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Knowledge category: Projects

BIOCIRCULARITIES: Exploring the circular bioeconomy potential in cities

Updated on 16.11.2023

The BIOCIRCULARCITIES project explores the circular economy potential of unexploited, bio-based waste streams generated in three EU Member States. It also explores the opportunities biowaste can provide for bioenergy production. The aim is to identify regulatory and business opportunities as well as shortcomings for the introduction of bio-based processes and products into local and international markets.

Countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain
Project website:
Start and end date: 01.10.2021 - 30.09.2023
Budget: 999 894 EUR
Funding source: BBI JU

More information

BIOCIRCULARCITIES aims at supporting the development of innovative and comprehensive regulatory frameworks and roadmaps aligned with circular bioeconomy principles, centred on bio-based waste and based on feedback from multi-actor participatory processes.

The project has been designed to:

  • explore the circular economy potential of unexploited bio-based waste streams generated in three European urban contexts around the cities of Barcelona (ES), Naples (IT) and Pazardzhik (BG);
  • identify and analyse circular bioeconomy best practices across the EU that could be used as successful examples to use in the pilot areas;
  • detect regulatory and business opportunities and shortcomings for the introduction of bio-based processes and products into local and international markets; and
  • propose proactive instruments and policy roadmaps for supporting the circular bioeconomy and expanding it into the European context.

The strength of the project lies in its capability to bring together multiple actors belonging to the quadruple helix of businesses, research institutions, public authorities and civil society. These actors come together to build the collaborative knowledge needed to map different perspectives on the legal and market limits and potential for developing the circular bioeconomy.

Having a holistic picture of the opportunities and barriers in the three case study areas makes it possible to check the applicability of the best practices and solutions identified. It also considers the fiscal and economic impact of the introduction of specific regulations to foresee the investments needed to support industry in making changes towards a more circular use of bioresources. Results obtained at the local level will be a source of content to develop generic guidelines to be exploited and further developed through communication, dissemination and exploitation actions at local and international levels.

Relevance for Circular Systemic Solutions

The project explores how to unlock the circular economy potential of unexploited bio-based waste streams. It focuses on exploring the development of economically and environmentally efficient models for organic waste that comes from different value chains and sectors, including food and kitchen waste, garden waste, agricultural waste from the agro-based industrial sector, wood waste and forestry residues, etc.

BIOCIRCULARCITIES unfolds on two interrelated levels: the local levels of three pilot territories and the European (or international) level where the project’s results will be replicated. On a local level, the project will develop and explain the methodology for selecting relevant sectors producing and managing biowaste, mapping relevant stakeholders involved in biowaste management chains and identifying potential improvements of biowaste chains. The project will look at best practices and case studies of circular bioeconomy at local level and across Europe, looking for examples of methods of dealing with known process bottlenecks and collecting examples of successful national or regional policy instruments.

The project also aims to enable replication in other EU countries. To this end, several relevant outcomes are expected. Firstly, the project will design a matrix/decision tree to transfer the proposals for policy measures and innovative solutions developed at local level to help implement the circular bioeconomy in other urban European contexts. Secondly, BIOCIRCULARCITIES will develop a web-based tool to assist both policy makers and industry in designing biowaste management strategies. Thirdly, the project will prepare general guidelines for implementing biowaste management in Europe adopting a circular bioeconomy approach. All of these can be of high relevance to cities and regions looking for methodologies, tools and best practices to implement bioeconomy-related Circular Systemic Solutions.

Horizon programme(s) and/or topic(s)


  • H2020-EU.3.2. - SOCIETAL CHALLENGES - Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine, maritime and inland water research, and the bioeconomy


  • BBI-2020-SO4-S4 - Expand circular economy to include the underexploited circular bioeconomy

Responsible organisation and contact details

Fundació ENT

Contact the project.

Project consortium partners

  • Agenzia Nazionale per le Nuove Tecnologie
  • L'energia e lo Sviluppo Economico Sostenibile; Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology
  • Association of Cities and Regions for Sustainable Resource Management
  • Civitta Eesti As
  • Citta Metropolitana di Napoli
  • Regionalna Energiina Agencia Pazardjik Sdruzenie
  • Area Metropolitana de Barcelona

CEAP2 key product value chain

CEAP2 key product value chain

CEAP2 key product value chain

e.g. chemicals, cosmetics, bio-based industries

including bio-based economy

Territories involved

large 500 000-200 000, medium 200 000-50 000, and small cities 50 000-5 000

large metropolitan area >1.5 million, metropolitan area 1.5 million-500 000

predominantly urban regions, intermediate and predominantly rural regions, refer to TERCET typology NUTS 3 region

Intra-territorial areas

e.g. commercial, residential, service, industrial