CIRCular Economy through Integrated LEarning in VET
Project CIRCLE is a Erasmus supported project, part of the KA2 Strategic Partnerships Programme. The CIRCular economy though integrated LEarning in VET, has been developed to support trainers in vocational training, introduce the concepts of the circular economy to students in the toursim, transport and agricultural sectors.
The European Commission has launched its Green Deal to make Europe’s economy sustainable and boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy and to restore biodiversity and cut pollution. A key element of this roadmap is the wide promotion of the circular economy to reduce waste, and minimise the use of raw materials. The project focuses on four business sectors: tourism, transport, agriculture and construction. Each sector is a major employer across Europe and the opportunities for greater efficiencies is significant.
The agricultural sector like most sectors, requires inputs and energy and produces outputs in the form of food and wastes. As farmer look to adopt more intensive farming practices, there is more dependency on the use of external materials such as nutrients, feeds, and pesticides and there is an increased generation of wastes. Most farmers are good stewards of the land, but changing practices put pressure on material consumption and waste. Therefore within the context of the circular economy we need to find ways to reduce the introduction of non-natural nutrients, to adopt land-use practices and to realise value from the wastes that are generated
This project has received funding by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union
Field -testing and demonstration of digital and space based technologies with agro-ecological and organic practices in systemic innovation
PestNu aims to revolutionize novel, digital and space-based technologies (DST) with agro-ecological and organic practices (AOP) in a systemic approach which can be applied in novel circular economy food production, such as aquaponics, as well as in hydroponic greenhouses and open-field vegetable cultivation for reducing the dependence on hazardous pesticides; reducing the losses of nutrients from fertilisers, towards zero pollution of water, soil and air and ultimately fertiliser use.
PestNu targets the field -testing and demonstration of digital and space based technologies (DST) and agro-ecological and organic practices (AOP) under a systemic approach to reduce the pesticides and fertilisers use, and loss of nutrients.
The consortium brings novel DST including: AI robotic traps for real time pest monitoring; Autonomous mobile robots for pesticide monitoring and 3D spot spraying; Earth Observation missions with robust Agroradar AI algorithms to map soil/plant nutrients and pest plant inputs using Copernicus data/services; and in-situ and real-time nutrient analysers. All the DST will be interconnected to a user-centric cloudbased Farm Management System, which features a robust Decision Support System integrated with a blockchain based system for DST data evidence, integrity and AI models verification and with a cybersecurity platform to prevent cyber-attacks and IoT vulnerabilities. The AOP include: on-site production of biofertilisers from agricultural waste-waters through a robust automated drainage recycling system via an innovative enzymatic hydrolysis procedure; a novel foliar biopesticide formulated by circular bioeconomy operations, targeting fungal diseases with biostimulant effect; and advanced nutritional programs for organic farming.
The showcase systemic DST & AOP solutions will be demonstrated and tested in aquaponic and hydroponic greenhouse and openfield vegetable cultivation in Greece and Spain. A Pesticide Reduction Program will evaluate the Maximum Residue and the Acceptable Daily Intake levels to ensure vegetable’s food safety and LCA activities will be performed. All these systemic approaches will be performed under a strong collaboration among all the Farm to Fork stakeholders and European Commission services.
Duration: 01-OCT-2021 to 30-SEP-2024
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement no. 101037128.
Reduction of antibiotics in livestock through a natural diet based on the use of mushrooms and algae
MICOALGA-FEED is a supra-autonomous Operative Group that develops an innovation project whose objective is the reduction or elimination of antibiotics in poultry through feed. New feed formulations will be developed that, supplemented with fungi and microalgae, have an inhibitory and antimicrobial effect, reinforcing the animal’s immune system.
With a budget of €524,847.66, the initiative is co-financed 80% by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) of the European Union and 20% by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA).
Duration: APRIL 2021 to 15-MARCH -2023
MicroalgaE biomass from phototrophic-heterotrophic cultivation using olive oil Wastewaters
MEWLIFE is a LIFE project aiming to demonstrate the environmental benefit and economic feasibility of an innovative approach to produce microalgal biomass in an integrated phototrophic – heterotrophic cultivation system using preconcentrated (in a membrane filtration plant) olive oil wastewaters as carbon source for growing algae, thus contributing to waste reuse and valorization
Wastewaters from olive oil production plants cannot be treated in conventional biological depuration plants due to the toxic effect of antioxidants on active sludge. As results, these wastewaters are discharged in the environment acting as anti-microbial and phytotoxic agents. The MEWLIFE project aims to overcome these hurdles with the validation on pilot scale of an integrated set of technologies for olive oil wastewaters remediation based on both physical and biological treatments.
The microalgal biomass produced in the MEWLIFE project will be tested for application in nutraceutics (by extracting carotenoids) and for biopolymer production (by extracting starch and other carbohydrates and the lipid fraction).
Duration: 01-JUL-2018 to 30-JUN -2021
LIFE17 ENV IT 000180
Valorization of bio-waste resulting from the olive oil extraction process
LIFE OLEA REGENERA will build an industrial plant to produce new by-products from olive oil extraction waste. These can be transformed into high-value products such as animal feed and bio-stimulants to improve plant growth. The new process will reduce waste, energy use and air pollution.
The industrial plant will be based on a patented technology that separates the liquid and solid phases of ‘alperujo’ generated during olive oil extraction using only physical treatments. This separation process leads to a solid residue with a high content (35%) of monounsaturated fatty acids and a liquid residue with a high content of antioxidant molecules and compounds of the secondary metabolism. The project aims at confirming the high economic value of these two by-products. The liquid by-product will be tested in olive groves in Portugal as well as in Spain. By reducing the water content (and thus weight) of alperujo, carbon dioxide emissions from road transport of this residue to the secondary extraction factories will be reduced. The orujeras will use less energy and air pollution will also be reduced.
The project aims at supporting the implementation of EU environmental policy and legislation: the circular economy action plan; the ambient and air quality directives and the industrial emissions directive, the 2050 low-carbon economy roadmap and the 2050 energy strategy.
Duration: 01-SEP-2018 to 31-MAR -2022
WASTE4GREEN will test the effectiveness of two pesticides made from agro-industrial byproducts in protecting stone fruit crops on an area of 1.67 ha. By replacing pesticides of chemical origin, it aims to mitigate adverse effects on the environment and human health, proving that the two bioactive formulates are less toxic than conventional ones. The project is try to show that the new formulates are effective against the pests and target diseases of stone fruit trees and that they can be used for other crops and in other EU countries. Further predicted benefits include improved food safety through residue-free fruit and positive impacts on biodiversity and climate change. The latter stages of the project will focus on commercialisation of the pesticide formulates.
This LIFE project supports the implementation of EU chemical policy, including both the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive and REACH. It also helps achieve the goals of the 7th Environment Action Programme and the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe and supports the agri-environment measures of the EU Common Agricultural Policy.
Duration: 01-JUL-2018 to 31-DEC -2022