Innovation workshop held on bioeconomy and biotechnology
On 3 September, the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and its members who are active in the bioeconomy sector held an innovation workshop focused on bioeconomy and biotechnology at the German Bundestag’s Paul-Löbe-Haus. The event was organized to facilitate dialogue between the BDI working group on research and innovation policy issues (AK NAFIP) and the staff of Bundestag offices. The workshop aimed, by receiving input from government, science and business and by examining real-life examples, to provide insights into current developments in bioeconomy and biotechnology and to discuss various aspects of the topic in a both compressed and discursive format.
The event began with a video message from Mario Brandenburg, Bundestag member and spokesperson on technology policy for the FDP parliamentary group, who took on the patronage of the workshop. This was followed by a talk from the research sector by Charli Kruse from Fraunhofer EMB, who introduced the concept of bioeconomy and used various examples to provide an overview of the applications and potential of bioeconomy/biotechnology. Viola Bronsema, representing the industrial sector, gave a talk that explained industrial processes and the circular economy and illustrated the importance of biotechnology through various key indicators. Johannes Kopton, spokesperson of the Grüne Jugend Magdeburg and member of the initiative “Progressive Agrarwende”, delivered the talk from the civil society sector. His talk looked at how bioeconomy/biotechnology can help address urgent issues such as the onward march of climate change, the growing global population, waste problems and the decreasing supply of raw materials. Later in the workshop, representatives from BASF, Bayer, BRAIN, Clariant and Sanofi-Aventis as well as a representative from the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft presented real-life examples to show how the bioeconomy is currently taking shape.
At the end of the workshop, the participants expressed satisfaction with the results achieved and the personal insights gained, and continued their discussions even after the conclusion of the workshop
Following the kick-off event, the AK NAFIP plans to continue the dialogue on bioeconomy/biotechnology with a parliamentary breakfast, which will be held on 15 October 2019 at the German Parliamentary Society. An updated version of the joint position paper “Making Germany fit for the future with a bio-based economy” will be presented at this upcoming event.