EC launches Bioeconomy Knowledge Centre
The European Commission has launched a Bioeconomy Knowledge Centre that provides scientific data and background information to facilitate informed policy decisions.
The European Commission's Bioeconomy Knowledge Centre (BKC) was launched on 20 July 2017 in Brussels and is to function as a central knowledge hub regarding the topic of bioeconomy. It is an online platform that aims to provide knowledge and help users to identify the knowledge they really need, but also transforms these specific knowledge needs back to the knowledge producers, thereby making knowledge available to EU policymakers and stakeholders. The launch event was co-hosted by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) of the European Commission.
Data catalogue and knowledge library
The BKC aims to better support EU and national policy makers and stakeholders with science-based evidence in this field. This online platform will not primarily generate knowledge, but will collect, structure, and make accessible knowledge from a wide range of scientific disciplines and sources on bioeconomy, the sustainable production of renewable biological resources, and their conversion into valuable products. It will do so via a Bioeconomy Data catalogue, that is functioning as a metadata repository that directs users to the web services, where certain datasets that are stored. These data sets might be from the European Commission or the by external stakeholders. In addition, the BKC also provides a Knowledge Library that brings together bioeconomy-related publications by the European Commission, but also from other organisations working on the bioeconomy – classified by keywords, geographical coverage and publication year. Moreover, the BKC also holds the Bioeconomy Report 2016 as well as plenty of informative Bioeconomy Infographics.
Providing scientific evidence on bioeconomy
The BKC was created by the Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre, in cooperation with Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, responsible for the Joint Research Centre, said: "The Bioeconomy Knowledge Centre (…) offers policy makers relevant information in a timely manner and a format that is easy to use. It is the fourth Knowledge Centre launched by the Commission in the last two years, and another important step in further strengthening the sound evidence base we need to tackle the societal challenges facing the EU." Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, added: "The launch of the Bioeconomy Knowledge Centre marks an important step in bringing the different policy areas of the bioeconomy closer together. In order to face global and geopolitical challenges, a coherent strategy needs an excellent knowledge hub, in particular to address questions cutting across the policy areas of the bioeconomy family." The bioeconomy represents a significant part of the EU economy, with potential for growth through innovation in agriculture, forestry, bioenergy and biomass but also in chemicals, materials, waste management and others. The Bioeconomy Knowledge Centre will support the European Commission in the review of the 2012 Bioeconomy Strategy, taking into account new political and policy developments, such as the COP21 Paris agreement, the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals and the Circular Economy Package.