On the one hand, a bioeconomy relies on renewable resources to meet society’s need for food, energy and industrial products. On the other, it emphasises the role of biogenic material flows. The bioeconomy model is expected to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels in the long term. In order to implement the shift from a fossil-based economy to a biobased economy on the regional level, the Baden-Württemberg government launched the Bioeconomy Research Strategy in summer 2013.
What is a bioeconomy?
The bioeconomy, or biobased economy, is a new model for industry and the economy. It involves using renewable biological resources sustainably to produce food, energy and industrial goods. It also exploits the untapped potential stored within millions of tons of biological waste and residual materials.
The transition from a fossil fuel-based to a biobased economy is expected to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and achieve more sustainability as well as contribute to climate and environmental protection. The Baden-Württemberg government is working towards establishing a regional bioeconomy.
The bioeconomy involves breaking up plants into their component parts as completely as possible and converting them into valuable materials. It is expected that this challenge will be met in the future by large biorefineries with many coordinated process steps.
In recent years, the bioeconomy has also become a key focus of political and technological interest both nationally and internationally. In 2010, the German government adopted the "National Research Strategy BioEconomy 2030" and in a press statement released on 13th February 2012, the European Commission states: "Europe needs to make the transition to a post-petroleum economy. Greater use of renewable resources is no longer just an option, it is a necessity." In its current EU research programme, Horizon 2020, the European Commission places the bioeconomy at the heart of its investment programme.