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ReLEAF Consortium Embarks on Groundbreaking Bio-Based Fertilizer Project with Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking funding

Wageningen, The Netherlands – March 3, 2024 – In an ambitious stride towards promoting circular economy principles, the ReLEAF Consortium has officially signed the Grant Agreement 101156998 for a landmark project co-funded by CBE JU (Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking), UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) and SERI (Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation). This consortium, comprising 17 leading companies, technology developers, and research organizations from 9 European countries, aims to revolutionize the bio-based fertilizer industry in alignment with the European Green Deal and the revised EU Bioeconomy Strategy.

The project focuses on the systemic transformation of the industrial sectors involved in the bioeconomy towards achieving climate neutrality, enhancing biodiversity, combating pollution, and reducing reliance on fossil resources. Through innovative solutions, the consortium plans to integrate novel technologies, establish sustainable value chains, and create circular business models. This will not only contribute to environmental sustainability but also to economic growth by creating new green jobs, fostering collaborations, and developing partnerships.

ReLEAF’s objective is to valorize widespread bio-waste streams across Europe—including sewage sludge, fish processing waste, mixed food waste, and agri-food residues—to produce safe, sustainable, and efficient bio-based fertilizers (BBFs). These BBFs are designed to improve soil health and quality, close nutrient cycles within the food value chain, and reduce dependency on imported mineral fertilizers. The project’s ambition is to leverage existing supply chains and sales channels of the ReLEAF partners to commercialize the developed solutions and products within the EU and globally.

Structured in seven work packages, the ReLEAF project aims to optimize feedstock requirements and technologies for compound extraction and ingredient production, demonstrate fertilizer formulation and production technologies, and assess fertilizer efficiency, soil quality, and product safety. Additionally, it will engage in exploitation and value chain co-creation to ensure circularity, conduct environmental, economic, and social sustainability assessments, and carry out dissemination, communication, and project management activities.

Through its comprehensive approach, ReLEAF aims to address significant challenges such as dependency on foreign supply chains and petroleum-based resources for fertilizer production, while promoting waste valorization and security of supply at a regional level. The project will demonstrate the effectiveness and replicability of BBFs in varying climate conditions and soil ecosystems across Europe, engage regional stakeholders through co-creation activities for widespread acceptance, and facilitate the rapid scale-up and industrialization of proposed technologies.

As the ReLEAF Consortium embarks on this transformative journey, it contributes not only to the “A Soil Deal for Europe” Mission objectives but also expands the BBF knowledge base throughout the continent, paving the way for a more sustainable and circular bioeconomy.

About ReLEAF Consortium. The ReLEAF Consortium is lead by Leitat and counts on leading European companies, technology developers, and research organizations committed to advancing sustainable agriculture and circular economy principles through the development of bio-based fertilizers.

For further information, please contact:

Coodinator ReLEAF project: Xialei You Chen ([email protected]),