Resource efficiency, investments and focus on added value
• Since launch of the first Finnish Bioeconomy strategy in 2014 the economic output of the bioeconomy has increased particularly in the forest and construction sectors resulting from larger production volumes. In the future, however, more emphasis should be put on value-adding investments and production.
• Initially, the economic output and social welfare created by bioeconomy were emphasized. Today, also the concern about the changing climate and loss of biodiversity challenge bioeconomy, its raw material sourcing and product life cycles.
• Biomass is an abundant yet constrained resource. Investing in new, resourceefficient processes holds significant potential in increasing both the overall production and the value of the existing resource use.
Insights and snapshots of future products
• A larger share of the forest based value chain could be in Finland when customertailored solutions are designed and produced prior to transportation. Packaging solutions, textiles, wood construction and lignin based value added products could be emphasised as examples.
• Realising the unutilised potential in conventional agriculture to increase production efficiency and at the same time radically cut down the environmental impact and maintain safety brings significant competitive advantage. The potential can be fully capitalised through the more efficient use of data and advanced digital systems in production planning and monitoring.
• Emerging food production technologies such as vertical farming, aquaculture based on water circulation, and cellular agriculture are rapidly developing. In the future, they can offer alternative solutions for food production when harnessed based on solar and other renewable energy production.
• Versatility in the energy system is key to increasing resilience in the energy transition currently taking place. The constrained biomass resources available for the energy sector should be directed to the most valuable uses from the systemic perspective with special focus to industrial uses, and other hard to decarbonise sectors such as long-haul transport including marine and aviation transportation. Also the efficiency of existing biomass-based energy generation can be improved significantly by reducing losses throughout the supply chain.
Future services and knowhow
• Nature based services are essential part of bioeconomy and offer increasing sources of health and welfare also for urban populations. Nature experiences and new types of services (soft adventure, packaged products, guidance, products for urban users etc.) form basis for growing tourism and business.
• Technology industries offering technology, services and machinery for the bioeconomy is a vital and increasing part of the Finnish bioeconomy and its export.
Long traditions and investments in high level education and innovation culture form foundation for successfully renewing technology ecosystems.
|VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
|Number of pages
|Published - 9 Feb 2021
|MoE publication type
|D4 Published development or research report or study
|VTT White Paper