Global Bio economy summit

  • 28th April 2018
  • by secretary

19-20 April 2018. Berlin, Germany. Global Bio economy summit. An ambitious program featuring high-level speakers and bioeconomy experts from around the globe.

Around 700 high-ranking representatives from politics, science, civil society and the business sector and from more than 70 countries discussed the latest developments and challenges in the global bioeconomy. This was the second time that German Bioeconomy Council had organized the Global Bioeconomy Summit in the German capital.

“We created an event format in the Global Bioeconomy Summit that succeeds in bringing together broad international expertise on bioeconomy, innovation, biodiversity and sustainability. Together with all the experts from different fields, we can identify important obstacles on our way towards a biobased economy, join forces to search for solutions and place them on the international policy agenda,” Joachim von Braun, Co-chair of the German Bioeconomy Council,

More than 100 top-class speakers contributed to the event. They included ministers and government representatives from Asia, Africa, Europe, South and North America; international policy experts from the United Nations, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Commission; as well as high-level representatives from science and industry. In ten plenary sessions and 14 workshops, the participants discussed a wide range of societal, scientific, economic and political challenges to implementing the visions of the bioeconomy, which often differed widely from region to region, in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

At the end of the 2-day conference, the 40 members of the Summit’s International Advisory Council recommended setting up an international mechanism or forum to support and promote: 
  • a structured exchange of policies and practices among the global bioeconomy community on the key themes identified by the GBS2018 
  • a start-of-the-art knowledge base for bioeconomy policy and governance, specifically of evidence-based information and assessments that are considered trustworthy by all stakeholders 
  • a competent and significant bioeconomy voice in global policy fora related to innovation, sustainable development and the Paris Agreement, providing a holistic perspective and considering the interdependencies between individual SDGs in the bioeconomy 
  • the facilitation of international collaboration programs in bioeconomy R and D and capacity building oriented toward common goals

“Globally, 50 countries have issued policy strategies related to bioeconomy development. Yet the potential of the bioeconomy is still rarely discussed in international policy fora. What we need is a continued and, ideally, a more formalized international dialogue on bioeconomy. The Global Bioeconomy Summit has created a good basis for this,”  Christine Lang, Co-chair of the Bioeconomy Council

Extracts of the programme
Role of Bio-Innovation and Biodiversity for Africa, H.E. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, Former President, Mauritius

Bioeconomy of World Regions (Room: Bratislava) – Africa

RAPPORTEUR Nicholas Ozor, IAC 2015, African Technology Policy Studies Network, Kenya

The aim of this interactive workshop on the bioeconomy region of Africa was to create an engaging platform to discuss strategies for bioeconomy development in Africa and to highlight opportunities for international collaboration in bioeconomy development. Topical questions include: what are the challenges involved from a regional perspective? And what are potential starting points for a deepened cooperation between European and African bioeconomy regions? Broadening our perspective, we also aim to address challenges and opportunities for integrating African bioeconomy regions into a global bioeconomy while using the SDGs as global sustainability safeguards.

  1. Topic cluster 1: African concepts of bioeconomy, national and macro-regional strategies, and SDG;
  2. Topic cluster 2: Opportunities and challenges for bioeconomic transformation in Africa;
  3. Topic cluster 3: Integration of African bioeconomies in the global context and implications for achieving the SDG
  • Region specific: What is the understanding of bioeconomy concepts and what are the strategies in African countries?
  • What is the unmet bioeconomical potential to achieve SDGs in the region and how do policy strategies in African countries consider SDGs?
  • Region specific: What are the challenges in African countries concerning the development of bioeconomies (science policy, resource competition, jobs, potential winners and losers)
  • Region specific: What are the opportunities for collaboration within Africa, incl. private sector innovations? In addition, what potential arises from the development of synergies between life sciences and digitization?
  • Global perspective: How to achieve a successful integration into global value chains and how to foster cooperation with other world regions in the global bioeconomy?


  • Angelo Riccaboni, President of PRIMA initiative
  • Jan Janosch Förster, Senior Researcher, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF), STRIVE project
  • Diuto Esiobu, President / CEO Applied Biotech Inc USA/ Int Nigeria Ltd.
  • Kassahun Tesfaye, Director General of the Ethiopian Biotechnology Institute 
  • Sigi Gruber – Head of Unit- EU Commission, Brussels
  • Peggy Oti Boateng, Senior Programme Specialist for Science and Technology for Africa and the Coordinator for the African Network of Scientific and Technological Institutions (ANSTI)
  • Paul Mungeyi, Manager Biotechnology National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST)
  • Philippe Mengal, Executive Director of the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU)
  • Ivar Virgin, Stockholm Environment Institute
  • Holger Hoff, Senior scientist at SEI and PIK, with focus on integrated resource management, footprints, global responsibility along supply chains, and planetary boundaries