OXIPRO, represented by Giorgia Liberati from partner REDINN, succeeded in engaging with a significant number of stakeholders at the 26th edition of Ecomondo, the international circular economy exhibition which took place from November 7th to 10th in Rimini, Italy. Also taking part were partners from OXIPRO’s sister project FuturEnzyme.
This year saw a marked increase in attendance at the event, where visitors numbered around 150,000. With exhibitors, events, conferences, and guests from all over the world, Ecomondo confirmed itself as a meeting and dialogue point between industries, stakeholders, policy makers, opinion leaders, local authorities, where they could collect and synthesise the key elements that define the development strategies of the environmental policy of the European Union. Its reach extends deep within the scientific communities and is endorsed by representatives of sector associations, federations, and consortia, as well as European and international institutions (i.e. European Commission, OECD, EEA, FAO, etc).
REDINN, along with Unibo – to which Professor Fava of the University of Bologna, President of the Scientific Committee, is affiliated, took part in various stakeholder engagement activities. This led to the formation of interesting contacts especially in the fields of the Blue Economy (nutraceuticals), textiles, detergents and cosmetics. The first two of these confirmed themselves as the leading sectors within the circular economy, now and in the future.
In its consultations with representatives from the textile industry, OXIPRO met consultancy companies and high fashion brand associations, which aim for sustainable production along the entire supply chain. From a policy and government perspective, the textile sector is focusing more on producer responsibility and end-of-life management. Thus the Ecomondo textile events focused mainly on the recovery of end-of-life clothing, the mechanical recycling of fibres and fabrics, and the reduction of water and chemical consumption in the fabric production phase, which often hinder the recycling of the raw material.
Meanwhile, the events linked to the Blue Economy garnered significant interest, particularly in EU blue skills – from policies to practice, which included discussions with managers and representatives from Fisheries and Aquaculture of Emilia-Romagna, the European Commission DG Mare, Gender Equity in the Blue Economy, and Standards for Sustainable Fishing.
Ecomondo also provided a key opportunity to establish contact with Europêche, an association of national organizations of fishing enterprises in the European Union based in Brussels, and with the Head of Development and Valorisation of Sea Fishing and Aquaculture in Emilia Romagna, Piergiorgio Vasi.
In introducing the OXIPRO project, these individual showed a keen interest in creating synergies, particularly in the aquaculture sector, where interesting avenues are opening up for the recruitment of stakeholders along the value chain, including fishfarmers, fishfeed stakeholders, fishing actors and representatives from policy and government, who all see the benefits of reducing biowaste and improving the Circular and Blue Economies.