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Open-Bio: Opening bio-based markets via standards, labelling and procurement

Open-Bio is the follow-up project to the FP7 research project called KBBPPS (Knowledge Based Bio-based Products’ Pre-Standardization) and kicked off in November 2013. It comprises a broader consortium consisting of the KBBPPS group and a number of new partners, bringing in expanded expertise. Open-Bio builds on the results of KBBPPS, refining them and developing further knowledge on implementation of the standardization result in relation to market development.

Open-Bio investigates how markets can be opened for bio-based products through standardization, labelling and procurement. Therefore, one focus is on the sustainability of the bio-based resources and potential testing methods for this criterion. The end-of-life research will be expanded to different biodegradation scenarios, composting and recyclability. Functionality testing will focus on the gaps identified by KBBPPS and on the special properties of bio-based products.

The results of Open-Bio will be fed directly into the current standardization processes of CEN/TC411.

A new aspect is communication: Open-Bio will also investigate the needs and demands of consumer groups and develop a system that can provide the relevant information about bio-based products to make buying decisions easier for businesses, public procurement and private customers. Part of the project is also to conceptualize an Ecolabel that can be applied to bio-based products to strengthen consumer confidence and boost market demand.

The work is distributed into 9 work packages, with WPs 1 and 2 dealing with overall management and dissemination.

Work Package 3 (led by ECN) addresses bio-based content and sustainability impacts.

Work Package 4 (led by WUR) conducts functionality testing on chemical, mechanical and other properties of bio-based products.

Work Package 5 (led by AUA) tests biodegradability of bio-based products in fresh water, in soil and the marine environment.

Work Package 6 (led by OWS) addresses different managed end-of-options for bio-based products, such as industrial composting, home and farm composting, anaerobic digestion, biogasification and recycling.

Work Package 7 (led by NOVA) assesses the Ecolabel and investigates the feasibility of expanding it to bio-based products.

Work Package 8 (led by FNR) develops a concept for a product information list that facilitates B2B, B2C and B2P communication on bio-based products.

Work Package 9 (led by WUR) investigates the needs of different target groups, such as industry, consumers, policy makers and NGOs.