Naturally sustainable: the social aspects of the transition to a sustainable bio-economy

The bio-economy is promising technological concept, centering on the use of biomass. Sustainability is an important societal driver for this concept, next to energy independence and economic opportunities for agricultural entrepreneurs.

A successful bio-economy does not only require technological innovation, but also a considered embedding of that technology in society. For that reason the bio-economy requires a Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) approach par excellence. In this approach societal actors engage in an interactive process in order to identify societally sensitive issues.

The transition from fossil to biobased resources requires new chains of co-operation. This leads us to re-examine specific societal values. In this research we focused on issues related to trust, sustainability, distributive justice and naturalness. These issues have a crucial role in the considerations and choices for new innovation trajectories. Only once these are clearly in sight and receive due attention, can the bio-economy flourish.

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