The concept of clustering was proposed in 2000 by Michael Porter, a professor at Harvard University, who defined clusters as geographic concentrations of interconnected units, specialized suppliers, service providers, companies in similar industries, and associated institutions in a given sector that compete but also cooperate. This collaborative approach among peers, when applied to biotechnologies, promotes innovation, provides tools to achieve ambitious goals, and has a positive effect on the local economy, as it optimizes productivity within the biocluster and reduces its ecological footprint, thanks to new solutions based on biological and plant-based materials, in a circular economy logic.
Biodiversity (biological diversity) consists of all forms of life that can be found in a particular area: the variety of animals, plants, fungi and microorganisms (such as bacteria) that make up our natural environment. The term seeks to describe the richness and variety of the natural world and is a function of both the number of species and the number or degree of abundance of each of these species. In more abstract terms, biodiversity encompasses not only millions of species and billions of individuals, but also the billions of different characteristics that these individuals exhibit. The greater the diversity, the more the biosphere will be able to cope with change, maintain balance, and sustain life.
Bioenergy is the term given to energy obtained through biomass, organic matter derived from the living world. The resulting energy can be used for heating, electricity generation and fuel production. Biomass, produced on land by plants and in the oceans by algae, is a renewable energy source that generates few pollutants, as it recycles organic matter, vegetable oils, and forest/agricultural waste, making it a good alternative to conventional energy sources.
The OECD defines biotechnology as "the application of science and technology to living organisms, as well as their parts, products and models, to alter living or non-living materials for the production of knowledge, goods and services." Biotechnology is thus a set of enabling technologies that can be applied to various sectors. Because it is heavily dependent on knowledge and technology, it plays a relevant role in promoting innovation, productivity, and economic growth in traditional sectors, as well as contributing to improving the quality of life of populations and environmental protection. This simplified definition (2002, updated in 2016) encompasses all modern biotechnology, but also many traditional or borderline activities.
Source - P-BIO
Marine biotechnology contributes to the fight against climate change through the industrial-scale cultivation of algae formations. As they grow, these function as a capture and storage system for carbon dioxide and other industrial effluents, and can be used as biomass in the production of bioenergy, bioplastics and fertilizers, or in soil remediation.
The carbon neutrality concept expresses the point of balance, a neutral balance or a zero balance between the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHG) and their removal from the atmosphere.
Economic model aimed at eliminating waste and continuous use of resources. Circular Economy (CE) relies on sharing, reuse, renewal, remanufacturing, and recycling to create a closed-loop system. All waste is turned into raw material for the next process, so it contrasts with the traditional Linear Economy, which follows a model based on extracting, producing, using, and wasting. Supported by the transition to renewable energy sources, the circular model is based on three principles: reducing waste and emissions from the source; keeping products and materials in use; and regenerating natural systems.
Source – Hellen MacArthur Foundation
Ecology is the scientific study of the relationships between living organisms and their environment.
Hydrogen (H2) plays an increasingly important role in the energy transition and carbon neutrality processes. Whether in applications in industry and transportation or in research and development of new solutions, H2 is already considered one of the main elements of change in the energy sector worldwide. Green hydrogen is considered to be the element produced exclusively from processes that use energy from renewable sources. For this reason, green hydrogen should be understood as renewable hydrogen, whose greenhouse gas emissions throughout its production life cycle should be zero or very close to zero.
Greenhouse gases (GHG) are gaseous substances present in the atmosphere that absorb part of the infrared radiation emitted by the Sun and reflected by the Earth's surface, making it difficult for this radiation (heat) to escape into space. They are responsible for keeping the Earth warm. The greenhouse effect is thus a natural phenomenon essential to the maintenance of terrestrial life. If it did not exist, heat would escape from the Earth's surface, causing intense cooling. However, human action has been responsible for increasing the concentration of these gases in the atmosphere, leading to an increase in the global average temperature. The Kyoto Protocol regulates the main GHGs: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated greenhouse gases (hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride).
Industrial symbiosis is a component of the Circular Economy that involves companies' ability to use waste or by-products from one company as raw materials for another. By valuing and reintroducing materials that have already been used in the production process, resources can be consumed more efficiently, thereby increasing productivity in the economy. With symbiosis, in addition to avoiding landfill disposal of waste, it gains new value by serving the production of another factory. These symbiotic relationships can occur when there is a physical exchange of materials, energy, water, waste or effluent.
The use of nature to jointly solve social and environmental problems, especially climate change, water and food security, pollution, and the risk of disasters. Some examples include planting mangroves to prevent coastal erosion, creating new marine protected areas to increase fish populations, greening cities to reduce air temperature, creating wetlands to prevent floods, and reforestation as a natural means of carbon capture and storage. Nature-based solutions often have a good cost-benefit ratio and the significant advantage of increasing biodiversity.
Source – A Life on Our Planet, Witness Statement by David Attenborough
Moving from non-renewable fossil raw materials to circular production processes based on biology is essential to tackle climate change. Resource-efficient, competitive, and bio-based industries are important drivers of this change. By producing renewable biological materials from waste and biomass in an innovative, sustainable, and circular way, these industries contribute to carbon neutrality while creating jobs and promoting economic growth. The aim is to promote food security for a growing global population and meet the demand for sustainable products through integrated and efficient production of food, feed, bio-based products, services, and energy with minimal environmental impact.
Source – Circular Bio-based Europe (CBE Joint Undertaking)
REC is a community composed by a group of consumers who, through a shared installation, produce part or, at the limit, all of the electrical energy they consume, using renewable resources. REC allows its members to obtain the benefits of a self-consumption system.
Literally, the capacity of something to continue indefinitely. In other words, the ability to meet our present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Sustainable mobility is the ability to meet the need for society to move freely, access, communicate, transact and establish relationships, without sacrificing other human and ecological values in the present and in the future.
Source – World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)