LOCATION: Mallorca, Spain
SUMMARY: A revolutionary tool for realising the potential of the bio-economy and supporting local sustainable livelihoods. By combining earth observation techniques, a mobile bioreactor and an ecosystem perspective, stakeholders can understand what local bio-resources are available and how to use them sustainably to their greatest potential.
PROBLEM SPACE: "In an era of resource scarcity, climate change, pollution and waste we need a step change in how we manage resources. There is huge unrealised potential in local natural resources (the bio-economy) but often we do not understand what we have and how to use it in a sustainable way.
We need to be able to make informed decisions about local resources with the best possible information on availability and potential whilst understanding how use of these resources can best serve the wider system.
Effective capture of resources requires a move from centralised production to a decentralised, cyclical model where local economies are resilient to future challenges such as; resource price volatility and fossil fuels scarcity.
We will support this transition by:
- Using satellite and local data to quickly and cheaply assess the bio-productivity of a given region quantitatively and qualitatively
- Using a mobile bioreactor to test the potential for transforming diverse local waste streams into active ingredients for regional use.
- Using these insights to support an "ecosystems" approach to the management of local bio-resources using cascades of material and energy use.
- Using this practical experience to create a wider systemic shift in local resource management."
SOLUTION: "We are going to showcase a new systems approach to sustainable resource management. We are going to build a smart, mobile bioreactor that can be transported to sites with plentiful resources identified by satellite data and local stakeholders. An integrated management system will show volumes of local materials and potential for bio-transformation into ingredients that are advantageous to the local economy and environmentally sustainable.
Mallorca is an island with approximately 900,000 inhabitants. Traditional agriculture generates thousands of tons of waste whilst Mallorca imports huge amounts of food and commodities to satisfy the demands of the locals and the 13 million tourists.
We have four initial objectives:
- Design and build a mobile bioreactor that will accept a range of agricultural and agro-industrial streams to study the bioconversion of agricultural wastes.
- Develop an online, interactive software solution that integrates available ground data, satellite data and output data from a bioreactor to explore potential uses of agricultural wastes for transformation.
- To test the idea of "business functioning like an ecosystem" by creating regional products for regional use e.g. cleaning materials.
- To engage local farmers, businesses and entrepreneurs in assessing the potential to create a regional bio-economy."