Bio-based economy refers to an economic system not more strictly dependent on fossil fuels for energy and industrial raw materials, but on the large use of bio-fuels, like ethanol and diesel, made directly from agricultural crops, and on replacing biomass as industrial feedstocks, by fermenting and converting it to a vast range of materials thanks to enzymes and micro-organisms developed for the target. In this view biotechnology and its applications, responsible for bio-based product progress, for the diffusion of biorefineries and for the increasing use of renewable materials, represent the main way to a sustainable economy. Bio-economy research and innovation allow improvements in managing renewable biological resources, then to enter new and diversified markets in food and bio-based products. Bio-economy is named in Strategy Europe 2020 as a key element for a smart and green growth in Europe. Another relevant potential of bio-economy regards the opportunity in maintaining and creating employment in rural, coastal and industrial areas.

COM(2012)60 final, del 13 febbraio 2012, Innovating for Sustainable Growth: A Bioeconomy for Europe

Editor: Marianna RONCHINI