The right alignment of environmental and human needs is the cornerstone of sustainable development. Through the BioSociety research programme we study and advance the bioeconomy and the societal changes it requires.

For example, we influence the formation of policies for the sustainable and acceptable use of renewable natural resources, the functioning of the markets, the spreading of new technologies, business models, and practices that will ensure balanced societal and regional development.

Focus areas:

Assessment of the overall sustainability of bioeconomy

  • Decision-making support for sustainable solutions
    • Integrating indicators for ecological, social, economic and cultural sustainability, including the risk factor, in decision making
    • Benefits policy programmes and regional development
  • Optimizing circular economy
    • Feasible solutions for carbon and nutrient flows
    • Helps cities/municipalities and companies to design bioeconomy
  • Monitoring and valuing ecosystem services
    • Studying the sustainability of ES provision
    • Contributes to policy making in national and regional levels

Climate, energy and natural resources policies

  • Economics of policy instruments
    • Market impacts and impacts on natural resources
    • Cost efficiency of policies
    • Sectoral modelling
  • Risks related to use and non-use of natural resources
    • Integrate ecological and economic modeling
    • Information on risks for decisions on future strategies and policies
  • Formulation of climate-smart agriculture
    and forestry

    • Market, societal and sectoral policy level

Market functionality and Competetiveness of Finnish Bioeconomy

  • Vertical competitiveness, relating to the “fitness” of the sector’s internal dynamics vis-à-vis the global marketplace
    • Cost structure, degree of competition, company-level strategies, profitability of the bioeconomy enterprises, including comparisons between main competitor countries
    • Cost leadership vs. differentiation
  • Horizontal competitiveness, relating to the “fitness” of the business and regulatory environment
    • Monitoring changes and trends affecting the Finnish bioeconomy in global markets (raw materials & final products)
    • market access, finance, energy costs, innovation investments etc
    • Analysing changes in global trade and trade policies, consumer behaviour and population demography
    • Evaluation of the effects of present legislation, as well as analysis of the impacts of new policy proposals on competitiveness
    • Influence of sustainability criteria on the competitiveness of Finnish bioeconomy
  • Globalized trade pressure versus small and fragmented production
  • Efficient markets and transparent prices for bioeconomic resources
    • Price statistics
    • Efficiency of markets, taxes and policy instruments
  • Market signals; volatility, lags and futures
  • Market functionality
    • From primary production to consumer pressure
    • Role of processing industry and retailers
  • Market integration to the EU and global markets

Structural change of enterprises, entrepreneurship and regions

  • Technology diffusion
    • Upscaling and downscaling
    • Human-technology interface
    • Social system innovations
  • Structural change in enterprises
    • Ownership
    • Enterprise types
  • Climate smart and competitive regions
    • Assessing the impact of bioeconomy on local and regional levels

Reconciliation of the natural resources use

  • Governance
    • Co-construction of policies, mechanisms, business models
  • Collaborative planning
    • Approaches to solve biosociety problems from the bottom up
  • Co-creation
    • Concrete approaches to achieve mutually valued outcomes
  • Conflict management
    • Facilitations, nudges and resolutions for value, interest, knowledge, and social psychological conflicts

See also