TRADINNOVATION - Bioeconomy innovations in traditional sectors: the example of three innovation lines in meat analogues
The transformation process towards a bioeconomy cannot be limited to research-intensive sectors alone if the bioeconomy is to make significant contributions to overcoming challenges such as climate and environmental protection, sustainable resource use and food security. Transformation must also take place in traditional economic sectors, such as the livestock and meat sectors as part of the food industry.
A growing world population and increasing prosperity are leading to rising demand for meat and animal foodstuffs. An expansion of agricultural animal production would increase its negative effects on the environment, climate, animal welfare and human health. Therefore, meat analogues are being developed to provide high quality protein for human nutrition. Meat analogues are products that imitate meat and meat products as well as possible, but are not made from slaughter animals.
The project aims to deepen the understanding of innovation and transformation processes of the bioeconomy in traditional sectors from the interdisciplinary perspective of innovation research.
After a review of the state of research, three innovation lines with relevance for the livestock and meat sector will be investigated: i) plant proteins, ii) insect proteins and iii) cultured meat. These innovation lines are expected to provide meat analogues for the sustainable protein supply of a growing world population. Based on the analysis of the technological innovation systems (TIS) and their economic, ecological and social impacts, the interactions of the three TIS will be investigated and their functionality and problem-solving potential evaluated. Since the innovation lines are partly attributed with the potential to replace unsustainable structures and practices (exnovation) in the livestock and meat sector, the extent to which the sector integrates the innovation lines into its innovation activities or opposes them is examined from the multi-level perspective of transformation research. Options for action and recommendations for overcoming the weaknesses of the TIS, for realising the potential of the innovation lines and for shaping innovation and exnovation processes in the livestock and meat sector will be worked out. It will be examined to which extent the results and insights gained in the livestock and meat sector can be generalised and thus be fruitful for innovation, exnovation and transformation processes in other traditional sectors.
The project will contribute to an ongoing PhD work which is being supervised by Prof. Dr. L. Klerkx und Dr. B. van Mierlo, Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Group Wageningen University and Research, NL.