Use the joint Nordic Bioeconomy Strategy to bring about change, and utilise the potential of the Nordic region to make the world a better place to live, by speeding up the move to sustainability. These were some of the key messages that came out of the 2nd meeting of the Nordic Bioeconomy Panel in Reykjavik. The panel gave important perspectives on the bioeconomy, and how to develop a common Nordic Bioeconomy Strategy.
The Nordic Bioeconomy Panel is a formal policy and strategy forum set up by the Ministers for Co-operation. The panel is comprised of representatives from public agencies, research bodies, private companies, and civil society. The main task is to draw up proposals for a joint Nordic Bioeconomy Strategy, due to be presented in autumn 2017 for the Nordic Minister Council of Fisheries, Agriculture, Food and Forestry.
Essential progress was made and rewarding discussions were held about the complex problem of how to evaluate and present a selection of cases from the Nordic region, representing innovative solutions and initiatives that in their specific fields have made remarkable progress and achieved impressive results. Inspiring and useful cases from all of the Nordic countries will be published in 2017, and benchmarked from an international context. “Together, we are like pioneers, sharing experiences and cases that can highlight the specific and unifying traits of the Nordic Bioeconomy, for instance its leadership in primary biomass production,” Johan Elvnert Director, European Forest-based Sector Technology Platform, proclaimed.
There was consensus around the table on the opportunities afforded by and the need for a Nordic Bioeconomy Strategy. There is always demand for good practices, and the Nordic countries already hold strong positions internationally, so a Nordic dimension will add extra significant value and competitiveness. One idea arising from the discussion was to use the upcoming strategy to kick-start a new Nordic collaboration within the field of bioeconomy and use the expected good results to strengthen the Nordic dimension also in more general terms when it comes to moving ourselves, EU and the rest of the world towards improved sustainability by using our resources better.
During the meeting, the panel also stressed the need for re-thinking old models and methods, and engaging new actors, entrepreneurs, start-ups, , local developers and other change agents within public and private sector in the future work within the Nordic Bioeconomy. New target groups are important, and the strategy could attain even greater impact by reaching a much broader group, ranging from experts to ministers of finance, with civil society in between. Lene Lange, professor at Technical University of Denmark, emphasised that we should not only follow the traditional path when designing the strategy, but use every opportunity to make a greater impact. This can be done by focusing also on bottom-up processes in order to understand the local perspective and build on the local collaboration and drive.
The 2nd meeting of the Nordic Bioeconomy Panel was held in Reykjavik on 4 October, in conjunction with the Nordbio conference Minding the Future.