Flagship projects of the Bioeconomy in Austria
Bioeconomy is an economic concept that aims to replace fossil resources (raw materials and energy sources) with renewable raw materials in as many areas and applications as possible. It covers all industrial and economic sectors that produce, process, handle or use biological resources.
The bioeconomy offers a great opportunity to meet global challenges such as the progression of climate change, food and water shortages or increasing environmental pollution, while at the same time strengthening economic development. Therefore, the bioeconomy is one of the four fundamental pillars of the decarbonisation of the economic system and contributes to transforming the economy towards climate neutrality.
The framework for the implementation of the bioeconomy is provided by the Austrian Bioeconomy Strategy that was adopted in 2019. In this strategy, guidelines were developed – coordinated with the UN Sustainable Development Goals - to counter potential conflicts of interest and look for synergies with other objectives of the 2030 Agenda.
The federal government has committed itself to implementing the Austrian bioeconomy strategy in the governmental programme 2020–2024. The programme has already formulated recommendations for action that contribute to the transformation of the economy towards climate neutrality.
Implementing the Austrian bioeconomy strategy
Based on a structured and participatory process with 20 workshops and more than 400 participants from business, science, civil society and administration, approximately 800 inputs in the field of bioeconomy were collected and processed into more than 100 measures during the process.
The flagship projects are measures that specifically contribute to the transformation of the economy. The selection is also based on the thematic fields of the bioeconomy strategy and thus ensures a balanced contribution to the six target fields of the strategy.
The flagship projects of the Bioeconomy in Austria
Flagship Project "Sustainable, Bio-based Consumption Patterns"
This flagship project deals with measures to generate a change of consumer patterns towards a more sustainable consumption. This should be achieved for example by repairing instead of discarding or through examples set by the public sector.
Flagship Project "Funding and Promoting Bioeconomy"
This flagship project contains the new bioeconomy-relevant funding priorities of the domestic environmental promotion (UFI) as well as current activities and possible options for reducing land sealing.
Flagship Project "Regional Value added through the Bioeconomy"
This flagship project describes, on the one hand, measures that supports regional infrastructure, by the future program of rural development, and, on the other hand, the Climate and Energy Fund's call for proposals for a bioeconomy/bio-based circular economy priority region in Austria within the framework of the Climate and Energy Model Region (KEM) programme.
Flagship Project "Advancing Innovation in the Renewable Use of Resource"
This flagship projects highlights research-cooperations as well as new topics for the implementation of the bioeconomy strategy, such as the promotion of starch as raw material for bioeconomy or textile recycling in context of applied research.
Flagship Project "Bio-based Circular Economy"
This flagship project shows the bioeconomy-relevant field of the circular economy as well as the green chemistry initiatives that are already being implemented. At the same time the development of a market for high-quality, biogenic, secondary materials is presented in this flagship.
Flagship Project "Austrian Wood Initiative"
The goal of the Forest Fund Act is, among others, to strengthen the use of wood as raw material for an active contribution to climate protection. Numerous measures of the Forest Fund Act contribute to the implementation of the bioeconomy strategy. For example, through the Austrian Wood Initiative, wood construction will be promoted more strongly, research in the wood sectors will be intensified and technical infrastructures for the production of gas, biofuels and hydrogen from wood will be financed.
Flagship Projects "Ecological Guard Rails of the Bioeconomy"
This flagship project describes the basic life science research for sustainable bioeconomy development as well as the future developments for research infrastructure.
Flagship Project "Raising Awareness - Knowledge Management for the Bioeconomy"
This flagship project highlights the bioeconomy-relevant priorities in the curricula and measures for raising awareness in the field of bioeconomy, as well as knowledge transfer to all levels of the education system.
In addition, the Bioeconomy Action Plan will be published in 2021 as a publicly accessible database.