Bioeconomy Council welcomes recommendations of High-Tech Forum
The bioeconomy is one of six future topics recommended for Germany’s innovation policy by the prestigious High-Tech Forum. In addition to digitization, the biologization of industry and sustainable development are the key drivers for future progress.
According to the High-Tech Forum, the bioeconomy, i.e. the sustainable and innovative use of biological resources and the further development of biological processes, is one of the top issues to be dealt with by the next Federal Government as part of its research policy. Moreover, in addition to digitization, the biologization of economic processes is named as a key driver for social change. This emerges from the expert committee’s recommendations on further development of the High-Tech Strategy which has been handed over to the Federal Government in Berlin on 16.5.2017.
The High-Tech Forum is made up of 20 representatives from business, science and politics. One of its members is Prof. Joachim von Braun, Co-Chair of the Bioeconomy Council. Von Braun says, “Given that we want to develop further towards a sustainable economy, then the bioeconomy plays a key role. It creates the framework for intelligently linking biologization and digitization of the economy. With the bioeconomy, it will be possible to bring man and nature back into harmony.” The Bioeconomy Council therefore welcomes and supports the recommendations of the High-Tech Forum. “They provide the next federal government with a clear task. A decade ago, the bioeconomy was just a niche topic. Now science and representatives of society and business see it quite differently. Our survival, particularly our nutrition, depends on the health of nature and of its ecosystems. We must learn to regenerate them and at the same time use them sustainably for innovative products and processes.”
The recommendations of the High-Tech Forum see the revolutionary development of the life sciences as pioneering a wave of innovation in industry. Prof. Christine Lang, entrepreneur and Co-Chair of the Bioeconomy Council, outlines the potential of biologization for industrial progress, “We are in the process of unlocking the world of micro-organisms so that we can discover new active ingredients or produce materials in an environmentally compatible manner. Starting with medicine, biobased processes are conquering more and more sectors and branches of industry, from cosmetics and textiles to lightweight construction and architecture.” Lang stresses that the potential for innovation is far from exhausted, “Many bioactive substances make production more efficient and thus reduce the consumption of energy and raw materials.” She said that with the help of digitization and other technologies, such as 3D printing, it is also increasingly possible to translate clever solutions provided by nature into new applications.
In November 2016, the Bioeconomy Council issued its own recommendations on the research topics of particular relevance in the future and the requirement for innovation in the bioeconomy. These recommendations supplement and expand the recommendations of the High-Tech Forum.