The biological sciences are adding value to a host of products and services, producing what some have labelled the “bioeconomy”. From a broad economic perspective, the bioeconomy refers to the set of economic activities relating to the invention, development, production and use of biological products and processes. If it continues on course, the bioeconomy could make major socioeconomic contributions. These benefits are expected to improve health outcomes, boost the productivity of agriculture and industrial processes, and enhance environmental sustainability.
The Bioeconomy to 2030: Designing a Policy Agenda begins with an evidence-based technology approach, focusing on biotechnology applications in primary production, health, and industry. It describes the current status of biotechnologies and, using quantitative analyses of data on development pipelines and R&D expenditures from private and public databases, it estimates biotechnological developments to 2015. Moving to a broader institutional view, it also looks at the roles of R&D funding, human resources, intellectual property, and regulation in the bioeconomy, as well as at possible developments that could influence emerging business models. Fictional scenarios to 2030 are included to encourage readers to reflect on the interplay between policy choices and technological advances in shaping the bioeconomy. Finally, the book explores policy options to support the social, environmental and economic benefits of a bioeconomy.