Knowledge Based Bio-Economy

Kick-off for the new Bioeconomy Panel

The 30 members of Europe's new Bioeconomy Panel met for the first time on 17 September. The panel’s aim is to take a holistic viewpoint of the bioeconomy and build bridges between the different policy areas, sectors and stakeholders to ensure its coherent development.

The rich variety of topics raised in the meeting reflects the different perspectives of panel members and the complexity of the bioeconomy itself. In the words of one panel member, "The bioeconomy is played in a different way to the traditional economy."

After a video address from Research and Innovation Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the panel was formally opened by representatives from the Lithuanian Presidency of the EU, the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee.

After some general remarks on the Panel’s work plan, the members highlighted a number of important guiding principles, such as: a focus on innovation and the barriers it faces; awareness-raising among groups such as primary producers and citizens/consumers; the need to equip young people and workers with the necessary skills for the bioeconomy to flourish; and the central role that efficient use of resources plays in the bioeconomy.

Commission representatives updated the members on progress to establish the Bioeconomy Observatory and its operations were discussed, as was the idea of setting up thematic working groups within the panel.