In February 2012 the European Commission announced its «Strategy for a sustainable bio-economy to ensure smart green growth in Europe». The strategy and action plan was called «Innovating for Sustainable Growth: a Bio-economy for Europe». Currently an industrial perspective dominates the EU policy framework for a European bio-economy. The Commission’s proposal on the bio-economy emphasises greater resource-efficiency, largely within an industrial perspective on global economic competitiveness, benefiting capital-intensive industries at higher levels of the value chain.
In an article recently published in the new journal for Bio-based and Applied Economics 1(1) 2012 Otto Schmid, Susanne Padel und Les Levidow argue that a responsible bio-economy must initially address the sustainable use of resources and must be based on a much broader scope than the dominant one in European Commission innovation policy. A public goods-oriented bio-economy emphasises agro-ecological methods, organic and low (external) input farming systems, ecosystem services, social innovation in multi-stakeholder collective practices and joint production of knowledge. The potential of farmers and SMEs to contribute to innovation must be fully recognised.
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