This project (2020-1-SE01-KA203-077872) has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Bioeconomy Principles for Sustainability

Admission Requirements
Knowledge and understanding of the main elements of sustainable development

Learning Outcomes

Following the successful completion of the course the following main learning outcomes are expected:


  • Be familiar with the concept of bioeconomy, its different perspectives, stakeholders, challenges and limitations
  • Be familiar with the main characteristics of a bio-based value chain, its components and their in-between connections
  • Delineate the characteristics, functions, services and basic economics of the main sectors of primary production which are closely connected with bioeconomy.
  • Outline the main processes for biomass transformation for producing materials, energy and fuels.
  • Understand the principles of life-cycle sustainability assessment and be aware of the key tools needed for developing bioeconomy-based entrepreneurship


  • Identify the challenges and limitations of a bioconomy-based policy or application
  • Recognize the complex interrelations within a specific bio-based value chain
  • Analyze the effects of different events and policies on supply and demand on the market of bio-based products
  • Understand and provide explanations of the results reached from the application of methods for sustainability assessment of bioeconomic applications
  • Understand the challenges and potential of a bioeconomic application in order to engage in relevant entrepreneurship


  • Combine knowledge from different disciplines in order to understand the diverse aspects of a complex issue
  • Decision making via collecting, analyzing and assessing evidence from diverse sources and disciplines
  • Adapt in novel societal situations via following the principles of the three pillars of sustainable development
  • Work in a transdisciplinary environment
  • Approach a complex problem/issue/situation via a systems thinking approach


The course contents are summarized as follows:

  • The main perspectives, stakeholders and challenges of bioeconomy
  • The concept of bioeconomy in relation with the concepts of sustainable development, green economy and circular economy
  • Inter- and transdisciplinary research practices in bioeconomy
  • Process of biomass formation, design of biomass characteristics, the role of biological knowledge in bioeconomy
  • The characteristics of biobased value chains
  • The characteristics, functions and services of primary production (agriculture, forestry, aquaculture and microalgae)
  • The basic economics of primary production
  • Biorefinery concepts – Principles of processing biomass in order to produce new materials, fuels and energy
  • The main features of the market of biobased materials – Supply and demand – Price mechanism
  • Principles of sustainability assessment of bioeconomy
  • Principles of bioeconomy based entrepreneurship

  • Sillanpää, M. & Ncibi, C. (2017) “A Sustainable Bioeconomy: The Green Industrial Revolution”, Springer
  • Lewandowski, I. (Ed.) (2018) “Bioeconomy: Shaping the Transition to a Sustainable, Biobased Economy”, Springer
  • Pietzsch, J. (Ed.) (2017) “Bioeconomy for Beginners”, Springer

Teaching Methodology
  • Lectures
  • Short Projects
  • Case study analysis
  • Independent Study
  • Field Trips

ECTS Credits
7,5 ECTS Credits

III semester

Examination methodology
  • Short papers’ writing and oral defence (60%)
  • Oral examination on overall course material (40%)

The term bioeconomy includes the production of biobased resources, their conversion for different uses (food, feed, energy, materials) and their subsequent commecialization. The course brings out the diverse perspectives of bioeconomy which requires the interplay of a variety of different scientific disciplines and stakeholders and the design and implementation of inter- and transdisciplinary research via a complex systems thinking approach.

New Course
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License