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Principles of a biobased economy

In their Research and Innovation Strategy for a Biobased Economy, Formas, the Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development defined a biobased economy as based on:

  • A sustainable production of biomass to enable increased use within a number of different sectors of society. The objective is to reduce climate effects and the use of fossil-based raw materials.
  • An increased added value for biomass materials, concomitant with a reduction in energy consumption and recovery of nutrients and energy as additional end products. The objective is to optimize the value and contribution of ecosystem services to the economy.

In order to successfully achieve this, we need to:

  • Find the optimal combination of biomass with other renewable resources and forms of energy (e.g. solar power).
  • Ensure that the biomass is produced sustainably at the same rate as consumption.
  • Create new production processes in order to turn biomass (particularly from sources other than wood) into fuel, materials, and chemicals.
  • Use bioprocess technology to reduce the quantities of toxic materials used during manufacture.
  • Alter the habits and attitudes of different groups of consumers, both large (business, governments) and small (individual shoppers).


A corn field as an example of a biomass source. Photo.