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biosphere economy  INNOVATION

The High Level Group on Biosphere Economy Innovation was launched in January 2018.

There is a major innovation gap, too much path dependent thinking, and no longer up-to-date financing systems in the bio-economic sector. Scientific acceleration, technology and economic patterns move faster than policy changes, causing unnecessary budgetary costs, competitiveness and welfare losses.


The discussion about innovation therefore needs to move outside the traditional Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) paradigms and focussing on overall innovation in the bio-economy sector. This facilitates the participation of a greater variety of actors in shaping innovative proposals for the agri-food, nutrition and health, bio-material and bio-fuel sectors by fully taking into account new sciences, new technologies and new market conditions.


 This HLG is chaired by Phil Hogan, former EU Commissioner for Agriculture.

Previous chair: José Silva Rodriguez, former director general for Agriculture in the Commission.

CAP is a critical instrument to achieve a variety of economically, environmentally and socially desirable targets, but it should be adjusted to enable the necessary transitions to bring better competitiveness and sustainability combined.

The current economic and monetary context, shifting societal demands, and the parallel revisions of the Multi-Annual Financial Framework (which determines the EU budget) and of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), as well as the consequences of Brexit, offer a unique opportunity for strategic reforms. The future revision of the CAP requires to overcome the current fragmentation among the reform minded actors in order to achieve a more coherent and forward looking approach for the entire bio-economic sector. By bringing together such a public-private group, it will be possible to leave the path dependency dominating the current approach of the Commission and its traditional allies.

Two perspectives are considered as broad outline for its work:



Soil and water management

Biodiversity protection


Collective infrastructure

Fair welfare systems

Regulatory architectures for the market or for trade

Emerging from research and technology development (digital and other)

Accessibility of new technologies and data

Diversification of incentives

Shifts in food roles (health, nutrition)

Shifts in bio-fuels

Bio-materials production and use.


The following people, from the European and national public sector, from corporations and from academia, gave their time and expertise to the work on biosphere economy innovation:

Download: HLG Biosphere Economy Innovation Members List

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