BISC-E 2023 Competiton and Final

BISC-E (Bio-Based Innovation Student Challenge – Europe) invites students from all disciplines to design solutions that contribute to a sustainable and circular economy. Are you ready to develop an innovative bio-based solution to help overcome hurdles standing in the way of a climate-neutral Europe? These innovative products or services can tackle technological, environmental or societal challenges, as long as they are wholly or partly derived from renewable biological sources.

The BISC-E (Bio-Based Innovation Student Challenge – Europe), hosted by the Bio-based Industries Consortium, invites interdisciplinary teams of university students across Europe to design imaginative solutions that contribute to a sustainable and circular economy. These innovations address technological, environmental, or societal challenges in Europe’s journey towards sustainability, emphasising a ‘bio-based’ approach, using materials derived wholly or partly from renewable biological sources.

The 2023 Bio-Based Innovation Student Challenge – Europe (BISC-E) competition was held at Tangent, Trinity University’s Ideas Space in Dublin. Two teams competed to represent Ireland in the European arena; Circle-P, a student project dedicated to utilising biorefineries for the recovery and recycling of phosphorus from industrial wastewaters and Bioluminescent Plants, which focused on gene manipulation in plants to create sustainable bio-lighting sources.

A panel of judges, composed of industry and academic experts from BiOrbic, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, and the Circular Bioeconomy Research Group at Munster Technological University (MTU), evaluated the technological and economic feasibility of the competing projects. Both sets of students explored the potential of natural ‘bio-based’ materials to address known future challenges.

Circle-P were announced as the 2023 Irish champions. The team, Shon George Shiju, Eanna Dowling, and Brian Mattimoe from MTU, earned the opportunity to represent Ireland against twelve European teams. While the overall winners of the BISC-E 2023 competition were BioAroma, a French team lauded for their innovative approach to sustainably producing 2-PE through novel fermentation processes, Circle-P’s outstanding contribution garnered well-deserved recognition.  

Zoe Rush, Education and Outreach Manager of IKC3 at MTU, said, “The BISC-E competition offers students a valuable chance to apply their expertise and skills towards tackling the pressing sustainability challenges of our time.”

“The bioeconomy is rapidly developing in Ireland as society shifts towards nature-based products and services. We are committed to nurturing interdisciplinary teams, fostering entrepreneurial skills in design and innovation for the bioeconomy, and providing guidance on impact analysis and effective communication.”