BIO Deutschland and the BMWK co-host bioeconomy symposium in Berlin
Deutschland, hosted a symposium on the industrial bioeconomy on 2 September. The symposium also honoured the lifetime achievements of Christian Patermann, who celebrated his 80th birthday in August. In his honour, and in order to continue to foster the exchange of knowledge and experience among the bioeconomy community, the BMWK, the Industrial Bioeconomy Dialogue Platform, and the BIO Deutschland Working Group on Industrial Bioeconomy organised the event together with the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Cluster for Industrial Bioeconomy (CLIB), the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology (IGB), and Forschungszentrum Jülich.
As early as the 1990s, Patermann recognised how important it was to spur a transformation towards a knowledge-based economy with biological foundations – a bioeconomy – in order to sustain life on our planet for future generations. From the perspective of the innovative biotechnology industry, it is hard to overstate Patermann’s accomplishments. By focusing clearly and consistently on a knowledge-based bioeconomy, he demonstrated that a transformation from fossil to bio-based raw materials alone does not automatically mean progress. Studies show that we need innovative approaches and new technologies to address challenges such as the growing scarcity of agricultural land and freshwater and the use of phosphorus and nitrogen in crop production. This is the only way to ensure food security while transforming biomass into biomaterials with better properties in order to achieve sustainable processes and enable a true circular economy.
Patermann saw the close connection between biotechnology and bioeconomy early on and played an instrumental role in shaping the development of the knowledge-based bioeconomy in Europe. Today, 15 years after the publication of the seminal “Cologne Paper” and ten years after the European “Strategy on Bioeconomy”, the bioeconomy has become part of everyday life in German politics.