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Technology and the Future Bioeconomy


  • Zilberman, David
  • Kim, Eunice
  • Kirshner, Sam
  • Kaplan, Scott


New discoveries in the life sciences and the challenge of climate change are leading to the emergence of the bioeconomy where basic methods of advanced biology are applied to produce a wide array of products while also improving environmental quality. The emergence of the bioeconomy is a continuing evolutionary process of transition from systems of mining nonrenewable resource to farming renewable ones. This transition benefits from modern tools of molecular biology that have expanded human capacity to breed new organisms and utilize them in order to increase productivity in agricultural production and fisheries as well as produce a wide array of products that were extracted in the past. This transition is leading to the integration of the agricultural sector with the energy and mineral sectors. The introduction of biotechnology has already improved productivity of medicine, as well as agriculture but in the case of agriculture, has encountered resistance and regulatory constraints. The evolution of the bioeconomy requires continuous public investment in research and innovation, as well as the establishment of a regulatory framework and financial incentives and institutions that lead to continuous private sector investment in development and commercialization of new products. One of the big challenges is the development of a regulatory framework that will control possible human and environmental externalities from new biotechnology products, and at the same time not stifle innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Zilberman, David & Kim, Eunice & Kirshner, Sam & Kaplan, Scott, 2012. "Technology and the Future Bioeconomy," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 128523, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae12:128523

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Khanna, Madhu & Zilberman, David, 1997. "Incentives, precision technology and environmental protection," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 25-43, October.
    2. Peter Berck & Jeffrey M. Perloff, 1985. "The Commons as a Natural Barrier to Entry: Why There Are So Few Fish Farms," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 67(2), pages 360-363.
    3. Lichtenberg, Erik & Zilberman, David, 2002. "Storage Technology And The Environment," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 27(01), July.
    4. Zilberman David & Ameden Holly & Graff Gregory & Qaim Matin, 2004. "Agricultural Biotechnology: Productivity, Biodiversity, and Intellectual Property Rights," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-18, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lillian Hansen & Hilde Bjørkhaug, 2017. "Visions and Expectations for the Norwegian Bioeconomy," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(3), pages 1-17, February.
    2. Maciejczak, Mariusz, 6. "How To Analyze Bioeconomy?," Roczniki (Annals), Polish Association of Agricultural Economists and Agribusiness - Stowarzyszenie Ekonomistow Rolnictwa e Agrobiznesu (SERiA), issue 6.
    3. Shortall, O.K. & Raman, Sujatha & Millar, Kate, 2015. "Are plants the new oil? Responsible innovation, biorefining and multipurpose agriculture," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 360-368.
    4. Lisa Scordato & Markus M. Bugge & Arne Martin Fevolden, 2017. "Directionality across Diversity: Governing Contending Policy Rationales in the Transition towards the Bioeconomy," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(2), pages 1-14, February.
    5. Markus M. Bugge & Teis Hansen & Antje Klitkou, 2016. "What Is the Bioeconomy? A Review of the Literature," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(7), pages 1-22, July.
    6. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:8:p:1321-:d:106241 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

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