AGENDA 4 OCTOBER: conference on Innovation in the Bioeconomy in the Basque Country

24 August 2023

4 October 2023


Ercilla street 24-1º (Bilbao)

The Basque Bioeconomy Innovation Day is an event that will offer a combination of forward-looking keynote lectures, short, high-impact presentations of concrete innovative solutions, and networking time.

Forests cover more than 54% of the surface area of the Basque Country, they are vital green infrastructures. Sustainable forest management can help to adapt forests to climate change, balancing the production of timber, non-timber products and ecosystem services.

On 4 October 2023, we invite you to attend the Bioeconomy Innovation Day 2023 to learn about the latest scientific advances and innovative solutions in bioeconomy.

This event focuses on innovative solutions for different aspects of the forest bioeconomy:

  • Sustainable and multifunctional forestry
  • Advanced bio-based materials
  • Bio-construction

During the day you will be able to connect with key players in the bioeconomy innovation ecosystem from research, forest management, industry, business, finance, government and civil society, and discover new opportunities to drive the green transition.


8:15 | Registration

9:00 | Welcome. Bittor Oroz, Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Policy of the Basque Government.

9:10 | Regenerative forestry: Boosting economic growth and natural assets hand in hand. Timo Lehesvirta, nature expert, Metsä Group.

9:40 | Why invest in the European bioeconomy? Ananya Manna, Investment Manager, European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF).

10:10 | Session 1. Sustainable and multifunctional forestry. Moderator: Ander Arias, Head of the Forestry Science Department at NEIKER.

‘Challenges and opportunities for European forestry’. Bart Muys, Forestry, Nature and Landscape Division, KU Leuven, Belgium.

10:40 | Practical cases of session 1:

  • ZertiCarbon: ‘Forest carbon monetisation within everyone’s reach’. Paco Conde, Co-founder of  ZertiCarbon.
  • HAZI: ‘Decision-making tools based on remote sensing technologies’. Iñaki Gerenabarrena, Head of Forestry, HAZI.
  • Fortra: ‘Traceability of forest products by Xunta de Galicia’. Mercedes Rois Díaz, Director of Forestry Innovation Area, XERA Axencia Galega da Industria Forestal.
  • ArboFIRM: ‘Forest fire risk management using digital twins by Arbonaut’. Tuomo Kauranne, President, Arbonaut.
  • VigilanTree: ‘Artificial intelligence and image classification for understanding our ecosystems by Cesefor’. Rodrigo Gómez Cornejo, CTO / Head of Digital Technologies and Applications, Cesefor.
  • Question and answer session

11:40 | Networking and coffee break

12:10 | Session 2. All-purpose Biomaterials. Moderator: Olatz Unamunzaga, Innovation and Technology responsible of NEIKER.

‘Macro trends that are shaping the development of Biomaterials’. Michael Carus, Managing Director of nova-Institute GmbH.

12:40 | Practical cases of session 2:

  • Evolgene: ‘Cellulose nanocrystals for industrial and biomedical applications’. Raul Pérez, Research Professor at CIC bioGUNE and Xabier García Roldán, Founder, Myruns.
  • Axalko: ‘High-end bicycle frames made from natural fibres’. Aitzol Fernández, General Manager of Axalko.
  • Bioreformed: ‘Mediterranean biorefinery for the production of high-value molecules’. Anna Cuadrench, Researcher, Forestry Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTFC).
  • Gelzhäuser Forst: ‘Individual modular houses made of regional wood’. Timo Gelzhäuser, Managing Director, Gelzhäuser GmbH.
  • Question and answer session

13:35 | Conclusions of the morning sessions. Leire Barañano, general director of NEIKER.

13:50 | Lunch and networking

15:20 | Session 3. Initiatives to boost innovation in the bioeconomy. Examples from European regions. Moderator: Inazio Martínez de Arano, Bioregions Facility.

Presentation of the best cases of acceleration and support to the bioeconomy in European regions:


  • Irish Bioeconomy Foundation: ‘Unlocking the potential of the Irish bioeconomy’. Filippo Giancarlo Martinelli, Director and owner of Magfi Ltd, Ambassador of Irish Bioeconomy Foundation.
  • Bioeconomy Austria: ‘The Austrian Bioeconomy Pathway’. Fabian Huber, Junior Project Manager of the Platform for Green Transformation and Bioeconomy, Ecoplus and Gottfried Hebenstreit, Energy and economic policy expert, Ecosocial Forum Austria & Europe.

Panel discussion:

  • Enkarterri: ‘New acceleration service for the bioeconomy in the Basque Country’. Peli Manterola, Managing Director of HAZI.
  • BioBoost: ‘Accelerating the bioeconomy in Catalonia’. Verónica Kuchinow, Co-founder of SÍMBIOSY.
  • Business Joensuu: ‘Bioeconomy innovation in the forest capital of Europe’. Jarno Hämäläinen, Account Manager, Green Transition at Business Joensuu.
  • Smart Wood Centre: ‘Shaping the future of the wood industry in a sustainable way in Ostwestfalen-Lippe’. Martin Hackel, research associate, Ostwestfalen-Lippe Technical University.
  • Question and answer session

Networking with local beer and wine. 

18:00 | End of the Bioeconomy Innovation Day.