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Development of bio-waste improvers to reverse soil degradation

The European SOILUTIONS project will validate and optimise four value chains to produce at least five bio-waste soil improvers.

The GAIKER Technology Centre, member of the Basque Research & Technology Alliance, BRTA, is one of the twelve partners participating in the European "Transforming underused bio-waste feedstocks into safe and effective market-ready soil improvers,SOILUTIONS" project whose objective is to reverse soil degradation by developing bio-waste improvers.

Around 70% of EU soils are degraded due to unsustainable management practices and the overuse of synthetic chemicals. This degradation is increasing and is endangering the fertility and productivity of the soil.

Therefore, in order to tackle this major problem and offer sustainable alternatives derived from bio-waste, using a circular economy approach, this project is funded by the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme and will run for three years (2023-2026).

During this time, four value chains will be validated and optimised to produce at least five bio-waste soil improvers. Living Labs will also be set up in Flanders, Valencia and Murcia to work directly with stakeholders in real-life environments and hence, ensure that the soil improvers developed address market needs, have positive environmental, economic and social effects and meet social expectations and legal regulations.

The SOILUTIONS project is currently working on the chemical, biological and toxicological characterisation of the bio-waste that will later be transformed into soil improvers, and a review is being carried out of the different regulations that affect placing these improvers on the market.

GAIKER is responsible for the safety study of the bio-waste that will be used as a raw material for the development of the soil improvers, and will ensure that they meet the established quality and safety requirements. This study includes the assessment of the potential toxicological risks of the bio-waste and soil improvers to be developed, both for human health and the environment, by means of in vitro and ecotoxicity tests. In addition, a metagenomic analysis will be carried out to study possible changes in the structure of the bacterial communities in the presence of the developed soil improvers. The results of this safety study will be integrated and used to select safe soil improver formulations, following a safe and sustainable design (SSbD).


The SOILUTIONS project is funded by the European Union's Horizon Europe research and innovation programme and will run for 3 years from June 2023 to May 2026.

The 11 partners working on the project are: S.A. Agricultores De Lavega De Valencia (Coordinator – Spain), NuReSys (Belgium), CETENMA (Spain), GAIKER (Spain), Draxis Environmental (Greece), Greenovate! Europe (Belgium), Collaborating Centre On Sustainable Consumption And Production – CSCP (Germany), Las Naves (Spain), Entomo Consulting (Spain), Ghent University (Belgium), Fertiberia (Spain).

The SOILUTIONS project is funded by the European Union.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Executive Agency (REA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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