Bioeconomy and societal change: Reflexive governance and dynamic innovation systems – the example of the energetic and material use of biomass (Transformation Bio)

The transformation process to the bioeconomy presents the transition from a fossil-based economy to a sustainable, biobased, natural cycle-oriented economy. The bioeconomy is expected to contribute to economic, societal and environmental challenges, such as the sustainable use of natural resources, the reduction of dependency on fossil raw materials, the protection of the environment and the climate, to food security, the generation of economic growth, particularly in rural regions, and maintaining international competitiveness.

However, this transformation process is faced with considerable challenges. These include the often unclear contribution of bio-based value chains to social objectives, as well as the complex interactions, dependencies and possible conflicts of objectives between actors and their activities. The aim of the project is to develop a well-founded approach for the future transformation of the bioeconomy. For this purpose, consistent future pathways for the transformation to a bioeconomy are developed for specific innovation paths, and design options for this transformation are derived.

The following work steps are carried out: Firstly, the bioeconomy innovation system is described. Then, the reflective ability of the system is analyzed, e.g. to what extent the system is able to reflect itself with its current state, its orientations, economic and social goals as well as progress in the goal achievement and to make corresponding adjustments. Based on this, the empirical analysis of transformation factors in the implementation is carried out on the basis of some selected niches from the material and energetic use of biomass. After evaluating the significance of the transformation factors, scenarios are developed that address the central developmental paths and factors for individual niches of the bioeconomy and represent possible alternative consistent future models for the transformation of the bioeconomy. On the basis of this work, starting points for the transformation to the bioeconomy are derived.


01/2017 – 06/2019


    Federal Ministry for Research and Education