What (Social) Science can Tell Us about the Forest-based Bioeconomy

The latest ‘What Science Can Tell Us’ study from the European Forest Institute is titled: ‘Towards a sustainable European forest-based bioeconomy- assessment and the way forward‘.  The study presents the scientific evidence from different disciplines and provides a synthesis of existing knowledge for policymakers on the importance of forests and the forest-based sector in contributing to…

The politics of innovations and our quest for newness

At the end of the summer I attended a one week NOVA PhD course ‘Innovation systems in the Bioeconomy’, hosted by the Forest Bioeconomy, Business and Sustainability (FBBS) group at the University of Helsinki, Finland. This five-day course aimed to provide a systematic overview of innovation, innovation systems, and their role in industrial transformation towards a forest-based…

Does the bioeconomy care about the environment?

A growing number of scientific publications have criticized the bioeconomy concept for being too vague on environmental issues.  Most of these studies found that although bioeconomy strives towards sustainable development , economic aspects are clearly dominant, whereas social and environmental considerations take a backseat. Our most recent contribution joins this debate and discusses the issue…

Why we should be talking more about education

A more sustainable economy should build on social capital, skills and expertise. The bioeconomy, claims to do just that, to leverage the  know-how of existing industries and researchers, put it into practice, and create added value. Even more, the EU bioeconomy hopes to create millions of jobs. However, it is important to remember, that this…

Which came first: the chicken or the egg?

During the last decades, governments in most industrialized western countries have started promoting the transition towards a greener more sustainable economy. The OECD has been mainly acting as a think tank for its member countries, promoting different macro-political concepts that were expected to revolutionize the economy. “High technology”, “national system of innovation”, “information economy”, and…