In 2012 the European Commission created its first bioeconomy strategy “Innovating for sustainable growth – A bioeconomy for Europe”. Research shows that in 2017, the bioeconomy in Europe generated 4.7% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the EU-27 and employed 8.9% of the labour force. However, a decade on from the initial strategy, growth and jobs are unevenly distributed across the Member States.
A successful bioeconomy is expected to generate environmental, social and economic benefits, such as:
- Reducing the carbon footprint of products
- Increasing resilience to climate change shocks
- Improving efficiency and reducing waste in industry and agriculture
- Creating healthy ecosystems
- Reducing land degradation
- Contributing to plastic-free seas and oceans
- Creating jobs in rural and coastal areas
- Knowledge-sharing of value chains that can be used by SMEs
- Improving competition in markets
Research in this collection demonstrates how investment and innovation in the bioeconomy can help different sectors, such as agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries, food, and forestry, to translate research into viable products and services. It studies connections between researchers, industry representatives, and regional policy makers and stakeholders, and analyses how these connections can develop business models, new value chains, and investment opportunities to sustain growth and productivity in the bioeconomy.
Dr Calliope Panoutsou, Imperial College London (UK)
Professor Justus Wesseler, Wageningen University and Research (Netherlands) How to submit
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