The increasing demand for a sustainable supply of food, raw materials and fuels, together with recent scientific progress, is the major economic driving force behind growth of the Knowledge Based Bio-economy (KBBE) in Europe over the last few decades. The bioeconomy – the sustainable production and conversion of biomass, for a range of food, health, fibre and industrial products and energy, where renewable biomass encompasses any biological material to be used as raw material - can play an important role in both creating economic growth, and in formulating effective responses to pressing global challenges. In this way it contributes to a smarter, more sustainable and inclusive economy. It is estimated that the European bio-economy currently has an approximate market size of over 2 trillion Euro, employing around 21.5 million people, with prospects for further growth looking more than promising. In addition to being economically favourable, the KBBE can help to meet the most urgent global challenges improving public well-being in general. Areas that it can benefit include social and demographic development and its impact on agriculture, the growing pressure on water, the threat of climate change, the limited resources of fossil fuel, the need for sustainable development, the impact of changes in lifestyles and eating habits, the demand for safer and healthier foods and the prevention of epizootic and zoonotic diseases.
- September 2010
- Wetenschap en innovatie , Economie en ondernemen