Applied research is a form of systematic inquiry involving the practical application of science. It accesses and uses some part of the research communities' (the academia's) accumulated theories, knowledge, methods, and techniques, for a specific, often state-, business-, or client-driven purpose. Applied research is contrasted with pure research (basic research) in discussion about research ideals, methodologies, programs, and projects.


Please find below some biobased applied research cases executed by Living Lab Biobased Brazil partners.

Solid urban waste management: Cooperation & Consortium development

In June 2016, two Dutch SME companies which are active in the area of urban solid waste management approached the International Environmental Sciences department of Avans about the current R&D activities on urban solid waste management in cooperation with the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) Brazil. The companies had interest in developing activities in Brazil, since they are aware of the great potential for exporting both knowledge and technology. 


Solid waste poses a major problem in Brazil which affects 200 million residents. The Brazilian municipalities collect around 71 million tons solid municipal waste on a yearly basis and only a tiny percentage of this collected waste gets recycled. As such. the overwhelming majority of the collected urban solid waste goes to landfills. Within the State of Minas Gerais there are 850 towns of which 600 have less than 20.000 residents and are agriculturally oriented. Current organic waste composting practices take place under very poor conditions (pathogens and weeds still remain in the compost) and most often the resulting compost product is not well received by its residential and agricultural consumers. As such there is huge room for improvement. The SME companies work with Avans and UFMG to address these challenges. The joint research team consisting of the two Dutch SME companies and the two Research and educational institutes have defined the following research question: What is the current status of organic solid waste management in Minas Gerais and how can cooperation between Brazil and the Netherlands result in a win-win for both countries?

Circular Dairy Economy through Private Sector Investment in Brazil

This pre-study anticipates to a SIA call focussing on circular and bio-based economy in Brazil. It is linked to the Living Lab Brazil managed by Avans University of Applied Sciences. Although the dairy value chain will benefit from both circular and bio-based principles, this pre-study will be limited to circular systems.


There is a vast potential for investment by the Dutch and Brazilian private sector in the dairy value chain in Minas Gerais (MG), Brazil. There is also ample room to improve production efficiency towards a more circular system. Notwithstanding the business opportunities in the Brazilian dairy sector, there are challenges in attracting and consolidating partnerships along the circular-based value chain. A better understanding of the demands, challenges and opportunities of the interested Dutch companies is highly relevant to develop sustainable circular-based dairy value chains. Therefore, the goal of our project proposal is the exploration of a potential Dutch business network that is interested to invest in the Brazilian circular dairy value chain, and an exploration of the potential business opportunities for the Dutch and Brazilian dairy sector. 


The consortium in our proposal is conformed as follows: 

(a) Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences (VHL). VHL is the leading knowledge institute. Vilentum University of Applied Sciences and the Federal University of Viçosa will participate through VHL. 

(b) Alta Genetics BV; (c) Groasis BV.


To achieve our goal we focus on the following questions:

  • What is the potential and what are the bottlenecks for the Dutch private sector (SME’s) to increase business opportunities in the dairy sector of MG?
  • What are the business opportunities to develop and innovate circular-based dairy value chains through the Dutch and Brazilian private sector with dairy breeding and agro-silvopastoral farming as pilots?

The outputs of this study will be:

  • A list of potential Dutch private investors, both interested but hesitating and/or already successful. Basically we would like to identify “partners” and to build up a business network where we could match-make the Dutch companies with the Brazilian companies or clients;
  • A pre-proposal including intentions for further collaboration; 
  • Three detailed reports with marketing and investment opportunities and/or research strategy in relation to circular-based economy in: general dairy chain, dairy breeding and agro-silvopastoral farming. The latter two topics must be considered as pilots for the entire dairy value chain.