Case studies of regional bioeconomy strategies across Europe

Cite as: Charles, D., Davies, S., Miller, S., Clement, K., Overbeek, G., Hoes, A., Hasenheit, M., Kiresiewa, Z., Kah, S., & Bianchini, C. (2016) Case studies of regional bioeconomy strategies across Europe. Report submitted for the Horizon 2020-funded BioSTEP project.

This report provides a summary of issues raised in the four regional case studies: Scotland, SouthWest Netherlands, Saxony-Anhalt and Veneto. It examines the ways in which the bioeconomy has been defined in regional strategies and the ways in which those regional strategies have been initiated and implemented in the four regions. A primary driver of strategy development has been the need to respond to the requirements of the EU smart specialisation strategies. Whilst all of the strategies have been led to some degree by regional government of some form, most have also sought to develop more inclusive stakeholder groups to develop and implement the strategies. Despite there being different rationales for engagement with the public, the main emphasis has been placed on an instrumental rationale – improving levels of trust through the provision of information – with a lesser normative objective of addressing the ethical right of the public to be involved in decision-making. There has been no real attempt to involve the public in contributing lay knowledge to better understand how the bioeconomy may be implemented. The final section of the report examines examples of stakeholder engagement in the broader sense and draws out good practice examples. These predominantly focus on engagement of business and research communities.

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