ICT BIOCHAIN: leveraging ICT tools to improve the biomass value chain
The ICT-BIOCHAIN project, an initiative funded by the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking, has presented its final results and outcomes today. This project started in June 2018 and, since then, a consortium of eight partners – Sustainable Innovations among them – have worked on identifying opportunities for information and communications technologies (ICT), Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 tools to improve the efficiency in the biomass supply chain.
In order to achieve this, ICT-BIOCHAIN has established two Digital Innovation Hubs, located in ready-made, test-bed bioeconomy regions: South-East Ireland and Andalusia (Spain). Leading experts and support networks are developing region-specific bio-resource data models and providing access within these hubs to best practices, expert knowledge, and information. Moreover, ICT-BIOCHAIN has developed a platform, the first of its kind, to share information regarding regional biomass resources and flows, potential opportunities to improve the biomass supply chain efficiency, and data on the state-of-the-art of ICT, IoT, Industry 4.0 solutions applicable to biomass value chains. This tool will also connect biomass suppliers and stakeholders from the biobased industries with ICT technology providers, with the goal to increase the efficiency of the biomass value chain using new technologies.
Sustainable Innovations has contributed to the ICT-BIOCHAIN project by leading the communication, dissemination, exploitation and capacity building activities. We have, since the very first stage of the initiative, implemented an integrated plan to reach, increase, and maintain ongoing communication with targeted audiences. We have performed a wide range of online and offline activities, from the design of the project identity to the elaboration of a set of e-learning materials, to ensure that all the knowledge generated is leveraged and the Digital Innovation Hubs can be replicated across regions.
The digitization of the biomass value chain and, more broadly, of the bioeconomy as a whole, is essential to unlocking the full potential of one of the European Union’s largest and most important sectors. The bioeconomy encompasses agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food, bioenergy, and biobased products, generating an annual turnover of around 2 trillion euros and employing around 18 million people.