BIODESIGN & BIOECONOMICS
The main goal of the Vita Plus project is to build a platform for the introduction of bio-based industries in Bulgaria, constructing a scientific infrastructure in the field of bioeconomy, which will offer real solutions for modernization of various sectors of the Bulgarian economy. In this sense, the words: “bioeconomy”, “biotechnology”, “biotechnological innovation”, “biotechnological cooperation”, “investment in bioindustries” and the like have created a new research, applied science and definition set of a new generation, which has entered Bulgaria. That is why, the modern bioeconomy and the corresponding smart technologies and biotechnologies for the implementation of various end solutions include: complex combinations of economic activities using renewable biological resources (forestry, agricultural, water resources, microorganisms); and processes for the production of biofuels and energy, genetically modified organisms, bioplastics, biochemicals, biopharmaceuticals and functional food additives. This has changed the purpose of modern biotechnology; nowadays, they are oriented towards the production and consumption of products that are in line with the maintenance of natural ecosystems, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. There are several examples of the dynamic development of biotechnological products, which set the economic vector of the “bioeconomy” direction. This position is supported by data for organic products on the world market: in 2003 it was estimated at about $ 70 billion – 85% of which is for biochemicals and bioplastics; and forecasts for the production of chemicals and materials from biologically based products will increase significantly to 18% in 2020 and to 25% in 2030. In the context of global trends and the strategy for the development of the bioeconomy at European Union level during the programming period 2021-2027, this may allow Bulgaria to be actively involved in the development of bio-based industries and new bio-products, including products based on new biotechnology schemes.
We assume that on the basis of developed models of bio-based industry we will be able to regenerate natural capital from traditionally strong bio-productions in Bulgaria, using specific schemes of the bioeconomy. They can be offered to the interested industrialists and entrepreneurs in the country and the region of Southeast Europe. The bio-based industry can develop as a favorable economic formula, accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – which are the “backbone” of both the European and Bulgarian economic business environment.
The directions in which the formed team of the Vita Plus project will work in 2021 and 2022 are:
- Study of the possibilities for implementation of modern technological solutions for utilization of biodegradable plant waste regardless of the level of their processing, including modern biotechnological and chemo-enzymatic processes and their digitalization.
- Economic analysis of the efficiency of the offered technological solutions in order to achieve a significant economic effect.
- Analysis of the possibilities for applying the “Ecosystem Services” approach in new technological processes in order to reduce the carbon footprint of the industry.
- Analysis of the social effect and the need for changes in the legal framework in the implementation of modern technological solutions and the transition to a bioeconomy.
- Development of competence for ethical and sustainable environmental thinking among pupils and students by applying interactive virtual scenarios in education.