A Value Chain Strategy for a Vital EU Bioeconomy (cepInput)

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Biotechnology has long since become a global job engine. However, compared to the US and China, Europe is lagging in terms of innovation dynamics. This is the conclusion of a study by the Centre for European Policy (cep). This stagnation is forcing the EU to significantly im-prove the conditions for the development and production of bio-based industrial products.

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"To maintain its position in the global technology race, the EU should seek to build on the key strengths of its most innovative regions," says cep technology expert André Wolf, author of the study. These include a high density of scientists and engineers, a generally high level of education of the local workforce and a high degree of trans-regional research cooperation.

According to Wolf, there are significant barriers to the commercialisation of biotech innovations in the EU. These include insufficient access to venture capital and a shortage of skilled labour. In addi-tion, issues of sustainability in the extraction of raw materials and the complexity of the product landscape are hindering market acceptance in some segments.

"Policy strategies to overcome growth barriers must take a value chain perspective," says the CEP researcher. Wolf outlines three policy fields of action: securing access to critical inputs, supporting the formation of green markets for biotechnologies and strengthening cooperation between stakehold-ers along the value chains. "A coherent implementation of the funding instruments requires a con-tinuous exchange between politics and industry as well as binding quantitative targets for the reduc-tion of fossil resources," emphasises the cep economist.