Jump directly to the page contents

Sustainable Bioeconomy


The vision of this Cross-Programme Initiative is a natural circle of a sustainable Bioeconomy with the promise of a worldwide supply of food and an extraction of high qualitative products out of renewable materials.


  • to develop integrated approaches as the basis for sustainable Bioeconomy routes addressing the grand challenges mentioned above
  • to advance the required knowledge about biological system and the processing of biobased resource
  • to develop technical and socio-economic sound solutions based on scientific knowledge about biological systems and processing of biomass to develop novel bio-based products that provide innovative characteristics (e.g. chemical products, novel bio-based materials) and thus are competitive on market
  • to provide resource stewardship and sustainable and resilient ecosystem function including mitigation and adaptation to climate change through alternative options for a fossil based economy
  • to address national as well as the global challenges of food security and safety, provision of non-fossil resources, natural resource stewardship as well as bioenergy options integrated into a future sustainable energy mix

The Strategy is to achieve this by

  • developing novel and quantitative key technologies to utilise plants and microbes as well as their interaction as major bio-resources for a sustainable bioeconomy
  • executing analysis of the impact of practices of biomass production on soil, water and landscape, and develop options for sustainable provision of ecosystem services and towards resilient land use system
  • developing efficient processing and conversion technologies of biomass (including biobased waste) for sustainable bioenergy options
  • developing integrated approaches along entire value chains aiming at zero- or minimal waste, cascade and multi-product utilisation of biomass, integrated biorefinery approaches and closed loop designs of bioeconomy cycles

Structurally this will be achieved

  • by integrating the wide range of scientific expertise within the Helmholtz Association in the five programs of “Key Technology for the Bioeconomy”, “Terrestrial Environment”, „Atmosphere and Climate“, „Renewable Energy" and “Technology, Innovation and Society” including major contributions from five Helmholtz research centers. In addition aspects of Bioeconomy and Human Heath are addressed.
  • by developing, using and providing unique technologies and technology platforms
  • by cooperating with non-Helmholtz research in universities and non-university research organization, with industry, policy makers and civil society

As curious as we are? Discover more.