Track 1: Science & Innovation

New Technologies as Accelerator of a Sustainable Bioeconomy

A scientist examining parts of a plant
Timing: November 17, 8-10 a.m. (CET)



Workshop Summary

A brief summary of the workshop outcome can be downloaded here.

Workshop Videos

All videos of the workshop can be watched on the channel of the workshop organizers, click here.

Workshop Recording

All recordings of the workshops and their breakouts can be found here.


RWTH Aachen University, Germany

IBISBA (EU-Project)

Scion, New Zealand

BioBall e.V, Germany

International Institute for Sustainability Analysis and Strategy (IINAS/IEA)


Dorit Lehr

Secretariat, Provadis University and BioBall

Florian Graichen

General Manager Forests to Biobased Products, Scion, New Zealand

Jörn Viell

Chair for Process Systems Engineering, RWTH Aachen University

Merja Penttilä

Research Professor at VTT, Finland

Sabine Krieg

Business Development, Fraunhofer IGB

Uwe R. Fritsche

Scientific Director of IINAS

Moderator: Markus Müller

Project Manager, CLIB – Cluster Industrial Biotechnology

Thematic focus

The following major topic clusters contribute to the success of bioeconomy:

      • Feedstock and (raw) materials,
      • Processing Systems for scale-up
      • Revealing the impact of biotechnology and synthetic biology,
      • Societal/environmental needs including political aspects and regulation

Different technologies are key enabler for the establishment of sustainability in processes, production and products. Each of them has to be brought to a viable scale for integration into the value chain of Bioeconomy.
The workshop will thus focus on key questions related to the topic clusters mentioned above and how new technologies (e.g., synthetic biology, chemistry, decentralized manufacturing) can accelerate the development.



Experts from different fields, sectors and regions are asked for a short video statement (<1 min) on collected in advance of the workshop one of the following questions:

      1. What regional raw material/feedstock would you suggest for sustainable use?
      2. What has been the experienced bottleneck of new technology implementation in bioeconomy?
      3. What do local citizens or stakeholders expect from bioeconomy (i.e., what niche should technology development fill)?
      4. How can strategies support technology impact and vice versa?

These videos will be published on this website as prepatory material for the workshop.

The workshop itself lasts 2 hours and starts with a plenary, followed by a group work in four groups with different topics. Afterwards, everyone is coming back to the plenary to present and discuss the results of the group work. The workshop is closed by a panel discussion with Q&A.


All times refer to CET. Current time:

08:00 – 08:25: Welcome & Introduction 

08:25 – 09:05: Parallel working groups (see below)

09:05 – 09:25: Coming back to the workshop plenary and present the results of the working groups

09:25 – 09:55: Panel discussion: “Synopsis of findings and perspectives”

Moderator: Uwe Fritsche

09:55 – 10:00: Wrap up and close

Parallel working groups

Participants will be asked to enrol for ONE working group during registration. The participants will be provided with background material on some relevant country cases/strategies beforehand for download on this website. Representatives for these cases will be invited to join the groups as resources persons, making specific interventions on their respective strategies with regard to the working group thematic.

Moderator: Dorit Lehr & Manfred Kircher (BioBall e.V.)

      1. How can sustainable feedstock (biomass, plastics, CO2, etc.) be converted efficiently?
      2. What are challenges and potentials of using non-food feedstock in particular with a focus on waste and residues?
      3. How to ensure that the feedstock is available in sufficient quantity and quality? What are regional differences?
      4. Which innovative technologies (i.e., synthetic biology, catalytic chemistry, etc.) and framework conditions are necessary to implement and accelerate the technical carbon cycle?

Moderator: FhG/RWTH/Scion, C. Rasche/J. Viell/F. Graichen 

      1. What scales are appropriate for processing in future biorefineries for which regions/countries?
      2. What are the next potential disruptive technologies, how to assess their sustainability, and how can they be fostered?
      3. What is the role of  decentralized small scale biorefinery concepts ?

Moderator: FhG/VTT, K.Patzsch/M. Pentillä

      1. How can Synthetic Biology and next generation of industrial biotechnology reveal new options for sustainable products?
      2. What are hindering factors for technology acceptance?
      3. What high-tech but also low-tech contributions can be set in place to foster the global bioeconomy?

Moderator: Uwe Fritsche (IINAS)/Luisa Marelli (JRC)

      1. How to measure, monitor and assess sustainability of the bioeconomy (feedstocks, technologies)?
      2. What solution/scale is acceptable for society?
      3. What framework is needed in terms of funding, support and acceptance and regulations?