Bioeconomy

The next industrial transformation will be determined by the bioeconomy – BRAIN provides answers for sustainable economic activity.

Experts from politics, science and industry agree that the age of the bioeconomy is already with us, a development driven by biological knowledge. Many people already see white biotechnology as the driver of the next economic cycle that is founded on innovation. The aim is to introduce bio-based processes to industry.

The German government has realised that Germany needs a revolutionary response to the resource dilemma. The use of fossil resources has no future from a climate and environmental perspective.

Professor Joachim von Braun, Chairman of the Bioeconomy Council

World population growth, dwindling resources and global climate change call for a fundamental rethinking process. Business and academia, politics and society are facing new challenges. Bioeconomy is the model that offers innovative solutions and new perspectives for these urgent questions related to our future. This model puts an end to our dependence on raw materials and signals a move towards greater sustainability and better nature conservation and climate protection.

Introduction of bio-based processes to industry – rethinking how everything fits together

The OECD coined the term “bioeconomy” in 2003, which has influenced political and economic thinking around the world ever since. It refers to far more than the complex of research and technology, raw materials and their utilisation. As a networked system, the bioeconomy marks a change in entire industries and value chains. Understood in this way, it not only transcends technological disciplines but forms the basis for entirely new forms of value creation between disciplines. This enables new concepts for the more sustainable and climate-friendly supply of resources and products.

The advantage is that the bioeconomy can build on existing industrial processes. It will therefore develop a dynamic of its own. As a cross-sectoral technology, it will link up many different stakeholders across sectors and disciplines, and be accompanied by a societal rethinking process of global dimensions.

White biotechnology – a cornerstone of the bioeconomy

White biotechnology represents a transformation of an elementary nature: the inclusion of biotechnology methods in industrial production. Based on „Toolbox of Nature“, it enables the construction of microorganisms and synthetic pathways that are suitable for developing novel products and materials from natural substances. It taps the biological creativity that stems from 3.5 billion years of evolution to develop bioactive enzymes and natural substances. This makes a number of industrial processes more effective, environmentally friendly and sustainable.

The road towards a bio-based economy calls for future-ready concepts and technologies that take their direction from natural material cycles. A substantial switchover from chemical to biological processes will replace petroleum-based processes. Novel product and solutions will then become established in existing and emerging markets. White industrial biotechnology already holds widely diversified innovative potential that makes it a driver of this economic process.

Political backing

In the economic strategy published on behalf of the EU Commission in 2010, the establishment of a sustainable bio-based economy is termed a key action of vital importance for Europe. This course was further defined in the EU’s bioeconomy strategy and the related plan of action. The effectiveness of the relevant political measures is to be documented and monitored by setting up a bioeconomy panel and a bioeconomy observatory.

In 2010, the “National Bioeconomy Research Strategy 2030” was launched, followed by the “National Bioeconomy Policy Strategy” in 2014. At present, the EU’s bioeconomy generates sales of more than two trillion euros with over 22 million employees, according to the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI). In Germany, some two million people generate annual sales of around EUR 300 billion (Source: VCI).

This means the bioeconomy system is already making an outstanding contribution to the German and European economy, and will continue to grow in importance on a global scale. This was a conclusion reached by the German Bioeconomy Council.

Path-breaking projects

BRAIN recognised this potential at an early stage. As a white biotech company, it successfully harnesses the full dynamism of this industrial transformation. Together with prominent cooperation partners, the company carries out projects that point the way for bioeconomy processes. In addition, as a fully integrated industrial company, BRAIN makes use of the entire value chain to place products directly on the market, following a strategic principle that closely interlinks research, development and application. That is the scientific reference to its industrial and political relevance.

At a glance

  • The bioeconomy offers solutions and new perspectives related to crucial questions concerning our future. It represents sustainable and far-sighted economic activity.
  • “White” industrial biotechnology provides crucial impetus for systemic change, away from chemical towards biological processes.
  • The political arena and the business community have recognised the importance of this development and are making increasing efforts to promote it. The life sciences are now firmly placed on the political agenda.
  • BRAIN has been successfully operating in this new sector of relevance to the future since 1993.