Accelerating innovative business models
BioHub has worked towards the creation of the BioHub model – a new business and operational model for forest biomass terminals – in order to improve the terminals’ ability to cater both traditional forest industries as well as emerging biorefining industries.
BioHub Model – A web-based support tool
Based on the work, BioHub Model has been able to provide new information on:
1. Business support
– the connection between business model choices and profitability,
2. Location and supply chain
– raw material availability and choice over terminal location
3. Design and operation
– terminal design, operational efficiency and methods for upgrading raw material at the terminal
4. Raw material quality
– guidelines for raw material treatment taking into account the different quality demands of different end-users.
Based on the results, the BioHub model was developed into the form of a web-based support tool in decision-making for terminal entrepreneurs and developers. Everything can be found in English, Swedish and Finnish. The results are also of use for the forest industry and biorefining industry.
The activities and results of the project have followed the project plan, and project goals have been met to the highest degree. The creation of the BioHub model and its adoption into use by Bastuträsk terminal has contributed to the programme specific goal of “increased utilization of innovations” in the BA area. The project has been highly active in marketing the model to terminal entrepreneurs and developers also outside the consortium. This has led to wider use of the model among terminal entrepreneurs and developers within and outside the BA region. Project partners will continue to work on the raw material supply chain for biorefining based on the results gained during BioHub.
There have also been additional results to those anticipated in the project plan. The development of the BioHub model has taught new ways of communicating science to target groups in a very concrete, long-lasting and user-friendly manner. The choice to have organisations specialized in communication (BFR and COAE) in the consortium alongside the research organisations has proven to be a good concept. It takes time and effort to “translate” the scientific results into language more familiar to the target group. This, however, has had a great impact on the results’ usability. The continuous dialogue between project researchers and communication officers has built up skills and a more service-oriented mindset among project partners that helps to see ones work from the perspective of the end-user or customer.
Furthermore, the idea of BioHub was based on previous BA-funded projects (especially Forest Refine) and there has now been over 15 years of cross-border project cooperation between consortia that have been established around an axis formed by SLU and Luke. Over the years, cross-border cooperation has increased the competence among partners on the fields of forest energy and forest-based biorefining which has led to an international group of experts with strong ties. This has contributed to new BA projects (e.g. TanWat) and new European networks and attracted more European funding to the region. The results have also affected policies. Over the years, and at the end of BioHub, there have been personnel changes as some project personnel moves to new employment opportunities. As a consequence, the results have spread to new venues. Also, through the existing connections between (former) project personnel, ties are formed with new institutions which can lead to new ideas and new consortia.