Government and industry perceptions of Bioeconomy: A Comparative Study of nine European Regions

T2.22 Perception – Awareness – Choice. How forest bioeconomy becomes a reality


Siebe Briers1, Inazio Martinez de Arano1
1 European Forest Institute, Finland



The bioeconomy has gained significant attention as a viable solution to address complex global challenges, such as resource scarcity, climate change, and sustainable development. The European Commission's Bioeconomy Strategy provides a framework for advancing the bioeconomy in Europe. However, the successful implementation of the bioeconomy in Europe largely depends on the engagement and priorities of individual regions and regional stakeholders.

Government and industry are key actor groups in driving a sustainable future, with a paramount influence on the trajectory of the bioeconomy. Governments have the power to shape the future of the bioeconomy through strategies, policies, and regulations. They can also facilitate an enabling environment by removing bureaucratic burdens and creating favourable conditions. Meanwhile, the private sector contributes to the bioeconomy through direct business choices and investments, driving innovation and market implementation.

This study explores the perceptions of government and industry in nine European regions regarding the bioeconomy, shedding light on their unique perspectives and priorities. The study is based on an online survey launched in nine European regions, in the regional language, gathering a total of 713 responses.

Preliminary results indicate very positive attitudes towards the bioeconomy. It is perceived as highly related to sustainable land management and circular economy. Respondents perceive both socio-economic and environmental benefits of the bioeconomy, although the vast majority perceives environmental benefits as more important. When asked about most promising sectors, bioenergy emerges in first or second place, even though it may not be the sector with greatest positive environmental impact. Access to investment and scientific information are perceived as the main drivers for bioeconomy development; limited co-operation among different stakeholders and lack of supportive policy & legislative environment are identified as key barriers.

Government, and even more so industry respondents show high willingness to develop the bioeconomy, with greater willingness among those that feel more familiar with the concept (r2=0.403). Interestingly, across regions, both government and industry actors seem to attribute a greater responsibility to the public sector in i) advancing in social awareness and communication, ii) ensuring positive environmental and social impacts, and iii) investing in the bioeconomy.