Bio economy

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Sector presentation

What bio economy is about

Bio economy is approached from different perspectives on an international and national level. Finland's bio economy strategy highlights that bio economy related activity must be in accordance with sustainable development. Bio economy is a part of a larger green economy.

Bio economy is about caring and utilising biological natural resources, and also about the production of the products and services that has been made from them. The production features renewable bio-based natural resources, environment-saving clean technology and the efficient recycling of materials. When examined as industries, in Finland bio economy includes agriculture and food industry, forestry, wood product industry, paper industry, construction, chemistry and medicine industry, renewable energy, purification and distribution of water as well as bio economy services – nature tourism, hunting and fishing.

Bio economy is the production of products and services. On top of services that are linked to bio-products and services that are related to the treatment and utilisation of natural resources, a vital part of bio economy is the eco system services; nature's own process from photosynthesis to circulation of nutrients as well as the atmosphere and the water system. Activities related to bio economy can be found from other sectors as well, for example in the technology industry, ground and water construction, clothing industry and in design and expertise services.

Bio economy is not only about certain sectors, but instead bio economy is also related to utilising and developing sustainable and resource-wise manufacturing processes. The central part is combining the industrial and natural processes in a way where the production is based on utilising and mimicking the biological processes. Bio economy strives towards sustainable circulation of materials. Not only does it further the economical use of natural resources, but it also slows down climate change and decreases the dependence on imported energy. Sustainable circulation of materials offers plenty of opportunities to create new business that are aimed toward global markets.

Developing the bio economy offers a global opportunity for strengthening sustainable development since bio economy prevents eco systems from declining whilst simultaneously creating new green economy jobs. Additionally, bio economy means transitioning away from the inevitably obsolete fossil economy, which is caused by the global environment change, to a new era of bio economy.

On a national level, Finland has a lot of opportunities in forest-based bio economy. Finland has a copious renewable domestic resource base that is supported by sustainable forestry traditions. The technology know-how level is exceptional in Finland and wood can also be utilised as a versatile, raw material for products and services. The structural change of forestry is, in its own way, driving the search for new forest-based business opportunities where the importance of services will grow. The wood needs to be utilised several times before it is felled. All the raw materials that have been produced by the forest need to be widely seen as a base for products and services. Demand has risen exponentially for services that are related to the optimisation of growth, acquisition and refinement of these raw materials, and new jobs can be created by providing these services. The challenge of transitioning to bio economy is to diverge from the sector-specific thinking to the bio economy's industrial symbioses, where sectors as well as public and private actors can cooperate.

Kainuun Etu on palkittu Euroopan parhaana aluekehitysyhtiönä 2016