RTI strategy for the bio-based industries in Austria
Sustainable industrial concepts will assume a key role in the future. At the European level, the development of bio-based industries and the use of bio-based products will be promoted. In Austria, bio-based industries already provide important contributions to positive economic development. Because of the well-directed development and the corresponding expansion of bio-based industry, a large part of the value creation will remain in Europe. So bio-based industries will be important economic factors in the future. To set the appropriate framework for future research priorities in the field of bio-based industries and to support promising developments, the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology commissioned the Austrian Society for Environment and Technology to write an RTI strategy.
The bio-based industry is extremely complex and includes the provision of raw materials for agricultural and forestry biomass, organic waste and new raw materials such as algae. At the product level, bio-based industry provides food and feed, fuels, chemicals and materials, of which the present RTI strategy examines only the non-food field. This RTI strategy is focused on important economic sectors for Austria: the food industry, the chemical and pharmaceutical industries and the wood processing industry. It contains development opportunities in the provision of raw materials, at the level of processing technologies and at the product level within short (next five years), medium (2025) and long-term goals for the development of bio-based industry in Austria.
To gather specific statements, interviews with industry representatives from the food industry, chemical and pharmaceutical industry and the wood processing industry were carried out. The interviews were used to identify the strengths and opportunities of bio-based industries in Austria and to show future developments in raw material, technology and product development in the form of development paths. Also recommendations on how to support the development of bio-based industry in Austria have been formulated. The RTI strategy shows paths of development in the provision of raw materials, product development and at the level of processing technologies.
The following recommendations to strengthen bio-based industry in Austria have been formulated:
- Integrated industrial concepts for energetic and material use of biomass
- Overall assessment of the environmental and economic impact of bio-based products
- Wide positioning of the biobased industry in Austria
- Networking and cooperation between actors / stakeholders from government, research bodies and business
- Targeted (research) promotion for issues of bio-based industries
- Market-related measures
- Development in cooperation with classically grown industries
In summary it can be said that the bio-based industry will play an important role in Austria in future, especially if the existing expertise will be improved and used across value chains and industries to utilize untapped synergies.