Bioregion Institute

design driven circular innovation
founded in 2020

From our previous project Bioregion Vestland, a great opportunity opened up for innovative ideas for the reuse and processing of residual organic raw material, which has today no or little value, for production materials, semi-finished products and finished products. This approach strengthens regional production and helps the industry adapt to deliver bio-based products and services to the enormous need that arises, nationally and internationally, when everyone comes together to create a plastic-free future.

Regional organic loops

We will create innovative solutions for the reuse and treatment of residual organic raw materials by industry, and add value to what is currently under-valued on the market, so that new products are produced in the region. The new economy, in all industries, must move from linear to circular, with maximum use of available raw materials, less waste, less emissions, and work together for a common sustainable future. Bioregion Institute is leading the way in the coming years based on a design-driven and opportunity-driven innovation methodology that presented itself in the extensive analytical work of the early stage Bioregion Vestland project and interdisciplinary collaboration with 25 business participants, universities and public institutions. Biomass waste from industry in western Norway has been mapped and raw material collaboration has been initiated with a number of companies. The available raw materials can be used to make substitutes for petroleum-based plastic products. Some solutions exist, but none have yet been extended to Norway. Product and production chain development will strengthen green jobs and transition businesses in the region. As designers, we are responsible for the footprint of everything that is produced, as 80% of the climate impact of a product or building is decided during the design phase. Therefore, we must be drivers of change in the industry and initiate the production of attractive and beneficial degradable materials and products. Interdisciplinary collaboration and research is needed to solve the complex problems that arise in the transition to circular production. Bioregion Institute uses inclusive design methods in interdisciplinary collaboration.

Our institute is continuously working with mapping the entire supply chain and will be a player who will take responsibility for a full interdisciplinary and cross-sector collaboration for innovation and new circular models. BiOi also initiates and carries out cutting-edge innovation projects in collaboration with the needs of industry and businesses. BiOi activates new knowledge networks, large and small companies, research and exploration circles and is now in dialogue with several companies that handle organic waste from the region and economic players with residual raw materials in their production, to the development of collaborative projects based on fish sludge from breeding and silage, micro and macro-algae, low-value wool, blood and wood. Bioregion Institute, is a non-profit organization founded by design studio Ralston Bau, Kaleidoscope Nordic Architects, Rå design Studio and fashion designer Siv Støldal, with a partnership agreement with PWC. The main activity of the Institute of Bioregion is to fight against waste, to develop biomaterials and products from residual organic raw materials, which can replace fossil plastics. We are in close dialogue with research institutes in Bergen (such as UiB Institute of Chemistry) and internationally (Materiom, United Kingdom and R.I.S.E. in Sweden) who are looking for substances that can be used in solutions. Researchers are linked to specific projects, designers and stakeholders who together explore, prototype and develop new materials with properties suitable for their intended use.

Several basic activities are developed in parallel with the Institute of Bioregion and complement each other:

BioDesign laboratory
Materials R&D and product development with internships by researchers (also in companies).

Bioregion Bank
Knowledge base on bioorganic raw materials (chemical topics), processing and production.

Exchange of residual raw materials
Platform for buying and selling organic residual raw materials and traceability.

Circular spin-off
Inclusive design methodology and further development from idea to solution proposal and prototyping.


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