The Joint Networking Workshop was one of the highlight events of the BioVill project and an unique opportunity for representatives of all seven pilot bioenergy villages from the target regions to meet and exchange experiences in the project implementation. The workshop gathered over 40 participants from Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia and Romania as well as representatives of resource institutions and organizations from Germany and Austria.

The Joint Networking Workshop was organized by Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities in Belgrade, Serbia in period 30-31 January 2018 with the aim to establish a functioning network among the stakeholders of the partner villages, to contribute to increase the ownership for the bioenergy projects, to foster exchange of experiences and best practice examples, and to identify similar challenges and lessons learnt for potential solutions among the involved partner villages.

The workshop was divided into three major sections which included presentation of each of seven pilot bioenergy villages to the audience, group discussions on different aspects of the implementation of bioenergy village concept and sharing the experiences with similar projects and programs in the region.

Each of the target villages had a chance to present the village and the situation regarding biomass potentials, existing infrastructure and relations between main actors. The section dedicated to the group discussions included exchanges on issues like:

  • What is the current stage of development in the villages concerning technological solutions for the planned biomass-based district heating network;
  • What are the major bottlenecks/challenges in planning/implementing the selected technical solutions;
  • What is the current stage of business model design and what would be the preferred organizational and management concept in different villages;
  • What is the current stage of discussion on political, social and environmental issues the villages;
  • What are the major bottlenecks/challenges concerning political support and social and environmental aspects?

The objective of the last section was to present and make participants aware of successful bioenergy project, best practices and approaches in Serbia. Also, the idea was to upscale the knowledge base of all actors in BioVill project, and to broaden networking possibilities for participating target villages.