Two new BioMonitor publications

The BioMonitor project is happy to share two new publications by three project partners: Tévécia Ronzon, Susanne Lost, and George Philippidis.

News Post - 12 Jan 2022

The first one is “An output-based measurement of EU bioeconomy services: Marrying statistics with policy insight”: in its revised bioeconomy strategy, the European Union (EU) has extended the scope of activities to include services. Employing an output-based approach, this study quantifies the contribution of bioeconomy services to gross domestic product and employment in the EU Member States over 2008–2017. Moreover, it also identifies the main sectoral sources of employment and growth within bioeconomy services.

The choice of Eurostat statistics ensures data harmonisation across countries and continuity for future updates, although important data needs are identified to enhance the representation of bioeconomy services within European statistical frameworks. In 2015–2017, economic growth was stronger in bioeconomy services than in the total EU economy. Bioeconomy services accounted for between 5.0–8.6% and 10.2–16.9% of EU gross domestic product and the EU labour force, respectively, whilst three service sectors account for more than 60% of bioeconomy services employment and value added. Interestingly, in the decade up to 2017, labour productivity in bioeconomy services improved.

The other publication is about environment, development and sustainability, it’s called “Has the European Union entered a bioeconomy transition? Combining an output-based approach with a shift-share analysis”: The bioeconomy is a collective of activities charged with the production of biologically renewable resources or ‘biomass’ (e.g. agriculture, forestry), its diverse application (e.g. food, textiles, construction, chemicals) and subsequent reuse (e.g. compositing, waste management).

Since the European Union (EU) launched its bioeconomy strategy in 2012, further bioeconomy policy initiatives have proliferated at regional, national and pan-European levels. Moreover, the EU Green Deal announced in 2019 targets a transition towards a low-carbon sustainable model of growth, food and energy security, biodiversity and natural resource management, where it is envisaged that the bioeconomy will play a key role. Despite a paucity of available data, the surge in policy interest has triggered the need for evidence-based monitoring of bioeconomy sectors and the efficient tailoring of policy support.

Thus, on a Member State (MS) basis for the period 2008–2017, they (1) adopt an ‘output-based’ approach to construct a panel data of performance indicators and (2) characterise the sources of growth and transitional stage of the bioeconomy. Results reveal that the bioeconomy has maintained its relative importance within the total EU27 economy. At the EU level, agriculture and the food industry have played a key role in driving a transition in the primary and industrial bioeconomy sectors due to their significant labour productivity-enhancing impact. Four Northern MS exhibit a bioeconomy transition by modernising their bioeconomy activities and operating structural changes. Other Northern and Western EU MS are still in the early stages of a transition, whilst in Eastern and Central Europe, such a transition remains elusive.