What parameters can be used to measure bioeconomical development?

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Bioeconomical Sectors

For the development of a bioeconomy, not every industrial branch is equally important. Therefore, an assessment of which branches are believed to have the biggest impact on bioeconomical growth is needed. According to the national bioeconomy profiles issued by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission, industries are classified the following sectors: biomass production sector, 100 % bio-based transformation, partly bio-based and non-bio-based, of which the last is not further investigated. (Bioeconomy Observatory Team, 2014 -a; Bioeconomy Observatory Team, 2014 -b).
According to Europe’s Bioeconomy Strategy, the following industrial branches are included in the definition of a bioeconomy:
Food products.
Pulp and paper production.
Parts of chemicals and chemical production.
The industries are based on a verity of sciences (social science, agronomy, life science, food science and ecology). Through the use of emerging industrial technologies, (nanotechnology, information and communication technologies and biotechnology), these areas are prominently innovative and can be used to support the development of a bioeconomy (European Commission, 2012 ). National bioeconomy profiles have been issued by the bioeconomical filial of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission (Bioeconomy Observatory Team, 2014 -a; Bioeconomy Observatory Team, 2014 -b). The profiles list additional industrial sectors e.g. the pharmaceutical sector. In addition to the six sectors mentioned above, the pharmaceutical industry is asses within the framework of this study. This is due to a relatively big pharmaceutical sector in Sweden (Sandström, 2016) which is deemed necessary to involve in the investigation of the bioeconomical development.
According to the national bioeconomy profiles, the industries can be categorized according to the following (Bioeconomy Observatory Team, 2014 -a; Bioeconomy Observatory Team, 2014 -b): Biomass production sectors:
Agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
100% bio-based transformation sectors:
Food products, Pulp and paper production.
Partly bio-based sectors:
Chemicals/chemical products, Pharmaceutical products.
In Sweden, forestry is predominant given the extensive access to it. However, agriculture is also a big industry supporting the bioeconomical development of Sweden (Nilsson, 2016).

Literature Study

Preceding the main literature study, a pre-literature study was carried out to get an overview of the topic, background information regarding the problem and to learn about the existing regulation. To answer some of the research questions, an extensive literature research followed. Table 1 contains a list of the literature of which the literature study consisted. The literature study is delimited to cover the settings considered relevant to Sweden: The EU and Finland. The EU significantly effects the regulatory framework of Sweden through the directives issued. Finland is a neighbouring country used for comparison based on the presumption that Finland and Sweden share the same preconditions of both having the forest as a great biomass asset. Further, Finland is found relevant due to their elaborate national bioeconomical strategy. The literature studied investigates the bioeconomical status and/or development of Sweden, Finland and the EU.

Interview Methodology

The second method used to investigate the bioeconomical development of Sweden, was personal interviews with representatives from ministries, agencies, the academia and the industry. The interview methodology formed the essential core of the thesis. The interviewees were chosen to cover the whole spectra of ministries, agencies, institutes, academia and the industry. As presented in chapter 2: Theoretical Framework, there are certain industries especially relevant to the area of bioeconomy (section 2.2). Due to the timeframe of the study, it was not possible to interview actors from all the industries above. Information regarding the industries not gained by interviews was obtained through the literature study. Representatives from the biggest (or one of the biggest) actors were interviewed. The interviewees were chosen based on their professional positions and its relevance to this study. Each interviewees’ position is shown below. They are to be considered as “representatives” of their respective industry and the study is based on the generalization that every interviewee reflects the general opinion within its certain field. A list of the interviewees is presented in Table 2.

What parameters can be used to measure bioeconomical development?

Interview question eight ‘What parameters would you use to measure bioeconomical development?’, was used to yield the results for this sub-question. Ex ante it is noted that the results obtained for this sub-question are constructive enough to draw a clear conclusion regarding what parameters to use for measuring bioeconomical growth. It rapidly became clear that interviewees had obvious difficulties answering the question despite that the questions had been sent beforehand of the interview giving the interviewees time to prepare (given that this time was invested). Generally, the interview questions triggered the interviewees to further develop their answers. Interview question eight instead caused a pause from which it was sometimes hard to recover. Slightly modifying the question to fit the relevant interviewee did not result in more sufficient answers nor prevented the stop. After changing the order as an attempt to make the question more fitting, it was still met with unclear answers. The interviewees avoided giving specific and straight information by simply speaking about matters which related to the topic in general. Obtaining essentially “empty” answers resulted in the particular interview question to being asked swiftly or not at all during later interviews. The results obtained are displayed in Table 6.

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Anne-Cerise Nilsson, Deputy Director at the Ministry of Environment and Energy, was met with to assess the role of this ministry in the Swedish bioeconomical development. She was asked about how the Ministry of Environment and Energy operate when making decisions regarding support schemes. However, being a deputy director, Anne-Cerise Nilsson have first-hand information about the budget-process of the Swedish Government when deciding on how to distribute financial means amongst the ministries of Sweden. The results are depicted in Figure 6.
The budget-making process starts with every ministry in Sweden submitting their results along with analysis and conclusion of these, to the Swedish Government. The Government subsequently uses these reports to assess what direction the politics shall have henceforth. A first “draft” suggesting the future direction is sent to all the ministries for evaluation. The draft is sent back and revised by the Government according to the feedback given from the ministries. The budget proposition is then founded based on the draft and presented to the Swedish Parliament. The Swedish Government present a new budget proposition twice per year (spring and fall). Therefore, this process proceeds iterates throughout the year and ministerial reporting is continuously required. The budget proposition constitutes the basis for the appropriation letters and specifies the administrative allocation (means to run the ministries and agencies) and directed grants (means to use for support schemes) appointed every ministry and the associated agencies.


The Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation is one of ten ministries facilitating the rule of Sweden. Its key areas of responsibility are related to enterprise and industrial policies, Government enterprises, regional growth, infrastructural questions, urban development and housing, rural affairs and information technology (Government Offices, 2016b). The three first mentioned can be strongly linked to the bioeconomical development making it a topic present on the ministerial agenda. (Hedberg, 2016)
Per Hedberg was interviewed about the way of directing financial support in the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation to its subsiding agencies. The result is depicted in Figure 7.
The Ministry of Enterprise is divided in to four main Operational Departments, covering in total 21 Divisions and six Secretariats. When making a governmental decision, it is the role of the Departments, the Divisions and the Secretariats to prepare substantial and sufficient background material on the issues being assessed (Government Offices, 2016b).

Table of contents :

Definition of Specific Terms
Translating Vocabulary
1. Introduction
1.1 Background
1.2 Objective and Research Questions
2. Theoretical Framework
2.1 The term ‘Bioeconomy’
2.2 Bioeconomical Sectors
3. Methodology
3.1 Research Design
3.2 Literature Study
3.3 Interview Methodology
4. Results and Analysis
4.1 A: How is the bioeconomical development of Sweden evolving?
A.1 What is a bioeconomy?
A.2 What parameters can be used to measure bioeconomical development?
A.3 What is the current bioeconomical state of Sweden?
A.4 How does the bioeconomical status of Sweden compare to that of Finland?
4.2 B: How is the development conducted to support the bioeconomical transition?
B.1 How is funding given?
B.2 To what investments are funding given?
4.3 C: How can the development be accelerated?
C.1 What is the opinion of actors involved in the development?
C.2 With regards to A and B, what actions can be taken?
5. Discussion and Conclusion
6. Recommendations
7. References


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