PECT Ebre Bioterritori – Structures and tools for the economic transformation of the Terres de l’Ebre based on the implementation of innovative business models that allow and value the sustainable use of natural capital and the development of human capital

The Specialization and Competitiveness Project (PECT) Ebre Bioterritori promotes and facilitates the systemic transition (technical-economic and social), towards a model of sustainable exploitation of natural capital, articulating a stable innovation environment in the whole of Terres de l’Ebre (Baix Ebre, Monstià, Terra Alta and Ribera d’Ebre counties). The project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the European Union, within the framework of the ERDF Operational Program of Catalonia 2014-2020, an objective of investment in growth and employment.

The systemic change driven by the project implies that the innovation structures are set up to function permanently, transcending the duration of any project. In addition, it is intended to revolutionize the actors traditionally excluded from the innovation system so that they feel like an essential part of the process, contribute their knowledge and vision, contribute to the co-creation of solutions and are also evaluators of the final results.

The Ebro Delta is an area vulnerable to climate change, especially sea level rise, and to the scarcity of river water and sediments, who’s survival is threatened in the medium term due to coastal regression, subsidence, salinization, water stress and the loss of biodiversity. This notably affects economic activities such as agriculture and tourism, but also marine and coastal ecosystems.

Eurecat, from its Sustainability Area and the Technology Consultancy Department, participates in Operation 3 Living Lab Delta de l’Ebre, focused on the phases of knowledge generation and development and validation of innovations that will respond to the challenges identified above. This operation is part of priority axis 1 “Promoting research, technological development and innovation” and has a budget of 638,533 euros, of which 319,266 euros are co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

The objectives of this operation are:

  • Creation of a Living Lab to investigate and propose innovative solutions, with the methodology of co-creation, co-design and co-management with socioeconomic agents, on the following thematic axes: adaptation and mitigation of climate change; green infrastructure and other NBS; management of water and sediments of the Ebro River and Delta and ecotourism and responsible tourism.
  • Preparation of a Plan for Multifunctional Green Infrastructures and Tourist Uses of the Territory.
  • Evaluation of the operation of the NBS to optimize them.
  • Creation of jobs with high added value and act as a focal point for attracting talent to the territory.

The Living Lab Delta de l’Ebre, which will become the reference physical and social space in the territory for hosting entrepreneurial discovery activities, will be part of the Living Labs network that will promote the  Climate Resilience Centre (CRC) in Catalonia. The CRC, led by Eurecat, is a benchmark centre of excellence in Catalonia and internationally relevant, born with the aim of promoting research and innovation in adapting to the climate emergency, as well as seeking transformative solutions to advance towards sustainable development and digitization.

The Centre on Climate Resilience is promoted by Eurecat, the Amposta City Council and the Rovira i Virgili University (URV), in collaboration with other institutions and entities firmly linked to the territory and with a concern and firm commitment in adapting to climate change and promoting sustainability.

Within the framework of the PECT Ebre Bioterritori, the Living Lab will allow a scientific and multi-actor approach to develop knowledge and innovative solutions related to the main challenges of the Ebro Delta related to the effects of climate change. At the same time, Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) will be proposed to face and respond to the identified challenges. The NBS solutions will have an innovative component based on technology and environmental engineering that will respond to the sustainability dimension necessary to ensure the future of the territory. A very important part of the implementation of the NBS goes through the elaboration of a plan for multifunctional green infrastructures and tourist uses of the territory.

The PECT Ebre Bioterritori is led by the Baix Ebre County Council and has the participation of Eurecat, the Innomnium Civic Foundation, the Rovira i Virgili University (URV), the Terres de l’Ebre Environmental Policy Consortium (COPATE), the Cluster and Innovation Hub for Home and Contract Equipment (Cenfim) and the Sant Carles de la Ràpita City Council.