i01: Bio-economy (€145m)
The main objective of this investment, the execution of which will be the responsibility of the Environmental Fund, will be the incorporation of bio-based materials(as an alternative to fossil-based materials) in three sectors of national economic activity, ensuring greater competitiveness and contributing to the transition to carbon neutrality in a fair and cohesive manner. It is essential for environmental and economic objectives to be achieved in a sustainable way.
The aim is to develop around 17 lines of research, development and innovation, contribute to increasing the number of annual sign-ups to the forest fire watchdog programme by resin collectors (55 sign-ups/year) and allocate financial support towards improving 8,500 ha of maritime pine forests with potential for resin collection.
In the textile and clothing sector, the investment is supported across several strategic intervention pillars that aim to achieve the targets proposed for the sustainable use of biological resources:
- From nature: the development of new production processes for functional and innovative textiles made from bio-based raw materials, incorporating forest biomass (cellulose and lignin) and alternative natural fibres from the agro-food sector (fibres from pineapple and banana leaves, hemp, rice husk, among others);
- Circularity: improving the circularity of the sector by promoting innovative business models that are based on the reprocessing of biological, recycled and reused raw materials. The activities to be developed seek to produce better waste management in Portugal and contribute towards meeting targets in this area;
- In a sustainable manner: dedicated to investing in knowledge of production processes and systems that allow each article to be reused and recycled several times;
- For people: aimed at society with the goal of promoting awareness of responsible production and consumption throughout the value chain, involving the various stakeholders as well as the end consumer.
In the footwear sector the investment is based on:
- Biomaterials and sustainable components: to promote the use and recycling of agro-food or industrial by-products and bio-waste, enhancing the carbon-neutral circular bio-economy and industrial and regional symbioses;
- Footwear of the future: promoting the development of new concepts of differentiated bio and eco products with higher added value;
- Waste management and the circular economy: developing models for the management of by-products, production waste and end-of-life footwear, the declassification of waste and the development and production of new materials and products that allow the recovery of by-products and waste and the transition of the footwear and fashion cluster to the circular economy;
- Advanced production technologies: equipping the cluster with innovative and sustainable technologies within the framework of i4.0 digitalisation;
- Capacity building and promotion: providing professionals in the sector with technological skills required for the development or production of biomaterials and footwear of the future, i4.0 technologies and services and promoting innovations in the cluster that are based on knowledge by leveraging their promotion to the consumer both domestically and internationally.
With regard to the promotion and exploitation of Natural Resin, the intention is to:
- Encourage the domestic production of natural resin: to ensure a real increase in value of the natural resin sector, initiatives will be developed to increase the production of resin in Portugal, guarantee industry self-sufficiency, act as a catalyst for sustainable forest management, reduce the risk of fire and contribute to the development of rural areas;
- Enhance the sustainability of the manufacturing industry: dedicated to industrial investment and the value chain, this project is based on the increasing the commercial and technological value of the natural resin produced as a socially, economically and environmentally-sustainable resource, encouraging value chains to transform it into high added-value bio-products;
- Positive differentiation of natural resin and derived products: aimed at communications and marketing for the positive differentiation of natural resin vis-à-vis the end consumer through the creation of an Iberian “seal” and the technical promotion of the entire value chain, as well as developing a communications and marketing plan targeting the end consumer.