Europe’s economy depends on oil and gas for chemistry, energy and all kinds of everyday products. But fossil resources are scarce and their use harms the environment and our climate. The bioeconomy offers a way out of this dependency by providing industrial and everyday products made of bio-based resources from agriculture, forestry and the oceans. The bioeconomy is up to make Europe’s economy more sustainable, boost growth and create new jobs.
Enhancing the awareness of the broad public is the key to the success of every innovation but to achieve acceptance, questions concerning the societal and economic issues related to the bioeconomy need to be addressed in a transparent, scientifically sound and understandable way.
Opportunities and challenges of the bioeconomy explained in layman language
Everything new needs time for explanation and the possibility to voice concerns related to it. People have a lot of questions about bio-based products. They are unfamiliar to the terminology which is often quite scientific; they worry about quality and functionality compared to traditional products. Finally, they demand answers about the sustainability of bio-based products. All this information is available, however often not accessible for layman citizen.
The European project BioCannDo is coordinated by FNR and will prepare and implement a joint communicational undertaking to provide information to citizens presented in key messages using the right tone and the right time through the right channels of communication.
Development of key communication messages
BioCannDo transfers scientific and technical language about bio-based products to layman language so that communication about key aspects can be understood outside of scientific circles. The project develops key communication messages about the bioeconomy with a focus on selected bio-based products: household cleaning products, insulation materials and food packaging materials. Such key messages are jointly developed with expert stakeholders, thoroughly fine-tuned and tested in workshops and focus groups.
AllThings.Bio - The information portal for consumers
The project communication portal www.AllThings.Bio distributes original and external communication and educational materials about the bioeconomy and bio-based products to the public at large. It is a touchpoint between the project and consumers looking for information and resources about bio-based products.
Communication activities of BioCannDo rely on formats which include: journalistic articles, multimedia storytelling and videos. AllThings.Bio articles cover a broad range of consumer relevant topics such bio-based footwear, making clothes from waste milk or how to dispose of bio-based plastics.
BioCannDo also publishes the AllThings.Bio slideshow, a series of “digital stories” about the bioeconomy and bio-based products. The AllThings.Bio slideshow is a combination of texts, images, videos and links to external resources, which describe the advantages that bio-based products bring compared to their fossil-based counterparts.
Furthermore, a first set of short and engaging videos featuring bio-based t-shirts, mugs, cleaners and lipsticks has been published in March 2018 on AllThings.Bio. The videos answer important consumer questions about their use and their properties.
The BioCannDo communication network
BioCannDo brings together a network of actors involved in bioeconomy (research) projects, who actively communicate about the benefits of the bioeconomy to the general public. This network is a place for sharing good practices, stories and communication formats. Network partners can be listed on the AllThings.Bio bioeconomy map, too.
Periodic webinars are the channel most frequently used for sharing experiences and results in the network. Participants of the last webinars received for instance information about research results on the public perception of bio-based plastics and the communication challenges involved or about good practice examples of showcasing bio-based products. The recordings of the webinars are available here.
Bioeconomy actors wishing to become part of the BioCannDo network to share their success stories or simply looking for an additional channel to reach the general public can contact the project coordinator. The project editorial team is looking regularly for good stories from other projects to communicate them to a layman audience.
The BioCannDo educational Community of Practice
Young people of today are the consumers and decision-makers of tomorrow. That is why BioCannDo also aims at establishing an educational Community of Practice to exchange ideas, materials, good practices and to develop missing educational materials.
In a first step, a mapping of educational materials and actors from primary schools up to university programmes in four countries (DE, FI, NL, BE) has been conducted. You can download the mapping report here.
In the frame of the Community of Practice a series of webinars will be organised. The first webinars were used to present first mapping results and experiences from the Netherlands on building a bio-based education network. The recordings of webinars are available for download.
Stay informed on Facebook and Twitter
The 3 year project started at 1 October 2016.
B.T.G. Biomass Technology Group BV; prospex bvba; Stichting Avans; Youris.com
FNR contact person: Erik Lohse
This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 720732.