[Report] The 99th STIG PoP Seminar (#4 The Basics Session : The Bioeconomy from the Industry’s Perspective)

Below is the provisional translation of the original Japanese seminar: 第99回STIG PoPセミナー

[The objective of the bioeconomy seminar series] Since a bioeconomic report was created by the OECD in 2009, many countries in Europe and the United States have developed policy documents highlighting the bioeconomy and the momentum for the bioeconomy has been growing. It has also been declared in the Bioeconomic Strategy 2019 that Japan will create the world’s leading bioeconomic society by 2030 and update and promote its bioeconomic strategy every year. However, the bioeconomy concept is extremely broad and its specific overview is not sufficiently certain. This seminar therefore aims to invite experts of domestic/international trends and share information about the current status of bioeconomic developments with the participants. Through this interaction, we will consider the significance, strengths, and challenges of bioeconomies.

● Seminar Information
Date and time: December 24, 2020 (Thursday) 1:00 PM ~ 3:00 PM
Venue: Seminar Room A, International Academic Research Building, The University of Tokyo and online streaming (Zoom) (hybrid format)
Organizer: Education and Research Unit, Science, Technology, and Innovation Governance (STIG), The University of Tokyo
Co-organizer: SIP’s (Strategic Innovation Promotion Program on Technologies for Smart Bioindustry and Agriculture) consortium for public understanding (Masashi Tachikawa and Makiko Matsuo, in charge of overseas regulatory trends)
Number of participants: 30

● Program
Explanation of purpose and overview of previous session: Makiko Matsuo, The University of Tokyo
(1) The meaning of the bioeconomy from the industry’s perspective (i.e. efforts made thus far):
 Yuji Sakamoto, Secretariat, Japan Association of Bioindustries Executives (JABEX)
(2) Industry road map
Introduction and overall overview (Sakamoto)
Manufacturing road map: Takuji Wada, Japan Association of Bioindustries Executives (JABEX)
(3) Summary of GBS (Global Bio Summit) from November and the challenges and future outlook: Takuji Wada

● Session report
In the beginning of this session, the moderator (Makiko Matsuo, The University of Tokyo) shared the purpose of this study session and the overview of the previous session, and then had each speaker present their topic.
First, Yuji Sakamoto, Secretariat, Japan Association of Bioindustries Executives (JABEX) explained the significance of bioeconomies for the industry. He pointed out that circular bioeconomies are being promoted in Europe, which regards it as a social transformation movement that transcends the simple dimensions of technology and administrative systems. He explained that such trend is now global, and Japanese companies must also realistically implement such measures.
Next, there was an explanation of the background and overview of the industry road map that was created ahead of the development of the road map for the government’s bioeconomy strategy. The specific details were given by Takuji Wada from Japan Association of Bioindustries Executives (JABEX).
Next, Wada gave an overview of the Global Bioeconomy Summit (GBS) held in Germany in November 2020 and introduced the policies of Europe, Germany, and the U.S. He particularly mentioned about the promotion of bioeconomies through multi-layered policy packages in Europe, and movements in the U.S. such as USDA’s Bio Preferred Program, the Bio Economy Summit (2019), and passage of the Bioeconomy Research and Development Act of 2021.