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Open AccessArticle

Digital Innovation Hubs as a Tool for Boosting Biomass Valorisation in Regional Bioeconomies: Andalusian and South-East Irish Case Studies

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Fundación Corporación Tecnológica de Andalucía (CTA), 41092 Sevilla, Spain
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Circular Bioeconomy Research Group, Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre, Institute of Technology Tralee, V92 CX88 Tralee, Ireland
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Intelligent Mechatronics and RFID Centre, Institute of Technology, V92 CX88 Tralee, Ireland
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Consejería de Agricultura, Ganadería, Pesca y Desarrollo Sostenible, 41013 Sevilla, Spain
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Tragsatec Andalucía, 41016 Sevilla, Spain
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Irish Bioeconomy Foundation—National Bioeconomy Campus (Former Lisheen Mine), E41 R622 Moyne, County Tipperary, Ireland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. 2020, 6(4), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc6040115
Received: 14 July 2020 / Revised: 1 October 2020 / Accepted: 9 October 2020 / Published: 14 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambidextrous Open Innovation: Technology, Market and Complexity)
Regional bioeconomy development is directly linked to the availability and access to bioresources. Therefore, it is necessary to trigger opportunities for information and communications technologies (ICTs), the Internet of things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 solutions to increase the efficiency of high potential value biomass supply chains, improving this way the accessibility of bioresources. This study aims to present the results achieved through the development of Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) as a tool able to boost biomass valorisation, reshaping regional bioeconomy. The objective was to shape these DIHs and assess how stakeholders could be engaged and benefit from such initiatives. This has been attained through the design and implementation of DIHs in two case-study regions, Andalusia (Spain) and south-east Ireland (Ireland). The approaches and results for stakeholders’ engagement, barrier mitigation, DIH structure and activities are presented. So far, more than 100 stakeholders have been engaged, more than 50 business opportunities have been promoted and a set of support services and events have been carried out. Main lessons learned are (1) about the relevance of understanding the needs of stakeholders, (2) impact is bigger when relevant regional industries (rather than academia/technology providers) discuss the technologies they have integrated and how these have improved efficiency or added value to their processes, and (3) about the importance of the communication plan and a well-formed DIH service definition.
Keywords: bioeconomy; ICT; supply chain; regional development; bioresources; stakeholder bioeconomy; ICT; supply chain; regional development; bioresources; stakeholder
MDPI and ACS Style

Macias Aragonés, M.; de la Viña Nieto, G.; Nieto Fajardo, M.; Páez Rodríguez, D.; Gaffey, J.; Attard, J.; McMahon, H.; Doody, P.; Anda Ugarte, J.; Pérez-Camacho, M.N.; Cuenca Martín, M.S.; Morales, A.J.G.; Martinelli, F.G. Digital Innovation Hubs as a Tool for Boosting Biomass Valorisation in Regional Bioeconomies: Andalusian and South-East Irish Case Studies. J. Open Innov. Technol. Mark. Complex. 2020, 6, 115.

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