BONUS RETURN held its first annual meeting in Helsinki, Finland from 28th to 29th May 2018 to review the first year of the project. Project partners from the Stockholm Environment Institute, Research Institutes of Sweden, Uppsala University, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen and the Finnish Environment Institute were all represented.
The project has been running for one year since the launch in May 2017. The two-day meeting held in Helsinki, Finland, was spent reporting on each of the different sections of the project, followed by detailed discussions on recommendations for the project’s future. Members also discussed upcoming outputs and activities for the second year, setting strategies based on learnings and outcomes of the first year.
Key highlights and achievements the project has achieved within the first year are:
- Over 40 000 scientific records of existing eco-technologies have been reviewed.
- Two systematic maps have been produced collating information about eco-technologies for the reuse of nutrients and carbon in regional agricultural and wastewater systems.
- Stakeholder workshops have been held in Fyrisån, Słupia and Vantaanjoki case study sites to identify criteria for a sustainability analysis of selected eco-technologies.
- An innovation competition within the EU was held to find emerging eco-technologies for reusing nutrients and/or carbon.
- Aquacare’s BiOPhree® from The Netherlands, TerraNova® Ultra, Germany and HSY’s RAVITA system from Finland, were selected as the three winners. Study visits to their demo plants are ongoing, including a selection of tailored activities that are crucial for the pre-commercialisation phase.
- SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) system has been set up for modeling in the three case study sites, including calibration and validation. Model input data has been collected and processed for each catchment, with several model set-ups created in each catchment to capture local differences.
- Training courses with case study leaders were organised throughout the first year with a focus on understanding different stakeholders’ perspectives, and to specifically identify potential eco-technology stakeholders.
- Stakeholder workshops were continually held in Sweden, Finland and Poland to explore the general understanding of eco-technologies’ sustainability as well as to explore the stakeholders’ priorities in nutrient and carbon recycling in the three case study sites.
- The Serious Game System – used in the project to support knowledge co-production and facilitate transformational changes in social, organizational and governance settings – was introduced with the aim of developing it further in the second year of the project.
In the past year, the project has established a growing regional network of municipalities, researchers and organisations, and contributes to discussions on the blue circular economy through science and participation.
The consortium members then visited the Rantamo-Seitteli wetland situated on the Vantaanjoki river basin, one of BONUS RETURN’s case study sites.