Wood-based bioeconomy – driver of innovative technologies

  • Project team:

    Scheer, Dirk (Project leader)

  • Funding:

    Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR)

  • Start date:

    2020

  • End date:

    2022

  • Project partners:

    National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)

  • Research group:

    Socio-Technical Energy Futures

Project description

Bioeconomy has gained increasing importance in science and politics as a transformation concept towards sustainability. It is regarded as an important building block for the transformation of modern societies in favor of a circular economy based on renewable resources. With the help of knowledge-based innovations, the switch from fossil to renewable, biological resources and the use of biological principles is pursued in key economic sectors to make products, services, and processes sustainable and at the same time future-proof and competitive.

The main product of forestry is wood, which is the world’s most important renewable resource by mass and volume. The material use of wood has a very long tradition. The forestry and wood cluster is of great economic importance to Germany and contributes to value creation and employment, especially in rural areas – solid wood for timber construction, wood-based materials in the furniture industry, for example, or paper and pulp production. In addition to these traditional fields of use, it is also important to advance innovative areas of application that can contribute to diversification and, if necessary, higher value creation: this includes the increased use of wood in composite and lightweight construction, e.g., in the transport sector, or in biorefineries. Here, basic chemicals are produced from lignocellulose. By substituting fossil and energy-intensively produced materials such as steel or petrochemical-based packaging, wood can contribute to climate protection.

The aim of the acatech and TU Dresden collaborative project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), is to analyze the current state of the wood-based bioeconomy in Germany. However, the focus is on identifying new innovative wood-based technologies and products from current research results. The federal states of Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, and Saxony will be examined in detail as model regions for this purpose. Obstacles in the practical introduction should be identified and, in particular, options for action for the implementation and expansion of a sustainable bioeconomy will be presented in an acatech POSITION. In doing so, social advantages and disadvantages will have to be specified and evaluated with the involvement of society.

The project group coordinated by Prof. André Wagenführ, TU Dresden, includes a total of 16 experts in bioeconomy.

External project website: https://www.acatech.de/projekt/holzbasierte-biooekonomie-treiber-innovativer-technologien/

Contact

Dr. Dirk Scheer
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
P.O. Box 3640
76021 Karlsruhe
Germany

Tel.: +49 721 608-22994
E-mail