Wednesday, 20 February 2019 09:49

Bioeconomy beyond statistics

Written by  Hannu Koponen, RDI2CluB project

Clear facts about bioeconomy help decision makers form a clearer picture of their own performance and create ambitious, yet realistic goals for their bioeconomy. Facts provide a solid base for a regional strategy. This sounds very simple, but that is not the case.


We started the process with an Excel exercise

I have experienced that myself when coordinating a sub-action in Interreg BSR funded project RDI2CluB. Our project, RDI2CluB, does not only have a complicated acronym, it is a quite interesting exercise in boosting bioeconomy in rural areas. We started the process with an Excel exercise. Our regional partners from Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Norway, and Poland collected all the relevant statistics on their regional bioeconomy on NUTS 3/Nuts 2 level. This data included not only biomass, but also employment and economic data on different sectors of bioeconomy. Our goal was to give easy-to-digest information on bioeconomy performance.

Like all processes, it was a learning process for each participant. I learnt that statistics are at present rather insufficient to observe the bioeconomy performance.


We need experts in bioeconomy who can interpret data to decision makers

In some important sectors that are also highlighted by EU, like construction or energy, bioeconomy related statistics are totally non-existent. How to show the number of bioeconomy jobs, if the sector does not differentiate bio from “traditional” jobs? Is it even possible in all cases? Also, if our latest available datasets are from 2016, how to show the current situation? Year 2016 is history, we are in 2019 now.

It is not possible to understand the current bioeconomy statistics without regional interpretation. We need experts in bioeconomy who can interpret data to decision makers. The good news is, that these people exist.  In every region, we have specialists in agriculture, food & feed, forest and water related topics. Should we start to listen them more?


In the end, we did complete our Excel exercise. Our regional bioeconomy profiles are now out and published, and we start to boost our regional bioeconomies based on the actions derived from these profiles. You can find the tool clicking here or via our web pages


RDI2CluB project is a Flagship of EUSBSR Policy Area Bioeconomy. According to EU Strategy for Baltic Sea Region, Bioeconomy offers an abundance of opportunities to grow primary industries and opens up new development prospects in the rural areas. The mission of RDI2CluB partnership is to help rural areas in the Baltic Sea Region to reach their full potential in bioeconomy through capacity building in smart specialization in bioeconomy as well as through development of transnational cooperation in innovation management.

Read 19005 times Last modified on Wednesday, 01 April 2020 11:16