Me and my colleague were having an interview last week with a representative of the German forest industry. We were having a general discussion about Bioeconomy, about how it is perceived by the different forest stakeholders, and about the threats and opportunities it offers for them. Although views were generally positive, when asked about threats our interview partner mentioned the fear that old industry sectors would have to compete even more than before with each-other for the same resource, in the new “Bioeconomy arena”. This wording was particularly interesting. I’ve heard a lot of interpretations of Bioeconomy but never had I heard someone refer to it as an “arena”. I couldn’t help but wonder what that would look like…
So the picture below is what I came up with. No worries, I’ll run you through it, maybe in a “not- so-scientific-way”, but in I way that hopefully everybody can understand why “arena” might just be a not so far-fetched metaphor.
The Bioeconomy Arena *
So we have the forest sector , he’s the guy in the middle sporting khaki shorts, boots and a big hat…yeah I know, a bit conservative but he’s old and wise enough to know the rules of the game, that’s why he’s wearing a referee shirt and a cool feather on his hat…he’s running the game, he has the situation under control…right?
Well he seems to be cornered by some of the big players of the game, the heavy weights, and oh boy they seem mad:
Oooooon the lower-left corner we have the Pellet and Briquette industry. She’s burning with rage and she has a good reason to! For many years she’s been high in demand, her fans want more of her, and she’s gonna need more wood to keep those boilers burning!
Oooooon the upper-left corner we have Mr. Pulp and Paper. Now he’s also a veteran but demand for him has been going down recently. Don’t be quick to judge, he still packs a punch since demand for tissue is high and rising. Mess with him and you’ll get more than a paper-cut!
Ooooooon the upper-right corner, a long time heavy-weight champion, the one and only… Log Sawmills! He’s all about classic products and he wants to keep it that way. Upset him and he’ll leave you stiff as a board!
Last but not least, he’s modern, he’s high-tech, he’s back from the future….the new player in town… on the lower-right corner….Mr BioTech! These old players are no match for his advanced (bio)-refined technology!
But wait…what’s going on…?! a new player is running towards the arena and he’s boiling mad! It’s the long-time world heavyweight champion El Petrol Furioso!!! That’s right, he’s here to prove that he’s not some old fossil and that he’s going to continue to run the game for decades to come.
The crowd is roaring ladies and gentlemen!
Soooo…yeah, that’s my “sort of- kinda’ accurate” representation of the forest sector in the Bioeconomy discussion or…sorry, I meant to say in the” Bioeconomy arena”…let the games begin.
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