European Commission promotes new bioeconomy action plan

New European Commission bioeconomy strategy aims to promote innovation in forestry and agriculture, and to bolster Europe’s long-term sustainability through over €100 million investment in circular bioeconomy initiatives and research.

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Through a new bioeconomy strategy unveiled this October, the European Commission aims to address modern global challenges such as climate change by elevating sustainable development and the circular bioeconomy as a means of providing for Europe’s needs without damaging finite resources.

The strategy introduces 14 concrete actions beginning in 2019, including the establishment of a €100 million Circular Bioeconomy Thematic Investment Platform to promote bio-innovations, the creation of an EU Bioeconomy Policy Support Facility, and support for scientific research related to the circular economy through the Knowledge Centre for Bioeconomy. These actions fall under the strategy’s three primary objectives:

  • Scaling up and strengthening the bio-based sectors
  • Rapidly deploying bioeconomies across Europe
  • Protecting the ecosystem and understanding the ecological limitations of the bioeconomy

These new objectives reinforce EFI’s existing efforts to contribute to innovation related to circular economies and sustainable management of finite resources in the forest sector, with the Mediterranean Facility focussing particularly on the opportunities and challenges for the circular bioeconomy in southern Europe.

EFI Director Marc Palahi speaks to the importance of this new document, and stresses that “we need to put emphasis in ensuring that the areas and actions identified in the new Bioeconomy Strategy are strategically integrated in other European policies and Programmes to ensure coherence, scale and synergies” (from an interview with Il Bioeconomista).

The Commission’s action plan acknowledges the need for investment in innovation in the agriculture and forestry sectors, as well as coordination among public and private entities to promote a concerted effort toward the circular economy, and for a more sustainable Europe.