The bioeconomy, which started out as an important sustainability strategy in Germany and the EU, is now showing great vitality in Asia. On 11 and 12 March 2019, a group of highlevel bioeconomy experts from around the world met at the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Beijing.
Under the leadership of the German Bioeconomy Council, the kick-off meeting for the next Global Bioeconomy Summit was concluded this week in Beijing. Christine Lang, Co-Chair of the German Bioeconomy Council, emphasizes: “Bioeconomy is central to the development of a future-oriented economy in which production and consumption are sustainable. In the coming years, many governments are aiming to translate scientific findings more effectively into concrete innovations”. Co-Chairman Joachim von Braun emphasizes: “The bioeconomy provides important answers to the problems created by the so-called Anthropocene, i.e. the man-made disturbances in biosphere, geology and atmosphere of the world. Biobased innovations like in China enable more sustainability in growth and jobs, which is an opportunity for developing and emerging economies”.
The Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences has invited the experts of the International Advisory Council to this meeting to exchange views on new trends, important developments and the political agenda. China is pursuing ambitious growth targets in the bioeconomy: the bioindustries already recorded sales of 500 billion dollars in 2015. The goal is to double this figure by 2020. Bioindustry is supported by the state as one of the 7 strategic emerging industries central to China’s future. In Thailand and Japan, too, the opportunities offered by biobased innovations are being actively pursued by the industry in fields such as health, nutrition, plastics and environmental technologies. The development of the bioeconomy receives considerable policy and investment support not only in Asia, but globally in about 50 countries.
The third Global Bioeconomy Summit will take place in Berlin in November 2020 with the support of the German government. Since the first summit in Berlin in 2015, these summits have established themselves as a unique format for global exchange on bioeconomy policy, governance and sustainable development.