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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

  • Bioinspired technologies - 03/04/2020

    The CRISPR-Cas gene-editing technology is one of the most important developments in molecular biology in recent years. It utilises molecular scissors with which nucleic acids can be cut and edited almost arbitrarily. Researchers in Freiburg, Germany have now successfully used the technology for diagnostic purposes. They are currently working intensively on expanding the system to enable it to detect genome sequences of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus.

  • Multiple sclerosis - 12/03/2020

    There is currently no cure for multiple sclerosis, the most common neurological autoimmune disease in humans. Biopharmaceuticals that can delay the course of the disease or diminish its effects are often prevented from being fully effective by the blood-brain barrier. A European consortium led by the Fraunhofer IGB, Stuttgart is developing a new technology that can transport an innovative active ingredient directly to the central nervous system.

  • Novel coronavirus outbreak - a status report on recent developments - 04/03/2020

    Researchers around the world are working frantically on the development of a vaccine against the new coronavirus. A project by the Tübingen-based biotechnology company CureVac, funded by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), uses the company’s technology platform for mRNA-based vaccines to accelerate vaccine development, thus contributing to the future prevention of the disease.

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