GAIKER is working on the development of bio-waste-based amendments to reverse soil degradation

Bizkaia, News

The European project SOILUTIONS will validate and optimise four value chains to produce at least five bio-waste-based soil improvers.

GAIKER Technology Centre, a member of the Basque Research & Technology Alliance, BRTA, is one of the twelve partners participating in the European project “Enabling underused bio-waste feedstocks into safe and effective market-ready soil improvers, SOILUTIONS” whose objective is to reverse soil degradation by developing amendments derived from bio-waste.

Around 70% of soils in the European Union are degraded due to unsustainable management practices and excessive use of synthetic chemicals. This degradation is increasing and is endangering soil fertility and productivity.

Therefore, in order to address this major problem and provide sustainable alternatives derived from bio-waste, using a circular economy approach, this project funded by the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme has a duration of three years (2023-2026).

During this time, four value chains will be validated and optimised to produce at least five soil improvers generated from biowaste. Living Labs will be set up in Flanders, Valencia and Murcia to work directly with stakeholders in real-life environments to ensure that the developed soil improvers respond to market needs, that they have positive environmental, economic and social effects and that they meet social expectations and legal regulations.

The SOILUTIONS project is currently working on the chemical, biological and toxicological characterisation of the bio-waste that will later be transformed into soil improvers, and a review is being carried out of the different regulations that affect the placing on the market of these improvers.

GAIKER is responsible for the safety study of the biowaste that will be used as raw material for the development of soil improvers, and will ensure that they meet the established quality and safety requirements. This study includes the evaluation of the possible toxicological risks of the bio-waste and soil improvers to be developed, both for human health and the environment, by means of in vitro and ecotoxicity tests. In addition, a metagenomic analysis will be carried out to study possible changes in the structure of the bacterial communities in the presence of the soil amendments developed. The results of this safety study will be integrated and used to select safe soil amendment formulations, following a safe and sustainable design (SSbD) approach.

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The SOILUTIONS project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme and will run for 3 years from June 2023 to May 2026.

The 11 partners working on the project are the following: S.A. Agricultores De Lavega De Valencia (Coordinator – Spain), NuReSys (Belgium), CETENMA (Spain), GAIKER (Spain), Draxis Environmental (Greece), Greenovate! Europe (Belgium), Collaborating Centre On Sustainable Consumption And Production – CSCP (Germany), Las Naves (Spain), Entomo Consulting (Spain), Ghent University (Belgium), Fertiberia (Spain).


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