Track 4: Regional bioeconomies & global collaboration

Regional cooperation for innovative bioeconomy pathways to promote health and well-being

4.2 Health and wellbeing
istock/Ratnakorn Piyasirisorost
Timing: November 16, 4-6 p.m. (CET) and November 18, 8-10 a.m. (CET)

The same workshop will be held twice to cover all world regions.

Contents

Organizers

Stockholm Environment Institute

Applied Biotech, Nigeria/USA

University of Bonn, Germany

Science Center Jülich, Germany

Chairs

Francis X. Johnson

Senior Research Fellow with Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Sweden

Ivar Virgin

Senior Researcher at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Sweden

Matthew Fielding

Deputy Director of the Swedish International Agriculture Network Initiative

Nwadiuto Esiobu

Professor of Microbiology and Biotechnology at Florida Atlantic University

Sandra Venghaus

Head of Research Group at Forschungszentrum Jülich

Sascha Stark

Senior Researcher at the Center for Development Research, Bonn

Thematic focus

There are now many bioeconomy strategies at national level as well as many different initiatives at local or sub-national levels. Regional strategies and cooperation are also underway, such as in the European Union or Eastern Africa. The focus has tended towards bioresource and bio-based product development efforts that can bring new value-added and stimulate innovation.

The ongoing global pandemic has highlighted the need to also re-focus efforts on health and well-being, including not only direct impacts but also disruptions in global supply chains, infrastructure, and social networks.

Future bioeconomy pathways need to acknowledge the importance of such issues. In this workshop, we aim to engage participants in a dialogue that adopts a broad perspective on how regional bioeconomy cooperation can promote health, well-being, and resilience, drawing lessons from both sub-themes and regions.

Format

The workshop is designed across two two-hour sessions so as to also facilitate participation from different regions according to their time zones.  A broad perspective in thematic terms can be obtained by drawing on holistic frameworks such as OneHealth, EcoHealth, and Planetary Health.

Key thematic components identified by participants will be discussed in regional breakout groups in order to differentiate priorities based on the wide variation in the bioresource base, development aims, and institutional capacities in different regions.

Format for breakout discussions: an online variation of World Café.

Agenda

All times refer to CET. Current time:

Part 1 (November 16, 4-6 p.m., CET)

16:00 – 16:20: Opening plenary session

16:20 – 17:00: Three parallel thematic working group sessions

Working group sessions topics (each participant will have to choose which working group she or he wants to attend):

T1: Bioresources and bio-industries 

T2: Bioeconomy for health and well-being 

T3: Transnational Innovation System

(You find details on each working group below.)

17:00 – 17:10: Plenary – brief introduction to regional sessions

17:10 – 17:50: Three parallel regional working group sessions

R1: EU and OECD/North America

R2: Latin America

R3: Africa (and multi-regional)

17:50 – 18:00: Brief reporting and wrap-up

Part 2 (November 18, 8-10 a.m., CET)

08:00 – 08:10: Plenary – brief introduction to thematic sessions

08:10 – 08:50: Three parallel thematic working group sessions

Working group sessions topics (each participant will have to choose which working group she or he wants to attend):

S1: Bioresources and bio-industries 

S2: Bioeconomy for health and well-being 

S3: Transnational Innovation System

(You find details on each working group below.)

08:50 – 09:00: Plenary – brief introduction to regional sessions

09:00 – 09:40: Three parallel regional working group sessions

R4: Africa (and multi-regional)

R5: Asia

R6: EU and OECD/Oceania

09:40 – 10:00: Closing Plenary – brief report and wrap-up

Parallel working groups

The sessions are moderated by a representative (working group leader) of the overall workshop organizers and will have a dedicated rapporteur.

Thematic working groups

Moderators and rapporteurs:
Applied Biotech (Nigeria/USA)

Short description of the sessions contents:

The focus here is on the cross-cutting importance of new bioresources and bio-industries and the role of governments and policy makers in promoting bio-based products and processes, and particularly to identify how regional cooperation could support the sustainable development of bio-based enterprises.

Moderators and rapporteurs:
Stockholm Environment Institute (Headquarter)

Short description of the sessions contents:

In a modern health bioeconomy, biological resources and biodiversity could offer a platform for locally-produced drugs and health treatments, so that biodiversity is exploited sustainably with local benefits. Regional efforts could aim to link local entrepreneurship and/or traditional knowledge to modern biosciences for health and well-being.

Moderators and rapporteurs:
University of Bonn, Germany
Science Center Jülich, Germany

Short description of the sessions contents:

Cooperation of bioeconomy actors across national borders may complement national and local cooperation and help to stimulate innovation through learning about best practices, technology transfer mechanisms or through taking advantage of comparative advantages in different countries. Transnational cooperation networks can facilitate improved knowledge sharing, methodological comparisons, and identification of new options for value chains.

Regional working groups

The regional break-out groups will allow for detailed discussions on priorities in particular sub-regions in line with the discussions arising in the thematic break-out groups. The regions are necessarily broad or continental in most cases, for the purpose of being inclusive, and due to the limitations of time and expertise across regions. However, the composition of break-outs will  be finalised after initial registrations are received, in order to adapt if needed to balance participants and/or facilitate more detailed regional focus.

 

Moderators and rapporteurs:
University of Bonn, Germany
Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany

Short description of the sessions contents

Driven by recent political decisions such as the European Green Deal, bioeconomy will be a key part of structural change processes, with far-reaching consequences for existing value chains, business models, resource systems and governance approaches, and affects various policy areas. Workshop participants will thus discuss the challenges and opportunities that come along with regional transformation dynamics under the mutual umbrella of the European Bioeconomy Strategy.

Moderators and rapporteurs:
Stockholm Environment Institute (LAC)

Short description of the sessions contents:

Six of the world’s seventeen megadiverse countries in the world are in the Latin America region, posing both great opportunities and risks. International and intraregional technical and financial cooperation has been highlighted as important for balancing equity and effectiveness in the development of the bioeconomy in the Latin America and Caribbean region. The bioeconomy could support underdeveloped regions, with a variety of benefits for rural populations.

Moderators and rapporteurs:
Applied Biotech (Nigeria/USA)

Short description of the sessions contents:

Endowed with vast biodiversity and arable land relative to its population, Africa’s biophysical capacity coupled with a youthful population suggests that the bioeconomy could be a major engine for growth and sustainable development. Participants will consider the key drivers and mechanisms for a multifaceted development agenda that utilizes indigenous knowledge and bioresources.   

Moderators and rapporteurs:
Stockholm Environment Institute (Asia)

Short description of the sessions contents:

China and India are major centres of biotechnology development with public and private investment in biomedical innovation and agricultural bioprocesses for food, feed, fibre and fuel. The bioeconomy in Southeast Asia with Thailand and Indonesia as major players is becoming an area of strategic focus, with social aspects increasingly viewed alongside technology. Civil society organisations promote a community-driven bioeconomy that emphasize well-being over growth.

Moderators and rapporteurs:
University of Bonn, Germany
Science Center Jülich, Germany

Short description of the sessions contents:

Although OECD is not a contiguous region or a fully integrated bloc, there are a variety of valuable collaboration platforms and technology implementation issues across the members. The U.S. and Canada have been important drivers of biofuels markets. Synthetic biology and emerging technologies such as microbiomes in agriculture and industry are of common interest. Australia and New Zealand are key players with significant investments in agriculture, industry, livestock, and bio-based products that could offer a variety of new resource and technology platforms.