Distributed Bio-Based Economy

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  • Distributed Bio-Based Economy – Driving Sustainable Growth. By Päivi Luoma, Juha Vanhanen and Paula Tommila. SITRA, September 2011

URL = https://www.sitra.fi/julkaisut/muut/Distributed_BioBased_Economy.pdf


Päivi Luoma, Juha Vanhanen and Paula Tommila:

"Bio-economy is here to stay. It is much more than just biomass-based production or biotechnology. Bio-economy is a societal strategy to combat climate change and the increasing scarcity of natural resources. Accordingly, we should not only view bio-economy as a new business sector but also consider the wider spatial and material ow aspects of increasing bio-based production ……. The development path in our vision requires the simultaneous development of a global bio-based economy and the introduction of distributed production models at a local level.

In a bio-based economy the production of goods and services is based on sustained ecosystems and renewable biological resources, i.e. biomass. The bio-based economy is the key means to replace fossil fuels while ensuring a sustainable food production.

In a bio-based economy, material cycles are effcient and sustainable. Waste from one process is a raw-material for another. Many technologies operate on the side flows or waste from other processes and provide side benefits such as reduced nutrient emissions.

The Distributed Economy Model is often connected to the bio-based economy due to the locality of biomass production and low sustainability of its transportation over long distances. The distributed bio-based economy emphasizes the possibilities of local production close to the site where raw-materials are obtained from.

The success of a distributed bio-based economy is based on the economy of numbers instead of the economy of scale. Goods are often produced locally in closed-loop value networks, where di erent types of industries produce and use residues and wastes from the neighbouring plants, and even the energy needed for production is produced locally. The future concepts of the distributed bio-based economy are modular and multipliable. A bio-based economy is not only a bundle of new technology and bio-related economy but also a new way of thinking of how to live in a sustainable way. It is a cross-cutting issue having an effect on the whole society.

The Distributed Bio-Based Economy Model is glocal – both local and global. For example, global scale energy and information grids as well as open real-time trading schemes enable distributed bio- based economy hubs to operate as a part of the global market in an optimal way." (https://www.sitra.fi/julkaisut/muut/Distributed_BioBased_Economy.pdf)