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The bioeconomy

The bioeconomy refers to economic activities based on biological resources. In terms of economic sectors the bioeconomy includes production and consumption of feed and food; biomaterials; and bioenergy. However, the bioeconomy is more than an agglomeration of economic sub-sectors: the bioeconomy is an approach for sustainable socio-economic development; the bioeconomy builds on a circular thinking; and the bioeconomy is about making a transition from a fossil-based to a bio-based society through research & development, innovation and the establishment of new value chains.


Many of the global challenges for sustainable development are also at stake in the Baltic Sea Region. They include a growing demand for energy and natural resources while also facing climate changes. One of the solutions is the bioeconomy - a strategic framework that builds on a circular thinking and promotion of sustainable production and use of biological resources

The Baltic Sea Region has the potential to become one of the world's leading regions in green growth and sustainable development. The region has well-developed infrastructure, technological and environmental knowledge and a large concentration of biomass. Last but not least, relevant actors in the region acknowledge a common responsibility and the need for close cooperation between research institutions, regional, national and local authorities and the business sector in order to face these challenges.

The Bioeconomy targets intelligent use of renewable biological resources from land and sea as inputs to food, feed and non-food products. A part of the bioeconomy framework is also the transition from a fossil-based economy to a more bio-based economy with smart use of bio-waste and bio-based processes for industries, energy production and innovative substitutes for fossil-based products. All together the bioeconomy offers opportunities for increased prosperity and green growth in the Baltic Sea Region.

Sustainable growth should, however, take into account not only environmental aspects but also the economic and social dimension. This means that all activities should be analysed in terms of their influence on the environment, the economy and social matters.

Under the Action Plan for the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR), the Nordic Council of Ministers is in partnership with the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry leading Priority Area Bioeconomy. This framework provides a platform for cooperation activities to drive a transition towards a bioeconomy for the Baltic Sea Region.


The bioeconomy in the Baltic Sea Region

The Baltic Sea Region is well endowed – with biological resources, many innovative farms and firms, many highly capable research and technology institutions, and a number of supporting authorities at local, regional, national and macro-regional level – to commence a travel from today’s pockets of bioeconomy smartness to become genuinely smart in bioeconomy. However, the bioeconomy approach is complex. It combines a wide array of sciences (e.g. life sciences, agronomy, ecology, forestry sciences, marine sciences and social sciences) and link industrial technologies (e.g. biotechnology, nanotechnology and information and communication technologies) with local and tacit knowledge. The Nordic Council of Ministers supports stakeholders to overcome challenges and reap the benefits of the bioeconomy – by e.g. provision of intelligence, through dialogue and learning activities and through project activities on ground.

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The Nordic Council of Ministers
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