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Western Balkans Excellence for a Biobased Economy (WeBE)
Start date: Dec 31, 2014, End date: Dec 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The aim of the proposed action is to increase research excellence, industrial utilisation and education in the field of advanced biorefinery technologies and the biobased economy in Western Balkans by establishing a Centre of Excellence within the University of Belgrade (in alliance with the University of Novi Sad and other universities/ institutes from the neighbouring countries ). The overall objective of the vision (Action Plan) for the new Centre of Excellence will be to focus on advanced process and product development in biorefineries and bio-based products.ObjectivesTo conduct research in the field of biorefinery and biobased products and inform future developments in practice and theory, e.g. implications for the development of industrial biorefineries in WBC; guide policy and investments, etc. To share the results of research at Universities of Belgrade and Novi Sad and within the Centre with the broader higher education community, to guide the development of future programmes.Planned project activities including deadlines or duration The first year phase of the proposed action will be implemented in three phases: • Data collection (Start up of the ERC on biorefinery and bioeconomy, Biorefineries and biobased economy) • Analysis & synthesis (Business Plan, Overview and structure of activities) • Project outreach (Dissemination & stakeholder engagement Need and added value for Danube Region Strategy The proposed Centre of Excellence will represent an integrated regional research and innovation platform that will enhance the ability to create, share and exploit knowledge on biomass value chains in countries defined as modest or catching up innovators, thus contributing to meeting the objectives set in the EUSDR Action Plan for Sustainable Energy, particularly Action 8 (To extend the use of biomass) and Action 11 (To explore the possibility to have increased energy production originating from local renewable energy sources to increase the energy autonomy). Transboundary impact The proposed Centre of Excellence will have a regional scope and will actively seek collaboration of Universities and Research Institutions from neighboring Countries in order to strengthen and cluster capacities in the field of Bioenergy, Biorefining and Bioeconomy, thus bringing factual contribution to the meeting the needs for strengthened cooperation in research addressed by PA7, and particularly Action 3 (To strengthen the capacities of research infrastructure) and Action 4 (To strengthen cooperation among universities and research facilities and to upgrade research and education outcomes by focusing on unique selling points) Relevant PA2 Action(s) from the Danube Region Strategys Action Plan Action 8 - To extend the use of biomass; Action 11 - To explore the possibility to have increased energy production originating from local renewable energy sources to increase the energy autonomy; Action 16 – To facilitate networking and cooperation between national authorities in order to promote awareness and increase the use of renewable energies.
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