Report maps the Norwegian bio economy

Report maps the Norwegian bio economy

February 23, 2018

A new report provides a combined overview of the Norwegian bio economy by outlining the current industrial uses of resources in forestry, agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture.

By: Magnar Forbord, Ruralis.

The bio economy is a wide phenomenon encompassing a broad resource base on land and in the oceans. The possibilities for future developments are huge, including cross-sectorial cooperation.

Traditionally, the sectors in the bio economy have operated separately. We normally consider forestry, agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture and related industries as separate industries. With increasingly more examples of cross-sectorial cooperation in recent times, a cross-sectorial overview has been produced outlining the current industrial uses of biological resources and products in all these sectors in Norway.

Read the new report:  Current industrial uses of biological resources and products in Norway. A cross-sectoral view on the bio economy.

This report, which is part of the Biosmart project funded by the Research Council of Norway, builds on a previous report on resources in the primary sectors of the bio economy (Mapping the bioeconomy: Biological resources and production in forestry, agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture across Norway, 2016). 

Value pyramid

The new report looks at industrial processes. It starts with a definition of central terms, such as main product, by-product and waste and a discussion of the value pyramid. The sectors within the bio economy differ hugely in character, from agriculture and reindeer herding as predominantly domestic industries, to forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, which are aimed at the export market.

The research scientists combine different types of secondary data for the descriptions including business statistics from Statistics Norway, various research reports, books, public documents and web information.

Specialisation and product development across sectors

By-products represent an increasingly important product category because of the need to focus simultaneously on sustainability and value creation. Another major issue is the balance between specialisation and integration since much of the development of products and processes is based on specialisation in the respective sectors.

In recent years, there have been interesting examples of developments across sectors in the bio economy, such as production of biogas from by-products from aquaculture and forestry. Another example is the combination of food products from agriculture and seafood to enhance products in the tourism and hospitality industry.