Waste2Bio Initiative

Waste2Bio, initiated by the Walloon Region and coordinated by the University of Liège, unites stakeholders for waste management under the European Smart Specialization Strategy. It involves diverse partners in raising awareness, co-designing R&I projects, and implementing nature-based solutions in the Walloon region.

An initiative of Waste2Bio Initiative

Overview of the project

Objectives and strategy
The presence of a large number of derelict and polluted sites in Wallonia (3,228 ha of sites in need of redevelopment and 40,000 potentially polluted hectares) is the starting point for our Initiative. In a context of climate change, declining biodiversity, no net land take and increasing competition for the allocation of land for different uses, these derelict sites represent an undeniable reservoir of land for establishing a plant cover that provides multiple ecosystem services.
Waste2Bio proposes an integrated approach to rehabilitating these sites in an economically viable way with a positive impact on the environment. Waste2Bio aims to create, by 2027, an operational platform deploying nature-based solutions to restore value to brownfield sites on a temporary or permanent basis. Plant cover can have several functions: immobilising or degrading pollutants, regenerating soil functions, producing biobased products, enhancing biodiversity, improve the quality of water resources, prevent flooding, act on the climate and improve the quality of life of citizens.


Rehabilitating wastelands with nature-based solutions that deliver multiple ecosystem services.

Level of progress


Project timeline


Quantitative results
  • Key results since the initiative was launched
  • 134 organisations and companies have joined the initiative
  • A workshop was held with 80 stakeholders to define the areas of work to be carried out.
  • 8 working groups have been identified and have started or will start work.
  • 300 ha of land identified for testing and implementing nature-based solutions

Walloon region

About the

Waste2Bio Initiative

Nouet Cécile
Coordination team

Launched at the initiative of the Walloon Region as part of the European Smart Specialization Strategy (S3), the Waste2Bio initiative is coordinated by the University of Liège, in close collaboration with a steering committee made up of representatives of the quadruple helix. The aim is to federate Walloon stakeholders including researchers, businesses, farmers, public bodies, local government, professional federations, non-profit associations and citizens’ groups – raise awareness among landowners/managers of the importance of caring for wastelands, co-design R&I projects, and deploy and implement nature-based solutions.