Most of us see fungi as just food - and possibly pathogens. This is a mistake, because these amazing organisms are capable of much more: they grow on plant residues of all kinds, forming a dense and interconnected structure as they spread. The resulting material can be moulded into desired shapes and be turned into new sustainable and economically attractive products such as leather and polystyrene substitutes or building materials.
A major goal of the bioeconomy is to use larger quantities of biobased raw materials to produce energy, transport fuels and feedstock for industrial processes. This requires detailed analyses, simulations, concepts and processes. Major focus needs to be placed on issues relating to crop production, biomass potentials, land surface requirements, conversion technologies, biobased value creation networks and food security. Agriculture, forestry, waste management and the industry in general will need to work in concert as far as the raw materials all of them use or deal with are concerned.