Second Regional Platform Meeting for Bioeconomy Held in Strumica, North Macedonia

The second meeting (meeting minutes) for the regional platform in Strumica was organized on March 28, 2023, in the Regional Center for Sustainable Development in Strumica and Vasilevo situated in the municipality of Strumica. Thirteen representatives from the Municipality of Strumica, NGO Planetum, NGO Hortieko, the High School "Dimitar Vlahov" and SDEWES-Skopje were participating in this meeting. The event consisted of three parts: a meeting with the mayor’s official representative and the signing of the Memorandum for collaboration in the premises of the municipality of Strumica, info session for SCALE-UP promotion with the local TV media; and a second meeting with the regional platform for bioeconomy in Strumica in the premises of the Regional Center for sustainable development of Strumica and Vasilevo.

The first part of the event was dedicated to the official establishment of collaboration between SDEWES-Skopje and the Municipality of Strumica. Hence, with this, the regional platform for bioeconomy in Strumica is rightfully incorporated as part of the Environment Department within the municipality. On this occasion, SCALE-UP’s aim and activities were presented, and potential synergies with other ongoing projects at the municipal level were communicated. The municipality of Strumica expressed their willingness to strengthen the collaboration, support the SCALE-UP project and enhance the bioeconomy on a regional level. In order to increase the visibility of the SCALE-UP project on a regional level, TV VIS was invited to be part of the promotional session of the project and to conduct an interview for further media dissemination about the regional platform for bioeconomy and the potential for the development of an innovative bio-based business model utilizing the local agricultural residues by creating added value products and services. Additionally, the promotional video was disseminated on national level as part of the news on TV Telma.

Nonetheless, the purpose of the second meeting of the regional platform was to discuss the ongoing activities and, thus, to welcome on board five additional members. Moreover, the results and next steps of the analysis of the needs of the bioeconomy in the Strumica region by introduction of the training of 7 workstreams, their promotion, and a discussion of possible speakers and participants. Additionally, the biomass availability and overview of available documents and studies were exchanged in order to prepare for the mapping of the primary – agricultural producers and secondary – processing industries for a quantitative and qualitative overview of the available bio-based residues. Considering the importance of the development of a plan for the bio-based value chain and business models for composting, the call for identification of regional bio-based solutions by the Program for support of innovative bio-based value chain was introduced and will be additionally promoted for all interested entrepreneurs and stakeholders. The event was concluded by defining the following activities for the regional platform for bioeconomy in the municipality of Strumica and enhancing SCALE-UP promotion.

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