Bio-economy Workshop

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Biobased Pathways to Sustainable Production and Consumption

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This document outlines the Call for Papers (Abstract submission is now closed) for presentations to be delivered within a dedicated Bio-econony Workshop, focusing on “Biobased Pathways to Sustainable Production and Consumption” which will be held within the Global Cleaner Production and Sustainable Consumption Conference: Accelerating the Transition to Equitable, Sustainable, Post-Fossil-Carbon Societies, to be held in Sitges, near Barcelona, Spain, Nov. 1 – 4, 2015 (www.cleanerproductionconference.com).

Scope and Rationale

Bioeconomy or biobased economy is a term used to express the broad spectrum of applications of biological sciences and their associated technologies for improved performance and quality of products and services in various fields of the economy, both established and emerging. The term, according to its current European Commission usage, includes all industrial and economic sectors that produce, manage and otherwise utilize biological resources and related services, supply or consumer industries), such as agriculture, horticulture, fisheries, forestry, bio-energy and bio-refineries.

A particular aspect of the value and strategic attraction of bioeconomy, especially sustainable bioeconomic practices for policy and decision-makers is its potential “greening” effect on processes, products and systems. Such a bio-greening could follow the following pathways:

  • Environmental engineering pathways are those based on the employment of biobased solutions to specific environmental problems, e.g. treatment of biowastes, development of “cleaner” bio-industries, recycling of nutrients and production and usage of bioenergy;
  • Environmental management pathways are those based on the formulation and use of biobased tools and methods for the rational management of communities, ecosystems, and other natural and anthropogenic biosystems;
  • Bio-based production of food, feed, energy, structures and fibres;
  • Biosystem- system services for health and sustainable ecosystems - human systems.

The main objective of this workshop will be to explore different options to promote cleaner and more sustainable production and consumption by various applications of the bioeconomy.

12+ 1 Options for Bioeconomy to be Part of Bio-Greening Pathways

The Knowledge-Based BioEconomy (or KBBE) should be part of new, holistic, sustainable development strategies because:

  1. HIGH STAKES: Most of the key bioeconomy sectors are of high strategic interest for most parts of the world (e.g., food, farming, plant and animal health, forest), thus raising the stakes for immediate action and/or inaction, particularly at the policy level.
  2. CHANGING DYNAMICS: The “winds of change” are threatening the status quo in many bioeconomy fields, by impacting the supply and demand, and destabilizing centuries-long equilibria; see, e.g., the effects of emerging economies on the management of global bioresources.
  3. INNOVATION POTENTIAL: Unlocking the potential of the bio-world constitutes a major challenge for researchers and innovators, offering opportunities for synergistic and accelerated development of novel products, services, tools, methods and solutions
  4. ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS: Making good use of the growing reservoir of biological knowledge, and especially environmental biotechnology’s potential, could lead to symbiotic development of environment-friendly applications in many bioeconomy areas.
  5. CLIMATE CHANGE: The bio-world offers its unique properties for the mitigation of the climatic change vectors, e.g., greenhouse gases, through photosynthetic, and other biological pathways, along with the generation of climate-neutral solutions, e.g., clean bioenergy/biofuels.
  6. SUBSTITUTION: Fossil, non-sustainable organic resources, products and conversion chains can be replaced by sustainable bio-based resources, products and processing chains; this represents a key step for the world to reach its GHG reduction goals, and lower its dependence upon fossils (oil, coal and gas) and the associated economic and political risks of their supply.
  7. SOCIO-ECONOMIC ASPECTS: Keeping a strategically developed bioeconomy perspective can facilitate the matching of the rapidly changing societal needs and concerns to an also changing production base; at the same time, bioeconomy represents a great source of future employment. Thus, bioeconomy research should be continuously orientated towards developing country issues, in coordination with development policies.
  8. BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES: Along with the support of several KBBE-related key industries, e.g., food, pharmaceuticals, biochemicals, forest-products, a bioeconomy strategy could open the way to new “waves” of SMEs and other businesses, and new breeds of entrepreneurs.
  9. POLICY COORDINATION: The critical but extremely complex task of coordinating, local, regional, national and global policies, concerning all bioeconomy sectors and their interactions, can be best performed within a unified, KBBE-like policy frame.
  10. REGIONAL NICHES: The deployment of bioeconomy and biosociety applications could mobilize local and regional natural and human resources in utilisation directions respecting local cultures and traditions, and even building upon them to develop regional niches of sustainable growth.
  11. GLOBAL INTEGRATION: The progress of globalization-oriented integration (economic, social, political, other) cannot stop at the gates of the biological world; by their nature, bio/eco-systems resist to artificial borderlines, so their rational management could benefit from a unified national and international KBBE support structure.
  12. GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT: The majority of the less developed countries depend heavily upon their bio-economies for survival and growth, e.g., cash crops, food and fibre exports; therefore research on bioprocesses that could upgrade such feedstocks are of high importance for sustainable development.
  13. A SMART MOVE: Intelligence is one of the functions of biological systems, in most cases being integrated to the life-cycle of the organisms or the operation of ecosystems; therefore, in order to target a really smart world economy, we should also take advantage of the bio-economy-embedded intelligence.

Format and Procedures for Submission of Responses to this Call for Papers

We invite authors interested in the topics of the Bio-economy Workshop to prepare abstracts of 500 words in response to this Call-for-Papers. The abstracts are to be prepared in English and submitted via the conference website (www.cleanerproductionconference.com).

After the Global Conference, a Bio-economy-related scientific team will select the articles to be further developed for peer review and potential publication within one of several Special Volumes of the Journal of Cleaner Production that will be put together, based primarily upon outputs from the Global Conference.

For more information, please contact the Bio-economy Workshop Coordinating Team:

  • Emmanuel Koukios, Professor; Head, Bioresource Technology Unit, National Technical University of Athens, Greece (koukios@chemeng.ntua.gr(Please do not email credit card information under any circumstances)).
  • Carlo Ingrao, Dr-Eng, PhD, Research Fellow, University of Foggia, Department of Economics, Commodity Sciences Division, Foggia, Italy (ing.carloingrao@gmail.com(Please do not email credit card information under any circumstances)).
  • Donald Huisingh, Professor; Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA; Global Conference Coordinator (dhuisingh@utk.edu(Please do not email credit card information under any circumstances)).

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