Facts about Bioeconomy and Circular Economy

Bioeconomy Concept

It is widely known that the bioeconomy concept encompasses a myriad of meanings and possible applications. We want to provide you with the meaning that best fits our company’s philosophy and context, what you can expect as an associate in the agricultural or industrial fields, and if you are an academic or researcher in the science behind bioeconomy, we want to address your in-depth inquiries as well.

For Producers, Industries and Associates:

It is the integration of economic activity and the use of natural resources with the aid of innovative technologies in order to bring sustainable and smart solutions in the form of information, processes, services and products, while taking into account the preservation of the biosphere, promoting social equity and economic prosperity at local, regional and national levels.

A European Concept:

This concept aspires to incorporate different opportunities that arose at the beginning of the 21st century. Firstly, it emphasizes the potential of the remarkable advances in biotechnology. A second opportunity inherent in the bioeconomy concept was the substitution of fossil-based resources by bio-based resources. All of these efforts were taking place in order to address concerns about agricultural productivity, and the need for food and biomass1. A further element was added to the developing of the concept in the EU. A ”knowledge-based” label accompanied “bioeconomy”, which added the innovation factor present in EU policy2.

The “Tropicalization” of Bioeconomy:

The concept comes from the Fourth International Congress of Science, Technology and Innovation in favor of Society organized by the Salesian Polytechnic University in 2018. The definition contains the transition from industrial to biologically-based resources in order to produce economic, environmental, social and national security benefits. However, the term “tropicalization” refers to tropical, megadiverse countries that have specific features in their legislations, historic backgrounds, geography and development levels that require an adaptation of the concept of bioeconomy adjusted to their realities3.

Circular Economy

This is defined by the EU as the “circular economy (is the economic space) where the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible, and the generation of waste minimised4”. The aim of this model is to use products, components, and materials to their fullest at all times while taking advantage of waste prevention, recycling, up-grading and cascading uses 5.

A circular economy is an industrial system that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design. It replaces the ‘end-of-life’ concept with consecutive cascade usage aiming at restoration, shifts towards the use of renewable energy, eliminates the use of toxic chemicals, which impair re-use, and aims for the elimination of waste through the superior design of materials, products, systems, and, within this, business models. Since waste will still occur for a long time, an increasing implementation of the waste hierarchy, with a strong focus on recycling, is a crucial aspect of the circular economy, too.

InnProBio, 2020

1 Geoghegan-Quinn M, 2013. Role of research and innovation in agriculture. Speech at the European Parliament on June 4 2013, Brussels.
2EU, 2000. Lisbon European Council 23 and 24 March 2000 – Presidency Conclusions Council of the European Union Lisbon. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/ 00100-r1.en0.htm,Access on 19.01.2021
3 D. Ortega-Pacheco, A. Silva, A. López, R. Espinel4, D. Inclán y M. Mendoza-Jiménez, 2018. Hacia una bioeconomía sostenible: un enfoque desde Ecuador. Editorial Universitaria Abya-Yala. Quito. pp. 176-177
4 European Commission, 2015. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. Closing the loop – An EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/resource.html?uri=cellar:8a8ef5e8- 99a0-11e5-b3b7 01aa75ed71a1.0012.02/DOC_1&format=PDF. Access on 28.01.2021
5 InnProBio, 2020. Bio-based Products and Services in the Circular Economy. pp.1