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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

  • Article - 10/07/2019

    Plants are often used for one particular purpose only. However, walnut trees have much more to offer than just delicious nuts. The AlpBioEco project is studying the potential of walnut trees for the bioeconomy and how the potential can be exploited commercially. The international team of researchers is also focusing on apples and herbs.

  • Article - 04/07/2019

    In 2018, Germans consumed 235 chicken eggs per head. While egg white and egg yolks are processed into cakes, pasta or scrambled eggs, the shell predominantly ends up as organic waste. This despite the fact that eggshells are complex composites of lime and protein fibres. “It has repeatedly been shown over recent years that natural products are excellently suited for energy storage,” explains Professor Maximilian Fichtner from the Helmholtz Institute Ulm, a facility that comes under the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Karlsruhe.

  • Article - 01/07/2019

    Medicines should act as quickly as possible and ideally only at the site of disease. However, this may be difficult when the medicines are taken up via the digestive tract or the blood system. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart have now developed a biohybrid microrobot consisting of red blood cells and bacteria that can be loaded with active ingredients and guided through the body to deliver drugs to specific regions.

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