Towards a Bioeconomy in Europe: National, Regional and Industrial Strategies
Establishing an advanced European bioeconomy is an important step in achieving the transition towards sustainable development and away from fossil fuels. The bioeconomy can be defined as an economy based on the sustainable production and conversion of renewable biomass into a range of bio-based products, chemicals, and energy. Several strategies have been produced in Europe from different perspectives that outline visions, intentions, and recommendations for the transition to a bioeconomy. An analysis of twelve of these strategies was conducted using a meta-analytical framework. This paper outlines the results of this study covering national, regional, and industrial perspectives on the bio-based economy in Europe. The analysis shows that a common direction for the bioeconomy, based on research and technological innovation in the various applications of biotechnology, is developing in Europe. It highlights the important role that the regional level will play in facilitating collaborations between industries and research institutions needed to foster innovation and optimize the use of biomass. The analysis also identifies that the development of European bio-based product markets are needed for bioeconomy expansion. However, the transition needs to have a lifecycle perspective in order to ensure that an economy founded on biomass is sustainable and equitable.
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