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Circular Bioeconomy Project in Portugal

Circular Bioeconomy Project in Portugal -
Circular Bioeconomy Project in Portugal - Portugal Business News

Researchers from the University of Coimbra in Portugal have joined a team from 14 countries to develop circular bio-based solutions in rural areas, a project funded by the EU.

According to João Santos, researcher at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Coimbra: “Rural Europe urgently needs a paradigm shift. With an increasing number of people migrating to urban centers in the last decades, the current demographic distribution is quite uneven. Rural areas are inhabited by 30% of the European population, although they cover more than 80% of the territory.”

The BioRural project aims at creating a European Rural Bioeconomy Network to promote small-scale bio-based solutions in rural areas and to increase the share of the Bioeconomy. With an estimated duration of three years and a budget of three million euros, the project includes partners from Germany, Denmark, Slovenia, France, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania. From Portugal, besides the University of Coimbra, the Biomass Centre for Energy (CBE) is also part of this consortium.

Professor José Baranda Ribeiro from the University of Coimbra explained that “the EU's economic activity is largely dependent on linear production systems and non-renewable resources. Although there have been numerous attempts to reduce this dependency, the fact remains that, for example, in 2018 alone, EU states produced 61.8 million tons of plastic.”

The consequences of combining a linear economy with widespread urbanization have worsened some of the problems chronically experienced by people in rural areas, namely the high risk of poverty, limited access to basic services and infrastructure, as well as low levels of education.

Hence, Portugal’s involvement in the Circular Bioeconomy project aims at finding solutions for economic, demographic and climate challenges through the adoption of inclusive solutions that will benefit rural areas.


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