The 2nd Bioeconomy Congress – A fruitful and enlightening event
Written by Noah Weiss, Ph.D. student at KU-IGN under BioValue’s project 3
The 2nd Bioeconomy Congress was held from the 12-13th of September at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany. This congress brought together 350 individuals from academic, public, and private backgrounds in an interdisciplinary approach to discussing the transition to a bio based economy from a fossil fuel based economy. The congress was very interdisciplinary from the point of view that both the social, ecological and technical aspects of the transition were discussed, not only the technological development of new products or processes which is often the focus of research within BioValue. There was much discussion of the environmental impact of various products and processes, as well as land use change scenarios for local regions, and research into the effects of increased agriculture intensity on local environments and societies. This integrated approach to discussion of the bioeconomy was well received and allowed more process development researchers to build sustainability (ecological, social, and economic) into the design of future products and processes. Session topics ranged for potential for sustainable biomass supply, improving biogas efficiency, and value chains and processes for new fuels and chemicals, to societal issues of bioeconomy, and the socioeconomic transition to a new bioeconomy. From a technological perspective, there was much focus on improving biogas processes, improving biomass supply in a sustainable manner, and algae as a source of food, feed, and chemicals, with a mixture of both biochemical and traditional chemical catalysis based processes for biomass conversion.