Advancing the Bioeconomy in this Legislative Period

Bioeconomy Council calls on new Federal Government to act

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20.03.2018 -

For a long time, Germany was seen as a pioneer in climate protection and especially in building up a biobased economy. The Federal Government's Bioeconomy Council sees indications that Germany will lose this leading position. The Bioeconomy Council appeals to the new Federal Government to once again treat the promotion of the bioeconomy as a cross-departmental core task and to create framework conditions conducive to innovation. 

Germany has a vibrant bioeconomy landscape which has gained international recognition through a combination of research efforts, unconventional ideas, entrepreneurial ventures and targeted public funding. The Federal Government laid the foundation for this in 2010 with the National Research Strategy Bioeconomy. “The task now is to revise the strategy so that it picks up on and shapes current developments. Otherwise there is a threat that Germany will lose its leading position in the bioeconomy. There are already signs of this in areas linking bioscientific innovations with other key technologies and with digitization,” says Prof. Dr. Christine Lang, Co-Chair of the German Bioeconomy Council.

With a new position paper, the Bioeconomy Council points to the need to develop a new agenda for innovations from the bioeconomy. To this end, the policy should be guided by the Council’s recommendations for further development of the bioeconomy research strategy[i] and also by the High-Tech Forum’s[ii] recommendations. “The biobased economy makes important contributions to sustainability,” adds Prof. Dr. Joachim von Braun, Co-Chair of the Bioeconomy Council. “Bioeconomy innovations protect the environment, the climate and resources. With improved products and production methods, they contribute to added value and attractive jobs and increase the population’s quality of life.”  He said that it was the task of the new Federal Government and the parliamentarians of the 19th legislative period to create the framework conditions necessary for this.

In its position paper, the Bioeconomy Council encourages stronger political commitment, particularly in the following five areas:

1. Shaping the bioeconomy’s contribution to Germany’s sustainability strategy and making it measurable.

2. Supporting the bioeconomy and the life sciences as drivers of innovation in an agenda for innovations from the bioeconomy with the following measures:

--> Building on the successes in an amended bioeconomy research strategy and endowing it with at least EUR 3 billion for the next six years.[iii]--> Venturing new formats in the innovation policy which allow lateral thinking and promote cooperation.

--> Linking bioeconomy more closely with digitization. 

--> Activating the German capital market for start-ups and growth companies of the bioeconomy by providing incentives.

3. In addition to technical and multidisciplinary training in the natural sciences, greater educational focus should be placed on promoting creativity and a willingness to take risks for entrepreneurship.

4. Pooling the regional bioeconomy activities across Germany and interlinking them unbureaucratically on a platform.

5. Political commitment from Germany for a joint European bioeconomy policy in the forthcoming revisions of the EU agricultural policy and the new research framework program.


[i] Bioeconomy Council (2016): Further development of the “National Research Strategy Bioeconomy 2030”, available at: biooekonomierat.de/fileadmin/Publikationen/empfehlungen/BOER_Empfehlungspapier_ENG_final.pdf

[ii] High-Tech Forum (2017): Gemeinsam besser: Nachhaltige Wertschöpfung, Wohlstand und Lebensqualität im digitalen Zeitalter – Innovationspolitische Leitlinien des Hightech-Forums [Better Together: Sustainable Added Value, Prosperity and Quality of Life in the Digital Age – Innovation Policy Guidelines of the High-Tech Forum], available at: www.hightech-forum.de/en/

[iii] EUR 2.3 billion were allocated in the past 6 years.

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