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Perspectives on the bioeconomy

The sustainable economic system known as the bioeconomy is based on two main pillars: the use of renewable raw materials rather than fossil raw materials, and biobased innovations. The aim of the bioeconomy is therefore not only to replace fossil raw materials, but also to develop completely new products and processes. In so doing, it contributes to and creates the conditions for a closed circular economy. Baden-Württemberg has the skills necessary to do this and the political will to promote the development of the bioeconomy.

It is often a long journey from an idea to industrial implementation and marketability. The first step involves perceiving a problem, because problem awareness can open the door to solutions. In the case of the bioeconomy, completely new ideas and technological perspectives are required, along with new approaches to existing technical systems. Political framework conditions and social dialogue on the environment, climate and sustainability are forces that can drive the transition to a biobased economy.

A growing understanding of global biological systems has led to many innovation success stories in the life and engineering sciences. The main focus of these activities is the benefits for humans and the environment. Research and development in research institutes and universities, start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large-scale industry make important contributions to the development of a sustainable, internationally competitive economic system based on biological raw materials and processes. The idea is to apply new approaches along the entire value chain: raw material cultivation, process and product development as well as the recycling of residual materials. Examples include new cultivation methods, biotechnologically produced fine and specialty chemicals and the use of algae for energy production or as a source for pharmaceuticals.

A bioeconomy can create growth, prosperity and employment. But it does so on a different resource base. In Baden-Württemberg this is linked politically to a firm commitment to sustainability.

The work being done and the advances in the area of innovative processes, technologies and concrete products are described on the following pages.

Perspectives on the bioeconomy

  • Mosses for pharmaceutical production - 16/09/2020

    The search for drug candidates for COVID-19 diseases is well underway. Factor H, which is part of the innate immune system, might also be a future therapeutic option. The Freiburg-based biotech company eleva has developed a technology for producing this human protein in moss cells. The active ingredient, which might also have a regulatory effect in other diseases, is currently undergoing preclinical testing.

  • Article - 14/09/2020

    Anyone who thinks hemp is just an inconspicuous plant, whose ingredients can be used, at best, as an intoxicant, can quickly be proven wrong. Besides being used as a valuable raw material for textiles and building materials, the plant has great potential as a medicinal drug. The CANNABIS-NET network, coordinated by the University of Hohenheim, has been set up to establish the basis for producing medicinal hemp in Germany.

  • Biochip systems - 02/09/2020

    Dr. Peter Loskill and his team at the Fraunhofer Institute in Stuttgart and the University Hospital of Tübingen are developing what is known as an "organ-on-a-chip" (OoC). An OoC is a microfluidic system that simulates small functional units of organ tissue. OoCs can be used in different ways: in basic and pharmaceutical research as well as in clinical research and application, where they might render many animal experiments…

Website address: https://www.biooekonomie-bw.de/en/bw/definition/perspectives-on-the-bioeconomy