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Bioeconomy Changemakers Festival – Rome Edition

april 10th 2024

On the occasion of the Bioeconomy Changemakers Festival, which has been promoted by the European Commission (DG Research and Innovation) in cooperation with the Bioeconomy Youth Ambassadors, APRE and FVA New Media Research, in the context of the GenB project, ScienzaInsieme, and Cluster Spring have coordinated the Satellite Event – Rome Edition in collaboration with Lazio Innova and Unitelma Sapienza.

The Bioeconomy Changemakers Festival aimed to engage young people as a driver of the transformative change towards a sustainable circular bioeconomy in Europe. The Festival took place both in the high-level event in Brussels, where GenB participated as a session speaker explaining the project methodology and the main activities to encourage future generations to be aware and interested in environmental issues, sustainability and circularity, and in more than 30 satellite events, organised by third-party Entities, enabling young people from all over Europe to take part in the European initiative.

The Satellite Event “Bioeconomy Changemakers Festival – Rome Edition” took place from the 12th to the 14th March 2024, involving around 500 students coming from Middle and High Schools in the Region of Lazio. The Programme has been carried out as follows:


On 12 March ScienzaInsieme, with the support of some of its partners (Cnr-Artov, Enea and Ispra), organized a morning full of events, some such as Career Talks and hands up, were hosted by Cnr-Artov. Other interactive activities and meetings with researchers took place at the schools. The events for the Festival involved a total of 427 middle and high school students.


On the 14th of March, APRE, FVA New Media Research, Cluster Spring, with the support of Lazio Innova and Unitelma Sapienza, organized an intense morning of TEDx, Career Talks, games and interactive exhibitions involving 90 high school students, to raise awareness about the sustainable and circular bioeconomy. The event was hosted by Spazio Europa, an amazing public space located in the centre of Rome and managed by the Office in Italy of the European Parliament and the Representation in Italy of the European Commission.

APRE, as GenB Coordinator, opened the day by introducing the project objectives and the role of the GenB Ambassadors in promoting the sustainable and circular bioeconomy among peers and the large public.


Then, Lazio Innova presented their activities in the frame of their “Spazi Attivi” located in all the region and the “Startupper School Academy” Programme, aiming at promoting talent, innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity of the young high school students located in the Lazio Region.

GenB is partner of the initiative, supporting the challenge of sustainable living and bioeconomy in general. During this session, GenB Ambassador Cristian Colasanti shared his successful experience as one of the former winners of the special prize in bioeconomy of the Startupper School Academy, presenting his project GAIA, aiming at valorising the hemp value chain from its phytoremediation capacities, textile and construction applications, towards a virtuous end-of-life solution.


In parallel to the main event, the FabLabs of the eight Lazio Innova “Spazi Attivi” were organising various activities (hands-on labs, quizzes and games, presentations, debates and career talks), involving around 200 students in the whole Lazio region. Each FabLab focused on a specific dimension of the bioeconomy, connected to the local specificities. They were remotely connected with the main event to show their active engagement and enthusiastic participation.

GenB young Ambassadors Nicholas, Alice and Davide, jumped on stage to deliver the TEDx “Crickets for breakfast” in which they explained in an engaging way the bioeconomy, its contribution to the main environmental challenges, as well as the controversial aspects. The also presented some bio-based products to tease the curiosity of the audience, promoting a more sustainable lifestyle.


To challenge the audience’s understanding on these topics through a gamified approach, FVA New Media Research involved participants in a quiz game to test their knowledge and deepen their understanding on the matter. This represented a very enjoyable moment, during which students and teachers competed to give the right answers in the shortest time possible, to finally be awarded with the bio-based GenB gadgets.


During the following session, Cluster Spring moderated the Career Tasks where entrepreneurs and workers in bioeconomy shared their successful stories with the students, to inspire and attract towards these green careers. The pitches provided the speakers’ considerations of the many domains in which the bioeconomy can represent an opportunity for studying and working careers. In fact, the speakers came from different sectors of the green jobs, from the sustainability officer in a multinational company to the university Professor in the Economic Policy, together with young professionals from biotech companies and NGOs.



After the plenary session, the students were involved in a number of engaging activities and exhibitions:

Escape game: Escape4Future - Chemistry meets Circular Bioeconomy where inquiry-based learning and a gamified approach was integrated by FVA New Media Research through an escape game in which players faced a very current challenge. The objective of the game is to find the way out towards a more sustainable and circular lifestyle and students were engaged in solving six interconnected enigmas that address green chemistry and bioeconomy issues, through hands-on experiments or games.



BioArt Gallery: high-impact thematic panels covering all sectors of the bioeconomy were set up showing different types of raw materials and their applications;

Bioeconomy Village: several bio-based products used in everyday life were showcased, enabling the visitors to touch and feel the bioeconomy;

Social media Corner: The GenB Ambassadors took the opportunity to informally discuss with the students their role and the relevance to becoming drivers towards the solution of environmental challenges affecting our lifetime. Moreover, the GenB Ambassadors realised interviews with the students and key speakers to collect their perceptions on the initiative.