15 Mai 2014

TOP Finnish bioeconomy strategy: Bioeconomy is the next wave of the economy

The goal of the Finnish Government is to increase the yield of the bioeconomy from the present € 60 billion to € 100 billion and to create 100,000 new bioeconomy jobs by 2025

These targets are included in the decision-in-principle approved by the Government on 5 May 2014, which is aimed at spurring renewal in Finnish business and industry, and economic growth in the new important fields of the bioeconomy and cleantech.

The leading idea in the Finnish bioeconomy strategy, which is attached to the decision-in-principle, is to create economically competitive and sustainable bioeconomy solutions to global problems while establishing new business on international markets. This would bring well-being to all of Finland. The goal is to create new economic growth and jobs through growth in business, and high value-added products and services, while securing the viability of natural ecosystems.

The bioeconomy refers to economic activities which use renewable natural resources in a sustainable manner for the production of bio-based products, nutrition, energy and services. It is expected to be the next economic wave, after the fossil economy. The bioeconomy combines many sectors of primary production, refining and end product markets. Its characteristics include the sustainable use of environmentally friendly clean technology, bio-based renewable natural resources and non-material ecosystem services, and the efficient recycling of materials.

Thanks to its abundance of renewable resources, high level of expertise and industrial strength, Finland has excellent potential to be a global forerunner in bioeconomy. With the help of these assets we can offer solutions to challenges posed by population growth, the depletion of natural resources, the weakening of natural diversity and climate change.

The significance of the forest sector has been, and will continue to be of great importance in Finland, as more than half of Finland’s present bioeconomy activities are based on forests. Traditional boundaries between sectors fade in the bioeconomy, leading to new types of collaboration across those borders. The bioeconomy brings together wood processing, chemistry, energy, construction, technology, as well as solutions related to nutrition and welfare.

The four focal points of the strategy are

  1. creating a competitive operating environment for growth in the bioeconomy,
  2. creating new bioeconomy business activities through risk financing, bold experiments, and transcending boundaries between different sectors,
  3. upgrading the bioeconomy knowledge base by developing education and research activities and
  4. securing the availability of biomass, a functioning market for raw materials, and the sustainability of use.

The bioeconomy strategy has been prepared as a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry of Finance, the Prime Minister’s Office, and their administrative sectors, as well as VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.

The implementation of the strategy will be launched quickly under the leadership of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. It will be carried out as a collaborative effort between the ministries, in which the organisations of their administrative sectors will be active participants.

The publication on sustainable growth through the bioeconomy is available at www.tem.fi/julkaisut.

Further information

Strategic Director Sixten Sunabacka, MEE, puh. +358 40 036 6148

Deputy Head of Department Liisa Saarenmaa, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, tel. +358 29 516 2429

Senior Adviser Merja Saarnilehto, Ministry of the Environment, tel. +358 29 525 0259

Press release of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Ministry of the Environment

Source: Ministry of Employment and the Economy, press release, 2014-05-08.

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