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Resources, Collaborators, and Neighbors: The Three-Pronged Challenge in the Implementation of Bioeconomy Regions

1
Department of Bioenergy, Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), 04318 Leipzig, Germany
2
Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Kore University of Enna, 94100 Enna, Italy
3
Bioenergy Systems Department, Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum (DBFZ), 04318 Leipzig, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 7235; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11247235
Received: 13 November 2019 / Revised: 11 December 2019 / Accepted: 14 December 2019 / Published: 17 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life Cycle Management for Sustainable Regional Development)
Over the last decade, the bioeconomy has become increasingly important and visible in international policy agendas, with several strategies being recently developed. The implementation of bio-based technologies mostly takes place on a regional scale. Therefore, from a regional perspective, a key question revolves around what main challenges are associated with technological developments that could catalyze the implementation of sustainable bioeconomy regions. In this study, a cross-cutting analysis was carried out to determine these challenges. First, interviews were conducted with industry practitioners and scientists working in the bioeconomy field. These interviews were supplemented with a literature review to determine the status quo of bioeconomy strategies and their implementation, particularly on a regional level. A multidisciplinary workshop was then organized to identify the most relevant challenges in the short- and mid-term associated with establishing bioeconomy regions. The results show that there is a three-pronged challenge in innovative technological development from a regional perspective: (1) Resources: The establishment of sustainable regional feedstock strategies and supplies for supporting the bio-industrial sector; (2) collaborators: The establishment of a regional “critical mass” by fostering supply chain clusters and networks; and (3) neighbors: Understanding the local dynamics of societal trends and preferences and social acceptance of bio-technologies and their representative bio-based products. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioeconomy; systems assessment; regional management; life cycle thinking; regional bioeconomy; innovation; technological development; technological assessment bioeconomy; systems assessment; regional management; life cycle thinking; regional bioeconomy; innovation; technological development; technological assessment
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Bezama, A.; Ingrao, C.; O’Keeffe, S.; Thrän, D. Resources, Collaborators, and Neighbors: The Three-Pronged Challenge in the Implementation of Bioeconomy Regions. Sustainability 2019, 11, 7235.

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