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Circular bioeconomy in the province of Noord Brabant

Peer review
By Platform
Peer Review - Noord Brabant

On 25 and 26 October 2023, the Policy Learning Platform held an onsite peer review for the Province of Noord Brabant, which requested advice regarding their policy challenge on how to promote and foster circular bioeconomy in the region. 


The main policy challenges
  • Regional transition to circular bioeconomy
  • Incentivising the use of biobased products
Peers from across Europe

Alongside Magda Michaliková and Astrid Severin, our Thematic Experts on ‘Greener’, six excellent peers participated in the peer review:


Noord Brabant has already been active in the field of circular bioeconomy and the province’s draft Implementation Agenda for Circular Bioeconomy received very positive feedback from the peers. The document outlines a set of goals and targets, including a goal to achieve a 50% reduction in primary raw material use in 2030.

More than 80% of those raw materials relate to construction and infrastructure (47 million tons per year) and agri-food (36 million tons per year). Making them the two sectors of major focus. The recommendations of the peer review will be reflected in the Implementation agenda 2024-2027, these include:

  • Set goals (roadmaps, action plans) evaluation and monitoring.
  • Engage in a dialogue in the quintuple helix (university-industry-government-public-environment interactions).
  • Translate the goals to a law, secure funding for law enforcement.
  • Implement a regional law to facilitate the use of by-products (special committee).
  • Use soft policies – incentives, supporting tools.
  • Form clusters and collectives with focus on your four main waste streams.
  • Select feasible projects and provide capital for up-scaling, from TRL 6 to TRL 9 (LIFE program).
  • Develop a lighthouse project for upscaling.
  • Lobby at the national level.
  • Ecodesign – use products circular by design.
  • Establish specific circular (bio)economy targets in public procurement (i.e. 50% of recycled content to be used in new building projects).

  • Use green (circular) public procurement and public procurement of innovation.

  • Train purchasing officers (GPP) and develop a manual for circular procurement.

  • Continue with the stakeholder sessions – involve stakeholders in the development of the strategy towards bioeconomy.

  • Develop services to support SMEs (LCA, identifying funding opportunities and proposal writing, end of waste criteria, CSR Directive), voluntary agreements.

  • Invest in capacity building events for different target groups (staff, farmers, SMEs), develop guidelines.

  • Consider top runner standards, awards, certificates.

  • Raise awareness – explain why the transition and use of biobased products is needed and how it can be achieved.

  • Learn from others – engage in interregional learning (Interreg Europe), join the HOOP project.

The host’s policy challenges, and the detailed peer suggestions can be found in the follow-up report that will be published soon. 

Happy with the outcome of the exchange, René Beijnen from the Province of Noord Brabant and Katerina Medkova from LAB University of Applied Sciences commented:

Peer Review - Noord Brabant

The Peer Review on how to transition to a circular bioeconomy in Noord-Brabant has resulted in very useful policy recommendations for our agenda 2024-2027. Many thanks to all peers and the Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform"

Rene Beijnen

Peer Review - Noord Brabant

“It was my first peer review, I have learned so much and have heard so many inspiring examples. We shared knowledge on how the circular bioeconomy is implemented in other EU regions and we learned so much from each other. A lot of exciting potential for future collaboration!”

Katerina Medkova

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Peer review publication

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