BioBoosters - Boosting the circular transition

Võiste Hackathon Sparks International Innovation in Circular Bioeconomy

27 May 2024
Pärnu, Estonia – May 21, 2024 – The BioBoosters Võiste Hackathon, held on May 16-17 at the Pärnu County Development Centre’s Innovation Hub, successfully brought together international teams and mentors to develop sustainable solutions for biomass valorization in tomato horticulture.
Technical details


This event, organized by Pärnu County Development Centre and Võiste Greenhouse in collaboration with eight bioeconomy innovation hubs from the Baltic Sea Region, marked a pivotal moment in advancing the circular bioeconomy in Pärnu County.

Six international teams from Sweden, Finland, Poland, and Estonia worked intensively over two days to present their innovative solutions aimed at transforming horticultural residue biomass into valuable resources. The event featured 12 international mentors who provided guidance and expertise, fostering an environment of collaboration and creativity.

The highlight of the hackathon was the announcement of the winning team – Biochar from Bydgoszcz University of Science and Technology in Poland. Their solution to convert greenhouse biomass into biochar impressed judges with its innovativeness, economic viability, technical feasibility, and environmental impact. This versatile product can be used as a fertilizer, soil improver, filtration material, cosmetics ingredient, and phytotoxins absorber, enhancing Võiste Greenhouse’s business model and sustainability impact.

Mirko Metsaoru, the owner of Võiste Greenhouse, expressed his satisfaction: “The whole hackathon process was exceptionally well-organized, and we are thrilled with the wide range of solutions that emerged. The level of innovation and the high quality of solutions presented far exceeded our expectations. This event underscored the immense potential of international cooperation in tackling sustainability challenges and advancing the circular bioeconomy. The winning solution not only meets our needs but also opens up exciting new avenues for us in technology and market opportunities.”

Võiste Greenhouse plans to proceed with the Biochar team by identifying the biochemical properties of biochar produced from Võiste’s green biomass using pyrolysis technology and mapping the bioeconomy value chains for its most beneficial applications. “Beyond the promising solution for our sustainability challenge, the greatest value from the Võiste Hackathon is the extensive national and international network of industry experts and solution providers. This network is invaluable as we continue to explore and develop future business models,” concluded Metsaoru.

VõisteHackathon is part of the international BioBoosters project, led by Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences and co-funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme. The project brings together nine innovation networks in the bioeconomy sector from countries around the Baltic Sea: Finland, Sweden, the Baltic States, Poland, and Germany. The project organizes 18 Hackathons to support responsible business practices and the transition to a circular economy for bioeconomy companies.