‘Fjildlab’, fieldlab for implementing circular agriculture in Northeast Fryslân
About this good practice
The aim of Fjildlab is to help building an economically lean and ecologically responsible as circular as possible agricultural sector in Northeast Fryslân, which can function as a knowledge lab for the rest of the Netherlands ("from shrinking to nursing"). The connection between agri and food to form an agri-food cluster is also important here. The region is characterized by a variety of agriculture and livestock, large and small-scale businesses, organic and traditional agriculture and livestock breeding.
The good practice, Fjildlab, is applied in the areas of four municipalities. The focus is on improving system understanding, product knowledge and quality and knowledge about agricultural practices, combined with all conceivable technologies, and steps are taken towards implementation plans and revenue models that fit in a biodiverse and attractive landscape. The partnership focuses on the following eight core themes: 1. Nature, biodiversity, landscape and recreational sector: converting into new products and services. 2. Healthy soil: as the basis for the circular economy. 3. Water and agriculture: adding value to blue and green ecosystem services. 4. Renewable energy: produced and sold regionally. 5. Manure: regional processing. 6. Feed: value residual flows. 7. Sweet and Salt: cash-cropping in more saline conditions and producing new services. 8. Nutrition: healthy food, regionally produced.
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The funding of the Fjildlab structure and facilities amounts to 1.7 million euros for 4 years. The office consists of a part-time project leader, secretariat and communications officer. The Fjildlab projects on CE will amount to a total of approximately 8-10 million euros excluding co-fin 35-50%.
Evidence of success
- yearly the 8 thematic groups meet 3 times, with over 100 participants (regional organizations and entrepeneurs);
- over 100 project ideas have been collected and discussed;
- over 30 projects are succesfully submitted and running;
- three regional demonstration sites are open;
- 2-3 times a year open days are organized where regional citicens can see the results of projects, discuss with experts and bring forward new idea's on circular economy.
- the concept is adopted by other EU regions.
Potential for learning or transfer
The Fjildlab is now in its second year of activities. The partner organisations and municipalities in Noord-Friesland and the region Friesland (NL) are involved in the process of sharing the projects progress and outcomes. Key success factors are described along the five design principles of the living lab structure.
1) fostering inclusive ‘quadruple helix’ participation.
The partners are organisations representing the majority of businesses and farms in the region. This provides a large audience and access through their existing infrastructures to get in touch with members and citizens. The four municipalities are keen to be involved in order to reap some harvest form the project for their citizens. The link with Van Hall Larenstein as knowledge and educational institute provides professors, teachers and students to the living lab, a well-received added value.
2) creating authentic learning environment with focus on a sustainable future.