Close to a thousand participants, over a dozen panels with more than 70 speakers from all over the world, an important contract signed and awards presented to the best bio-communes of the Lodzkie region – the VI Bioeconomy Congress has proved that discussions and debates translate into facts. 

It has been just a couple of years that Lodzkie opted for bioeconomy and the sixth edition of the Congress proves that it was the right thing to do. Business people who were present in Lodz stressed that it is America that can learn a lot from Poland in this field and Mr Christian Patermann, an international bioeconomy expert, indicates that the representation of business at the Congress is growing year by year. He observes that entrepreneurs are increasingly interested in the problems discussed here.

The host of the Congress, Marshal of the Lodzkie Region, Mr Witold Stępień refers to the meeting with representatives of the Finnish province of Northern Karelia: “Karelia is one of the strongest regions in Finland, with the prevailing role of forestry and the wood industry.  They are experienced in building small, dispersed, agricultural biogas plants. They are advanced in wood construction. We want to build on their experience when developing our clusters for wood-frame and modular construction (Łask, Radomsko), as well as for the furniture industry (Radomsko). These subjects follow the line of green revitalisation of cities – the motto of EXPO 2024, the event I already wish to invite everyone to attend” – says Marshal Stępień.

Polish success on American soil

The ceremony of contract signing by Biotechnika – a company based in Lodz, and Red River Biorefinery, for the design and technology provision for the Grand Forks Biorefinery, North Dacota, USA, was an important moment of the VI International Bioeconomy Congress. The technology is used for the production of bioethanol and biogas, with sugar beet and potato processing waste as a raw material. Biotechnika has designed a world’s unique, extremely high-performance process system. The contract value is USD 80 million, the construction has already started. Jacek Chmielewski and Keshav Rajpal, who represent the American investor, emphasise that Poland is much more advanced in agricultural waste management than USA. Tomasz Kapela, Biotechnika owner, hopes the contract with the Americans to give start to a wider expansion.

The scope of topics presented during the Congress was very broad – from strictly specialist issues, to those interesting to everyone. During the Antismog Forum, innovative methods used to fight smogin Warsaw and Krakow were presented. Debates about sustainable consumption, healthy lifestyles and care about the life force of the human body attracted much interest, too.

The topics discussed included waste recycling, initiating local business chains, creating new jobs in bioeconomy and developing local bio-communities. The best bio-communes were rewarded for their efforts towards sustainable development and consultations with the local communities and citizens.

Local governments are going ECO

In the “Top of the Class Commune” competition organised by Dziennik Lodzki daily newspaper, awards were granted to 9 projects from each of the 9 communes participating in the contest, such as: natural environment protection in the commune of Maków through the installation of renewable energy sources in privately-owned buildings, development of tourism-oriented business in the village of Lisowice, or construction of a passive building for a kindergarten.

During the evening Gala, awards of the “Best Bio-commune of the Lodzkie Region” competition were presented in three categories:

  • I category – a rural commune. Winner: the Commune of Gomunice
  • II category – an urban- rural commune up to 100,000 inhabitants Winner: the Commune of Koluszki
  • III category – the Internet audience award: the Commune of Gomunice

Yet, it was not only competition that mattered here, but also the exchange of ideas and sharing experience, so as to highlight the importance of bioeconomy in the region, Poland and across the world.