Emerging technologies

Survey on Managing the Transition to a Bio-based Economy


Advances in biotechnology are driving a change towards wider and technologically-sophisticated use of biobased alternatives and bioprocesses across a range of industries. The transformative ability of biotechnology, applied to industrial processes is co-delivering profitability and environmental gains. The report prepared by the OECD Task Force on Biotechnology for Sustainable Industrial Development, The Application of Biotechnology to Industrial Sustainability (2001) was the first detailed study to bring together systematic evidence that the use of biotechnology, bio-based feedstocks and bioprocesses in industrial production can improve industrial eco-efficiency and lower costs.

Moving towards greater and more efficient use of bio-based products and processes offers the prospect of developing an economy that is increasingly based on renewable resources, lessening the environmental impact of industrial activities, with novel products opening up new markets and creating new industries – a bio-based economy.

Since publication of this report we have seen a great deal of interest in delivery of a bio-based economy – a number of high-profile initiatives have heralded the benefits that a transition to such an economy would bring.

The effectiveness of measures being taken to leverage positive transition to a bio-based economy is the current focus of the OECD Task Force. One aspect of this work is to conduct a country-by-country survey that will assess what steps governments, industry and other relevant actors are taking towards realising a bio-based economy (through the use of biotechnology, bio-based feedstocks and bioprocesses in industrial production) and to highlight the barriers and drivers and identify what, if any, best practices exist in policy development to drive sustainable growth and development in line with a bio-based economy.

We invite you to respond to this survey. We are seeking respondents from both the public and private sector. To complete the survey on line, please click here. If you prefer to print the survey in pdf format and then mail it to us, please click here. The closing date for responses is Thursday, 15 September 2005.


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