Project Ideas

VB project idea BIOBRIDGE - Building bridges for a green economy


The economy is currently largely based on fossil resources: these resources such as oil and natural gas form the basic source of all our energy needs, chemicals, medicines, materials, etc. However, it is common knowledge that the intensive use of fossil resources does have a dramatic impact on CO2 emissions, and consequently on climate change. In addition, these fossil resources decrease in the near future. Both are drivers that urge the need to make the transition towards a green economy: an economy where renewable resources form the base for all energy, food, feed, chemicals, and materials demands.

New knowledge and new technologies are needed, new production processes and approaches need to be developed, and societal imbedding of new developed concepts is essential. Strong public-private partnerships between industry, the scientific community and governmental institutes are essential to truly get to successful innovations. It's especially the small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that do have the creativity, flexibility, the innovative strength, and the effectiveness that is essential to successfully make the first steps in this transition on the short term.

To speed up the transfer of know-how from knowledge institutes towards SMEs a different approach should be taken. Different compared to the more traditional way of collaboration between large industries and knowledge institutes, where (1) mainly long-duration (2 to 4 years) post-doc or PhD-studies are (partly) financed by the industries, and (2) where the dissemination and implementation of research results occur generally after 5 to 10 years.  

Biobridge offers such an innovative “SME”approach: it facilitates short-duration (1-6 months) innovation projects for (regional) SMEs that perform knowledge or technology based activities in the transition towards a green economy. The innovation projects are all demand-driven (per definition) and are performed by students (masters and last-year bachelors). The students are supervised by a professor or senior-scientist with the best matching expertise and an employee of the company involved.

First experiences reveal that:

  • it actually fosters green innovations and its implementation, both from a technological, economical and societal point of view
  • it increases the competitive strength of the (regional) SMEs through the development, implementation and societal embedding of new technologies, processes, knowledge, patents, etc., thereby significantly strengthening the greening of the economy
  • It stimulates and motivates students to actively participate in the transition towards a green economy, already during their study.
  • it stimulates the employability in the green economy, 
  • it facilitates new follow-up activities (both short-duration and long-duration research-projects) and continuation of newly built public-private partnerships 


University of Groningen
Nijeborgh 4

9747 AG

Gert-Jan Euverink

Tel: +31503639203/+31505490902

Central Aim

Central Aim: To develop cooperative cooperation to accelerate greening of the NSR economy


1. Boost innovation in SMEs and tackling barriers in the bio-economy

2. Build new and stronger partnerships in the bio-economy and sustain future growth

3. Raise awareness on and demonstrate the benefits of greening of the NSR economy

Envisaged Output
  • strategic analyses (e.g. benchmark study, inventory of barriers) 
  • short duration projects performed by students and SME's aiming green innovations and competitive strength of the (regional) SMEs through new technologies, processes, knowledge, patents. For example:
    • stimulation of circular economies: greater use of renewable materials, increasing reuse and recycling  
    • development of better production methods (reducing material use and waste generation)
  • new or stronger knowledge partnerships between local authorities, universities and SMEs
  • support for SMEs to gain capacity and skills to take full advantage of resource savings and new markets 
  • raising awareness of students and local authorities to participate in the transition towards a green economy
  • training sessions / summer schools for students and employees of SMEs  
  • more jobs in the green economy
  • follow-up activities (both short-duration and long-duration research-projects) and continuation of newly built public-private partnerships
  • exchange of knowledge between already existing triple helix networks and bilateral networks   
  • vertical collaborations in the bio-economy

Partners Found Already

NL University of Groningen (Lead Benificiary)

SE Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

BE Ghent University

DK Green Tech centre / Municipality of Vejle

UK University Aberdeen / Industrial Biotechnoogy Innovation Centre 

UK University of Abertay Dundee

DE Country of Heidekreis / 3N Netzwerk Nachwachsende Rohstoffe Kompetenzzentrum

NO Green-Blue cluster Arena Heidner and motherorganisation Hedmark Kunnskapspark


Partners Sought

However the consortium is almost complete, there are still possibilities to join for:

1)     Universities (beta) active in the bio-economy aiming to improve their research opportunities and to improve the career perspectives for their students, by intensifying the collaboration with (regional) SMEs.

2)     Cluster networks of SMEs, active (or aiming to become active) in the green economy

3)     (Regional) governmental authorities / funding agencies developing  instruments specifically for SMEs, to stimulate the knowledge and technology development in their region/country.

4) Already existing triple helix networks (Universities – SMEs – local/regional government authorities) or bilateral networks. 

Estimated Budget
2.8 - 3 million euro

Thematic Keywords
promoting green economic activity, take up of new technologies, recycling, bio-economy,triple helix approach with focus on SMEs

Lead Beneficiary

16 April 2015

Event Calendar
Events Archive

09 July 2015
06 July 2015
30 June 2015
18 May 2015
21 April 2015