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Continuing population and consumption growth are driving global food demand, with agricultural activity increasing to keep pace. Europe has a major agricultural waste problem, generating some 700 million tonnes of waste annually. There is an urgent need and huge opportunity to address the efficient use of agricultural wastes, co-products and by-products (AWCB) towards delivering sustainable value chains in the farming and processing sectors. As such, AgroCycle will convert low value agricultural waste into highly valuable products, achieving a 10% increase in waste recycling and valorisation by 2020. This will be achieved by developing a detailed and holistic understanding of the waste streams and piloting a key number of waste utilisation/valorisation pathways. It will bring technologies and systems from ~TRL4 to ~TRL7 within the 3 years of the project. A post-project commercialisation plan will bring commercially promising technologies/systems to TRL8 and TRL9, ensuring AgroCycle will have an enduring impact by achieving sustainable use of AWCB both inside and outside the agricultural sector, leading to the realisation of a Circular Economy.
AgroCycle addresses wastes from several agricultural sectors: wine, olive oil, horticulture, fruit, grassland, swine, dairy and poultry. The AgroCycle consortium is a large (25) multi-national group (including China) comprising the necessary and relevant multi-actors (i.e. researchers; companies in the technical, manufacturing, advisory, retail sectors (Large and SMEs); lead users; end users; and trade/producer associations) for achieving the project’s ambitions goals. Farming’s unique regional (rural) location means that AgroCycle will help reduce the EU’s Innovation Divide and address the Regional Smart Specialisation Strategies for each partner country: impact will be Regional with National and International dimensions. The presence of three partners from China ensures international synergies and a global impact.