MIDAS carries out a wide range of activities at different levels and scales of multiple bio-based value chains.


Mapping available marginal land

Improve the understanding and the spatially explicit representation of the actual and future available marginal land in Europe.
Assess the feedstock potential, the effects on biodiversity, the provision of ecosystem services, as well as the socio-economic impacts of the production of low ILUC risk biomass in available marginal land at scale.


Crop breeding

Optimize selected non-edible crops adapted to marginal agricultural lands through modern biotechnology tools.
Advanced breeding of new resource efficient hybrids and varieties adapted to growing in marginal land and evaluation in multi-location trials.
Testing and demonstration of selected crops in multi-location trials.


Agronomic optimization and resource efficiency

Tailor agronomic practices for low-inputs and water needs to increase the crop efficiency in marginal land.
Application of an innovative subirrigation system in dry Mediterranean areas.
Circular use of MIDAS bio-products on crops grown on marginal lands (biochar, bioherbicides, biostimulants, mulching film).


Farm-scale case studies of innovative cropping systems

Demonstrate case-studies of innovative biomass cropping systems in marginal agricultural land in Italy, Germany, Greece, Spain, Serbia, Poland, Czech Republic, France and Hungary, to produce different types of feedstock for multiple bio-based products.
Farm-scale trials of agroforestry systems including short rotation woody crops intercropped with annual industrial crops.


Setup of Regional Advisory Groups

Work for the farmers with the farmers and with local partners to optimize agricultural practices and to seize the opportunities offered by diversified agricultural systems designed for marginal land.
Understand the co-benefits, potential risks and upscaling potentials of the innovative farming systems to prevent land abandonment in the marginal areas.


Environmental and biodiversity assessment

Development of environmental indicators to assess the beneficial effects of the new farming systems on the ecological networks and their potential for landscape improvement in marginal land.
Insect count and flowering area surface measurements at field scale to assess the potential biodiversity impacts and biodiversity restoration capacity of the new farming systems.
Development of guidelines for the upscaling of the new cropping systems ensuring the conservation and the possible restoration of insect populations. in marginal land.


Harvesting solutions for industrial crops

Improvement of existing harvesting methods including drying, storage and pre-treatment of woodchips from woody species.
Adaptation of existing machineries to reduce seed loss during harvesting of crambe and safflower, reduce castor bean breaking, seed loss and impurities by combine harvesters.
Demonstrate mechanized solutions for single step harvest and collection of different biomass fractions (tops, seeds, stems) in fiber crops.
Optimize biomass harvest and the extraction of rubber from guayule plants.


Production of multiple biobased products in a biorefinery approach

Development of a range of bio-based products with a cascade use of biomass adopting a biorefinery approach: biochemicals, biocomposites, elastomers, biolubricants, agricultural biostimulants, biodegradable mulching films, adhesive and coatings, latex, rubber, phytosanitary products, MDF and particle boards, nanocarbons, biochar.
Development of guidelines for the upscaling of the new cropping systems ensuring the conservation and the possible restoration of insect populations. in marginal land.


Sustainable value chains for bio-based products

Screening of potential biomass-to-products pathways for different types of industrial non edible crops.
Integrated sustainability assessment: environmental assessment, Life Cycle Costing, Social Life-Cycle-Analysis.
Design of integrated strategies for designing sustainable value chains web concepts for woody crops, oil crops, fiber crops.
Development of a roadmap with practical recommendations for the establishment of bio-based value chains and for the development of viable business models.


Sustainable business plans for European farms with marginal land

Develop business plans for farmers by engaging with the farming community and academia through the case studies.
Operate the farm level case studies who act as facilitators together with the Regional Advisory Groups.
Co-create sustainable business plans together with farmers and industrial actors, to foster circularity and entrepreneurship and to enable farmers to seek financing at national level.
Training on sustainable circular business models.


Dissemination, communication and exploitation

Mapping of the key stakeholders potentially interested in taking up the project results.
Dissemination of project results via scientific publications, events, stakeholders workshops, webinars.
Communication to a wider audience via social media, articles, videos.