Foresight report: How might the European bioeconomy look in 2050?

Experts in the Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) have built four alternative scenarios for the EU bioeconomy in 2050. They follow the European Commission’s 2020 Strategic Foresight Report which mentioned the potential of sustainable bioeconomy to transform Europe’s agricultural and industrial base and to create new jobs whilst enhancing our natural resources and ecosystems. Each scenario describes the world, Europe and the bioeconomy in 2050, but with political and policy variations, and consider the contributions to the objectives of the EU Bioeconomy Strategy and to selected United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight said: “Strategic foresight helps identify future challenges and ways to prepare for them, by supporting decision-making in an impactful way. Applied to bioeconomy, it is therefore vital, as we live in a world of limited resources. Deploying a sustainable and circular bioeconomy will help us create new bio-based value chains across Europe, while showing that prosperity and the health of our environment can go hand in hand.” Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “Policies addressing all sectors of activity are more robust if supported by collective intelligence. The foresight process carried out by the European Commission provides scenarios alongside the opportunities and challenges they represent and helps to shape the future we want. This study by the Joint Research Centre is an important contribution and I invite all to enjoy the reading.” The Commission plans to further explore these scenarios, in order to facilitate and strengthen strategic and systemic reflections amongst key stakeholders of the European bioeconomy. For more information on the scenarios and the report, read the JRC press release.