Track 4: Regional bioeconomies & global collaboration

Regional bioeconomy as a key driver to build up resilient economies - Lessons learnt from Latin America and the Caribbean

Colombian men working at a farm harvesting coffee and talking about the plantation -“ agriculture concepts

Timing: November 17,  4-6:30 p.m. (CET)



Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)

Group of Producing Countries from the Southern Cone


Eduardo Trigo

Adviser for Bioeconomy Development at the Ministry of Agroindustry, Argentina

Hugo Chavarría

Specialist in Bioeconomy at the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)

Marcelo Regunaga

Member of the Group of Producing Countries from the Southern Cone

Thematic focus

The Bioeconomy is becoming a prominent field of action of development strategies in Latin-American and the Caribbean region, striving for increasing value creation from their bio-based resources by applying Bioeconomy principles and approaches. The objective of this workshop is to offer a platform for discussing experiences from a structurally- weak region in transitioning towards a knowledge-based Bioeconomy.

The workshop contributes to provide background and lessons for understanding and proposing the Bioeconomy as a promising field for innovative change and a new economic development path creation, by contrasting existing experiences in regions with different resource endowments, but common challenges, such as those related to the revitalization of rural areas.

Key topics of the workshop are:

a) identification of enabling factors for a transition towards a Bioeconomy in Latin-American and the Caribbean region

b) analysis of the policies, strategies and businesses of the bioeconomy that have advanced in the region, and

c) identification of policy options and market supports to promote the bioeconomy as a sustainable development strategy for the region.

Among the expected outcomes of the workshop is also the formation of new networks of scientists, policy makers and entrepreneurs, and a better understanding of the main drivers and barriers to the transition to Bioeconomy in a structurally weak region. Based on the results of the workshop, a brief including the main conclusions will be prepared by the organizers.


The workshop will be divided into three segments, starting with a general discussion of the main background and fundamentals of LAC approaches to the development of the bioeconomy, which will frame the workshop’s discussion. Then there will be short presentations on actual experiences already underway in the region; and the final session will focus on the  identification of priority issues and remaining bottlenecks for future work, including regional cooperation opportunities.  

At the end of each segment, a facilitator will ask motivating questions that the audience will answer using an electronic whiteboard; the answers to these questions will serve to guide the discussion in the last section (pending agenda). A schematic description of the agenda follows.


All times refer to CET. Current time:

08:00 – 08:15: Introduction: What the bioeconomy has to offer for sustainable development of the LAC region?

The bioeconomy as a vision for sustainable development for LAC, with emphasis on how development pathways would differ depending on the characteristics of available resources (natural, institutional, infrastructural …), and the specific potential of the bioeconomy for rural areas in different regions.

Eduardo Trigo, Bioeconomia Argentina

08:15 – 08:20: Q&A

All participants are asked to answer the following questions by using a digital white board (the link will be posted in the chat of the meeting)

a) What are the factors that can drive the bioeconomy in the region?
b) What would be possible to achieve in the region through the bioeconomy?
c) Which could be the main impacts that could be reached for regional development?

08:20 – 09:30: Key notes and video – Experiences underway

What has been the progress of the region in terms of bioeconomy strategies, initiatives and businesses? What is important to highlight to show progress and potential

      • Policies (30 min):
        Federico Torres, Costa Rica
        Walter Oyhantcabal, Uruguay 
        Mabel Gisela Torres, Colombia 

      • Break (10 min) Video of IICA (Official Partner of GBS2020)

      • Businesses (30 min)
        Ramiro Costa, Carbono Neutro (Arg)
        Braskem, Química Verde (Br)
        Jens Mesa, biocombus. y DR (Col)

09:30 – 09:50: Q&A

All participants are asked to answer the following questions by using a digital white board (the link will be posted in the chat of the meeting)

a) How to scale the lessons learned and the political and business experiences of the bioeconomy that already exist in the region?
b) What are the main bottlenecks that need to be solved?

09:50 – 10:00: Presentation of the Q&A results by the facilitators

10:00 – 10:30: Expert Panel – The pending agenda

Panel of experts, discussing the answers of the participants to the above questions.


Marcelo Regunaga, Group of Producing Countries from the Southern Cone


Guy Henry
Carlos G. Cano
Bernardo Silva