Although many products, such as packaging, cleaning products, clothing, toys or paints can be made from biomass today, consumers are often not familiar with bio-based products. What are bio-based products? Which raw materials are used to make them? What is their advantage? The Bioeconomy Awareness and Discourse Project (BioCannDo) aims to increase the awareness and acceptance of bio-based products and to communicate their benefits among citizens. BioCannDo focuses on bio-based end-products in six consumer relevant application areas.
The project counts on journalistic stories, innovative communication formats and video materials as the main information sources to communicate to consumers. Furthermore, it engages communication experts in sharing and learning activities.
Development of Key Communication Messages
BioCannDo transfers scientific and technical language about bio-based products to layman language so that communication about key aspects can be understood outside of scientific circles. The project develops key communication messages about the bioeconomy with a focus on selected bio-based products: household cleaning products, insulation materials and food packaging materials. Such key messages are jointly developed with expert stakeholders, thoroughly fine-tuned and tested in workshops and focus groups.
The project communication portal www.AllThings.Bio distributes original and external communication and educational materials about the bioeconomy and bio-based products to the public at large. It is a touchpoint between the project and consumers looking for information and resources about bio-based products. Communication activities of BioCannDo rely on formats which include: journalistic articles, multimedia storytelling or videos. AllThings.Bio articles cover a broad range of consumer-relevant topics such as Bio-based footwear, making clothes from waste milk, how to dispose of bio-based plastics or could bio-based materials help earthquake-proof buildings.
BioCannDo also publishes the AllThings.Bio slideshow, a series of “digital stories” about the bioeconomy and bio-based products. The AllThings.Bio slideshow is a combination of texts, images, videos and links to external resources which describe the advantages that bio-based products bring compared to their fossil-based counterparts. The first slideshow puts a particular focus on the raw materials used. The AllThings.Bio slideshow will continue with a new release about bio-based cleaning products in February 2018. The first set of short and engaging videos featuring bio-based t-shirts, mugs, cleaners and lipstick will be published in January 2018 on AllThings.Bio.
TheBioCannDo communication network
BioCannDo brings together a network of actors involved in bioeconomy (research) projects, who actively communicate the benefits of the bioeconomy to the general public. This network is a place for sharing good practices, stories and communication formats. Network partners can be listed on the AllThings.Biobioeconomy map, too. Periodic webinars are the channel most frequently used for sharing experiences and results in the network. Participants of the last webinar received information about the results of a piece of research conducted in Germany on the public perception of bio-based plastics and the communication challenges involved. The recordings of the webinars are available here. Bio-economy actors wishing to become part of the BioCannDo network to share their success stories or simply looking for an additional channel to reach the general public can contact the project team via the AllThings.Bio portal. The project editorial team is looking regularly for good stories from other projects to communicate to a layman audience.
The BioCannDo Educational Community of Practice
Young people of today are the consumers and decision-makers of tomorrow. That is why BioCannDo also aims at establishing an educational Community of Practice to exchange ideas, materials, good practices and to develop missing educational materials. The first step in mapping educational materials and actors from primary schools up to university programmes in four countries (DE, FI, NL, BE) has been conducted. You can download the mapping report here. In the frame of the Community of Practice, a series of webinars will be organised. The first webinars were used to present the first mapping results and experiences from the Netherlands on building a bio-based education network. The recordings of webinars are available for download.
BioCannDo is a three-year project from October 2016 to September 2019. The Bioeconomy Awareness and Discourse Project (BioCannDo) has received funding from the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 720732.
Text By Erik Lohse, Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe (FNR), Germany.