International policy instruments and governance in the bioeconomy


2.3 International policy instruments and governance in the bioeconomy


A society less dependent on fossil fuels is very different from the one we know today. It is more decentralized, has smaller scale requirements, and has different intersectoral – rural/urban, industrial/agricultural, etc. – and international trade relations as a consequence of the changing balance in strategic resources. All this leads to a new economic landscape (comparative advantages, country, sectors, products’ competitiveness), and, as in any new scenario, it demands new policies and institutions in order to contain and to steer actors’ behaviors towards the optimization of potential benefits and the minimization of transitional costs for all involved. In this context, the objective of the workshop is to address a number of issues that will contribute to a better understanding and piloting of the emerging bioeconomy (both at the national and the international levels) through the sharing of experiences and the identification of international cooperation opportunities, with focus on the following issues:

  • What is the state of the art regarding the measuring of the bioeconomy? The aim here is to both put numbers on the importance, characteristics and potential of the merging sectors, and to create baselines for the monitoring of progress towards its development;
  • The needs and options in the regulatory instruments for the new converging technologies, including aspects related to the kind of science on which they are based, the proprietary nature and investment requirements of the new technologies and the biosafety considerations that many of these requirements raise; and
  • The nature of the policy incentives needed for speeding up the transition to the bioeconomy, with particular reference to the new standards and policy instruments directed to “leveling the playing field” between bio-based and traditional products and sectors.


Workshop Sponsors:

Hugo Chavarría, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)

Yin Li, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Peter Wehrheim, European Commission


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Hugo Chavarría has worked at the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) for more than 12 years as a specialist in strategic analysis, policies for agriculture, competitiveness of agricultural chains and, more recently, in bioeconomy. Since the beginning of 2018, he is manager of the Hemispheric Program of Bioeconomy and Productive Development. He has participated in more than 25 technical documents, has dictated a large number of international seminars and workshops, and has been a teacher in universities and training centers. Prior to IICA, he had been an international consultant. Chavarría holds a master’s degree in international Trade and a bachelor’s degree in economics.

Yin Li is presently the Director-General of Bureau of International Cooperation, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). He received his PhD in Fermentation Engineering at Jiangnan University in China in 2000. He then worked in the Netherlands and Ireland as a research scientist. In 2006 he was appointed as Professor by the Institute of Microbiology, CAS. In 2013 he was appointed as Visiting Professor by Cornell University. He served as the Director of CAS Key Laboratory of Microbial Physiological and Metabolic Engineering, Deputy DG of Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology CAS, and Deputy DG of Bureau of International Cooperation CAS, successively.