The IAAE – International Association of Agricultural Economists organized the 31st ICAE conference in August 2021. The session “Monitoring the EU bioeconomy: emerging methodological and data challenges” was based on the H2020 project BioMonitor. The main aim of the project is to improve both the available statistics and the existing models, integrating data and insights into the analysis of bio- based product.
The session was organized by Maria Vrachioli and Johannes Sauer from the Technical University of Munich. The chairperson was Claudio Soregaroli from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and the discussants were Dirk Carrez from Biobased Industries Consortium and Justus Wesseler from Wageningen University.
The first part of the session aimed to highlight the possible methodological approaches to the study of bio- based value chain and the challenge represented by the data collection. Two case studies were presented, about EU bio-refineries and wastewater sludge valorization, to show alternative approaches to the evaluation of economic, social and environmental impacts of the value chain.
The second part of the session was dedicated to the challenges of data collection, reliability and interpretation. Research institutes’ experts talked about their hand-on experience in collecting data from new value chains: Nova institute discusses the hurdles and difficulties during the monitoring process, the case of bioplastics and biobased packaging. Thünen Institut highlighted the difficulty to measure the direct contribution of bio-based amino acids to the bioeconomy.
The “Monitoring the EU bioeconomy: emerging methodological and data challenges” session’s target was represented by all the researchers and stakeholders involved into emerging bio-economy values chains.
Disentangling the impact of bio- based supply chains from broader aggregated industries is challenging, but it is also a fundamental step to highlight the importance of the bio- economy in the sustainable growth and development sector.