Author: Mark Harvey Date: 04 May 2011 Impact Report
Our Research Catalogue contains grants and outputs data up to the end of April 2014. Records will no longer be updated after this date.
The transition to a sustainable bio-economy: innovation and expectations
- Start date: 01 October 2007
- End date: 31 March 2010
How can innovation both enhance economic growth and achieve sustainability through the development of renewable biologically-based resources to provide alternatives to petrochemical-based platforms for energy and materials? The combination of drivers to reduce dependence on depleting petrochemical resources; to reduce negative environmental impacts, notably climate change; to create significant new market opportunities for biotechnologies; and to improve energy security, constitute an historically novel impetus to innovation. A transition to a bio-economy raises biology and agriculture to a strategic economic significance that could not have been imagined twenty years ago.
The research compares contrasting bio-economy developments in Brazil, the USA and Europe. It will examine the diverse challenges, obstacles and potentials faced by countries endowed with different resources, natural and human. The bio-economy embraces innovation in new and ecologically sustainable agricultural inputs (biomass residues or new dedicated crops); new biological processes of converting biomass (biorefinery); and new biological products.
The research also explores new geographically distributed collaborations between firms, between firms and the science base, and the emergence of new bioeconomy firms and markets.
A key aspect of the research is the collaborative partnership between social scientists in Essex and Manchester and the Bioscience for Business Knowledge Transfer Network.