Insights Into Life-Science Students’ Views on Bioeconomy Entrepreneurship

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


Fredric Mosley1 , Venla Wallius1, Siebe Briers1, José Rodrigo Mendes e Chagas1, Petra Palátová2, Radek Rinn2, Inazio Martinez de Arano1
1 European Forest Institute (EFI), Finland
2 Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (CZU), Department of Forestry and Wood Economics, Czech Republic



Societies are in the midst of a transition away from the linear fossil-based economy model, with much uncertainty about what will replace it. In Europe, the Green Deal provides a roadmap for action through its underpinning policy initiatives and strategies, such as the Bioeconomy Strategy. The greening of jobs is an important element across these initiatives, and entrepreneurship plays an enabling role.

Entrepreneurship in the field of bioeconomy varies between countries and regions, and there are different approaches for promoting it. Common measures include creating a favourable regulatory environment, improving access to finance, enhancing support structures and promoting education. In the end, the decision to pursue business opportunities depends on personal preferences, which is influenced by specific social, cultural, political, and economic contexts. Research on individuals’ perceptions of environmental entrepreneurship can provide insights, revealing differences and similarities between regions and countries. This can then enable policymakers to address issues to ensure successful policy outcomes.  

The objective of this study was to understand life-science students’ perceptions of bioeconomy, and their experience with and interest in pursuing entrepreneurial activities in that ‘solution space’. To this end, a survey targeting life science students in European institutes of higher education was conducted, gathering 764 responses.

Our preliminary results show that students’ familiarity with bioeconomy and related concepts varies, but most respondents associate bioeconomy with nature-based solutions, ecosystem services, and circular use of resources. Moreover, entrepreneurship raises high interest among students, but it may be that many ideas do not get tested, as there are barriers that prevent the pursuit of business opportunities. Interest is driven by the chance of reducing environmental impacts and creating positive impacts on the life quality of communities, as well as the positive impact on personal life quality. In this work, we will propose ways to overcome the perceived barriers to entrepreneurship in the field of bioeconomy to support the greening of jobs.