We waste too much food and something needs to be done about it – as a priority. Food waste affects the environment, the economy and our communities.

Every year, 41 million tonnes of food gets wasted in the Europe Union during processing. This amounts to 33% of all food waste.

This level of food waste drives up management and operational costs as it requires landfill, transport, and treatment plants.

It also raises social issues. Globally, a third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted (1.3 billion tonnes per year). If only a quarter of this were eaten, it would feed 870 million people, 12% of the world’s population.

Model2Bio will develop a predictive model to help identify, select and reuse organic waste streams. The model will specifically cover stream composition, volume and transformation as well as logistics and business cases. The project started in May 2020 and will run until October 2023.  

Behind this EU-funded project are think-tanks, research centres, technology developers, universities, industry (mainly small and medium-sized businesses) and clusters from Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Greece, Poland and Germany.

Expected results



At different recycling rates per country, the EU as a whole landfilled or incinerated 1 010 M tonnes of waste without energy recovery
*Eurostat, 2016

Potential solutions

To decrease by 10% agri-food waste landfilled or incinerated without energy recovery*

Uncontrolled disintegration of waste in landfills with high amounts of greenhouse gas emissions

To reduce by 20% the carbon footprint, giving a valorisation for up to 20% of the agri-food waste

One-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally (1.3 billion tons per year) *
* FAO, 2011

To transform 30% of residual streams in resources for other bio-industries

Expensive residual streams management, especially during peak harvest

To reduce by 20% logistic and residual stream management costs, by improving storage, transport and management

Conventional ways of managing agri-food waste do not consider it a resource or feedstock for other sectors

To increase income and business opportunities to agri-food and waste management companies

Better insight

about the organic residual stream.

Thorough knowledge about the most relevant biological, chemical, mechanical and thermal processes

in which the agri-food industry residual streams can be reused to obtain added value bio-products and energy.

10% improvement in the yields of fermentation processes.

And 20% in the yields in extraction processes.

10% less agri-food industry waste that is landfilled or incinerated without energy recovery

in EU countries within 5 years of the project ending.

20% smaller carbon footprint

of the total waste management process.

30% of residual streams transformed into resources

for other bio-industries.

Logistic and residual stream management costs down by 20%, through improved storage, transport and management.

To increase income and business opportunities for agri-food and waste management companies.

A stronger and more sustainable European Union food and drink industry,

more environmentally friendly and profitable.

For bio-based industry, 5-10% higher revenue.

New market opportunities for the use of renewable resources. Turning residue management problems into economic opportunities.

A spin-off within 5 years of the project

ending to commercialise the software.

As a Circular Economy project, it has the potential to create new job opportunities.

It is expected that 5 new jobs are going to be created within Model2Bio project.


A software platform with a first level of validation in a real-life environment in 4 countries: Spain, Netherlands, Belgium and Greece.

There will be a multidisciplinary team in each territory, called the Model2Bio Validation Club. This club will provide the operational and logistics information to feed the tool, define the scenarios to be verified, evaluate the results obtained by the tool, and propose improvements or new scenarios.

Although many commercial programmes for modelling, evaluation and optimisation of industrial processes exist, Model2Bio will be the only one to simulate the entire value chain and process.


Model2Bio Simulation Module

It will predict the composition, nature and quantity of the agri-food residual streams, as well as the potential of each stream to be recovered. It includes 4 Model Libraries: production line, residual stream intermediate treatments, bioprocesses and logistics.

Model2Bio Optimisation Algorithm

It will automatically calculate the best alternatives for managing, treating and reusing biodegradable residual streams. This is designed to consider all costs, boundaries and restrictions as way to bringing down global costs. 

LCA Module

After the algorithm has identified the best route alternatives, a set of commercial software programmes will evaluate the associated environmental and social impacts. The LCA support is composed of three LCA analyses: Life Cycle Assessment, Life Cycle Cost Analysis and Social Life Cycle Assessment.

Decision-Support System Tool

A software platform that will integrate and combine the Simulation Model, the Optimisation Algorithm and the LCA Module to seek out the best routes for managing agri-food industry waste.

Other exciting research projects

ALIGNED will collaborate with industries and representatives from five bio-based sectors: Construction, woodworking, textile, pulp and paper, and bio-chemicals to harmonize and advance the scientific use of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in the bio-based sector.


The models and tools developed in ALIGNED will allow to perform high-quality assessment studies across the bio-based sectors, with industrial relevance and interoperability.

The ALIGNED project has the following 3 objectives:

  1. Improve, harmonize, and align LCA methodology for the assessment of bio-based industries.
  2. Demonstrate the power of the methodology to improve the environmental performance of five specific biobased technologies.
  3. Inform, involve, and empower all relevant stakeholders, enabling an efficient methodological uptake.

Taking into account the challenges experienced in the agri-food ecosystem (increasing volatility across a range of business parameters like energy cost fluctuations, logistic restrictions, currency exchange rate, resource scarcity, etc.) and building on opportunities identified during the pandemic, the overall objective of the B-Resilient project is to empower food producing and processing SMEs (FP² SMEs) to become more resilient by means of an optimum use of biomass. Since biomass is the key component of the agri-food ecosystem and the bioeconomy, the project will focus on maximising usage of available feedstock and the valorisation of side-streams into bio-based ingredients in a wide variety of ways, building on zero-waste and circular concepts.


Noteworthy, the needs and opportunities in the agri-food sector overlap very much with those in other sectors dealing with the formulation of new/improved/more fossil-free and locally sourced products as a key step: all industrial sectors working with bio-based ingredients, i.e. ingredients and building blocks derived from biomass.


B-Resilient will therefore link the agri-food ecosystem with key sectors working with bio-based ingredients (with the emphasis on agri-food, cosmetics, green chemistry and the transversal bio-based economy sector) with the aim of stimulating cross-sectoral fertilization during the quest for new products meeting customer demand.


The B-Resilient project set an ambitious package of support actions to empower food producing and processing SMEs to become more resilient by means of an optimum use of biomass, and with appropriate digital solutions. The project will focus on maximising usage of available feedstock and its subsequent valorisation of side streams into innovative bio-based ingredients.


The B-Resilient project is built on a zero-waste and circular concept, improving the competitiveness of food processing SME from an environmentally sustainable perspective.

Agri-food value chains, from primary production down to final household consumption and disposal, are notoriously inefficient. Globally, a third of all food produced for humans is lost or wasted. In Europe the cost of food loss (food that has become unfit for consumption before it reaches the consumer) and waste (the discarding of food that is fit for consumption, either before or after it spoils) accounts for €143 billion.

Coordinated by the University of Deusto and comprising 27 partners from 10 different European countries, the EU-funded FOODRUS project aims to limit food loss and waste, and to promote resource efficiency across all stages of the agri-food value chain.


FOODRUS is working to tackle food waste and loss by creating resilient food systems across nine European regions. To achieve this, the project will test 23 circular solutions through diverse forms of collaborative innovation, including among others: technological (ICT solutions to manage food losses and waste), social (educational materials and citizen science activities to promote sustainable consumption habits), organisational (last mile networks to foster local consumption and donation), and fiscal (new ‘Pay As You Throw’ schemes).


The FOODRUS solutions will be tested at three demonstrations across Europe: a cross-regional Spanish pilot focused on vegetables and prepared salads; a Danish pilot centred on meat and fish; and a Slovakian pilot analysing the bread value chain. FOODRUS will also engage with six follower regions who will implement the same solutions in their own local contexts.

4,5 million ton of olive leaves are produced annually in the world by the olive oil industry, a key industry in southern Europe and along the Mediterranean coast. This recalcitrant biomass represents a problem for both the farmers and the whole olive oil industry, who need to remove it from the fields and the olive oil mills. This biomass is nowadays burnt in the fields, given to the cattle or, in some cases, combusted to produce energy. The industry is seeking a solution that makes the whole valorisation process stable and economically feasible. Olive leaves have a great potential for valorisation derived from their high content in bioactive compounds and an abundant lignocellulosic fraction.

The goal of OLEAF4VALUE is to set up the basis of a smart value chain based on a newly developed 4.0 concept: Smart Dynamic Multi-Valorization-Route Biorefinery (SAMBIO) for the cascade valorization of the olive leaf biomass according to its physicochemical composition, particularly modulated by specific pretreatments to produce target products. Advanced green extraction and isolation technologies will be used to sequentially separate all fractions and compounds of value, with a zero-waste approach. The project will give a new life to olive leaves, solving the problem of its removal from the fields while obtaining high added value bioactive compounds with high-market potential.