In progress from 01-11-2010 to 30-01-2012
Project manager: Dr. Bärbel Hüsing
PRESENT STATUS AND FUTURE PERSPECTIVES OF INDUSTRIAL BIOTECHNOLOGY FOR A SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY
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Industrial biotechnology, also referred to as »white biotechnology«, has become a strategic focus in research, industry as well as in policy and has developed very dynamically in recent years.
Industrial biotechnology is particularly relevant in chemical industry, but also in the food, feed and beverages sector, the pharmaceutical industry, pulp and paper production, textile and leather processing as well as in bio-refineries. Products comprise bulk and fine chemicals, materials, polymers, food, food and feed additives, beverages, and precursors of pesticides and drugs.
White biotechnology bears large potentials for more sustainable industrial production and the future innovativeness and competitiveness of the economy. Recent reports on industrial biotechnology, however, focus on scientific-technical and economic developments, but neglect environmental and sustaina-bility aspects. It is the goal of this study to fill this gap.
The following aspects will be investigated:
> Present state and future perspectives of the industrial implementation of biotechnical processes.
> Market developments, companies and business models, Germany's position in international competition.
> Demand side of biobased products, attitudes of the population.
> Environmental and sustainability impacts:
> Synopsis of studies on the environmental and sustainability assessment in industrial biotechnology.
> Present state of environmental impact assessment methodology and needs for methodological improvements.
> Present state of environmental and sustainability impacts of bio-based product groups and biotechnical processes. Inference of product-group specific frame conditions for the realisation of positive environmental im-pacts and for avoiding unintended, negative sustainability impacts.
> Relevance of the findings on environmental and sustainability assessments of industrial biotechnology for stakeholders in strategic considerations and in company activities.
Policy recommendations with respect to methodological improvements, to selected product groups and to the use of knowledge by stakeholders will be derived.