the permanent working group) and the SPRING’s Board of Directors.
The Permanent Working Group aims at the definition of coordinated, common positions and possible lines of intervention related to bioeconomy, such as inter-regional collaboration, development of policies and strategies, access to regional or multi-regional programs co-financed at a national level, that also fall within a shared Italian strategy.
The Cluster SPRING was involved since the beginning among the interlocutors who contributed decisively to the drafting and updating of the Italian Bioeconomy Strategy - promoted by the Italian Presidency of Council of Ministers and presented in May 2019 - identifying needs, opportunities and barriers for a further development of bioeconomy projects for territorial regeneration and economic revitalization, as well as in the drafting of the related Implementation Action Plan.
SPRING is already involved in activities which aim at creating skills and spread knowledge about the opportunities of bioeconomy (for instance the Biocirce Master on bioeconomy in the circular Economy) and supports regional initiatives for the implementation of territorial awareness about and implementation of bio-based solutions.
SPRING proactively co-organizes and participates in a series of national and international events dedicated to bioeconomy, widening therefore the stakeholders’ group that can be reached beyond the associates themselves.
Below a short list of the main events that the Cluster organizes every year:
- Bioinitaly Investment Forum (Circular Bioeconomy Arena Meeting) (Startups selected by a panel of coaches and experts present their projects focused on Red Biotech & Healthcare and Circular Bioeconomy to investors, corporations and players of the innovation ecosystem, with the aim to foster innovation and support networking activities and matching with other enterprises and investors)
- Presentation of the Report on bioeconomy in Europe by IntesaSanpaolo in collaboration with Assobiotec and SPRING
- SPRING promotes and coordinates the National Bioeconomy Day, with several events all around Italy;
- Public session of the Cluster's General Assembly– discussion with stakeholders of industry, research, primary prodction, associations.
- IFIB -International Forum on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioeconomy, co-organized by SPRING.
- Ecomondo – 24th Edition, co-organized by SPRING
SPRING also actively operates at European level, participating to working groups on bioeconomy and circular economy and directly taking part to European proects:
- Power4bio - https://power4bio.eu/ “Empowering regional stakeholders for realising the full potential of European bioeconomy”. The POWER4BIO project aims at increasing the capacity of regional and local policy makers and stakeholders to structure their bioeconomy and to support the emergence of a thriving bio‐based sector. Adequate knowledge and best practice exchange and networking within and among regions, across the EU. (H2020 – RUR-2018-2020; 2018-2021)
- GRACE - https://www.grace-bbi.eu/. “Growing Advanced industrial Crops on marginal lands for biorefineries”. The GRACE project demonstrates large-scale miscanthus and hemp production on land with low productivity, contaminated soil or which has been abandoned. The aim is to secure the supply of sustainable-produced raw materials for the growing European Bioeconomy. In the project, ten different demonstration cases are used to show how biomass cultivation can be linked to the near-industrial-scale production of various biobased products. (BBI 2016.D2)