On the 6th of June three researchers from Hasselt University attended the conference Innovative bio-based products: Investment, Environmental Impacts and Future Perspectives. The designated aim of the conference was to present and discuss the considerations emerging from the study “Bioeconomy: Support to Policy for Research and Innovation”.
The environmental economics research group of Hasselt University performs applied research, investigating challenges and solutions to current demanding sustainability themes. The importance of emerging economic systems such as the bio-economy is a core interest of the research team. Reason enough for three UHasselt researchers to attend the event.
As researchers we are interested in current trends and perspectives of stakeholders from industry, policy and civil society. Understanding the needs and worries of these stakeholders is necessary to come up with innovative solutions. Professor Sebastien Lizin attended the conference to this end; to get insights about knowledge gaps, initiate future cooperation and exchange with stakeholders.
Sophie Van Schoubroeck is performing research on sustainability within bio-based chemistry. She intends to develop environmental, economic as well as social indicators that will allow the evaluation and comparison of bio-based chemicals. Not only the results of the presented research project were informative, but also the confirmation that stakeholders need tools to understand as well as communicate social, environmental and economic advantages of bio-based products.
Katharina Biely is working on developments in the sugar sector. Sugar as an important feedstock for bio-based products may change market circumstances in the future. New developments and trends in the field of bio-products help her to understand future market developments. Anticipating these developments is pivotal for the installation of policies that support desired market conditions. In this regard the conference illustrated that policies support as well as hamper the development of bio-based products. Moreover, industry representatives and researchers emphasized the increasing significance of bio-based products today and in the future.
Katharina Biely performs research for the Horizon 2020 project SUFISA (Grant Agreement No. 635577).