Advancing a Framework for Entrepreneurship Development in a Bioeconomy

Advancing a Framework for Entrepreneurship Development in a Bioeconomy

Oluwaseun James Oguntuase (Lagos State University, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4826-4.ch014
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Abstract

This chapter frames bioeconomy as a pathway to sustainable development, and entrepreneurship as the bedrock of a bioeconomy. Its objective is threefold. First, the chapter enumerates the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship in a bioeconomy. Second, the chapter identifies the key production determinants and transformative game changers in a bioeconomy that should be the focus of innovative entrepreneurial activities. Third, it presents a conceptual framework for entrepreneurship development in a bioeconomy. The chapter employs systematic literature review approach to achieve its objectives. In total, the chapter asserts that there are several entrepreneurial opportunities in a bioeconomy, spanning the production determinants, the development of transformative game changers, and in distinct innovations like substitute products, new (bio-based) products and new (bio-based) processes.
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Introduction

Knowledge is argued to be a resource (Evers & Schweißhelm, 2005; Mihaela, 2009; Price, Stoica, & Boncella, 2013; Wiklund & Shepherd, 2003), with innovation being one vehicle that diffuses and upgrades already existing knowledge (Dzidrov, Simeonov, Cvetkov, Dimitrov, & Ceravolo, 2015). Entrepreneurship is a factor that turns knowledge into new-to-the-market innovation (Block, Thurik, & Zhou, 2013). It is identified by its role in opportunity recognition, discovery, and creation (Shane & Venkataraman, 2000). Entrepreneurship entails innovation, with the latter having great impact on the former (Estrin, Korosteleva, & Mickiewicz, 2014). In this chapter, solving escalating societal challenges like climate change, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, soil degradation and scarcity of food and other materials, is presented as source of entrepreneurial opportunities in a bioeconomy. Bioeconomy has other names. It is also known as bio-based economy or knowledge-based bio-economy.

The Global Bioeconomy Summit defined bioeconomy as the production, utilization and conservation of biological resources, including related knowledge, science, technology, and innovation, to provide information, products, processes and services across all economic sectors aiming toward a sustainable economy (GBS, 2018: 2). Bioeconomy is the sustainable and innovative use of biomass and biological knowledge to provide food, feed, industrial products, bioenergy, and ecological and other services (Lewandowski et al., 2018a). It addresses concerns about the exploitative use of natural resources by replacing non-renewable resources with resources derived from sustainably produced biomass to produce food, fuel, fine chemicals, and other substances, which is pivotal in transitioning to low carbon economy and sustainable economic development (Oguntuase, 2019).

Given the importance attached to the transition to bioeconomy by researchers and policymakers, the concept has continued to gain traction, both in science and policy, as the new economic system to mitigate and adapt to sustainability challenges that have characterized the Anthropocene era.

The transition to a bioeconomy is dependent on innovations around bio-based products and processing technologies (Bauer, Hansen, & Hellsmark, 2018; Devaney & Henchion, 2017; Meyer, 2017), which offer a plethora of entrepreneurial opportunities to be facilitated by entrepreneurship (Gómez et al., 2015; Kuckertz, 2020; Kuckertz, Berger, & Morales Reyes, 2018; Rodino, Butu, Gheorghe, & Butu, 2020). Despite the importance of entrepreneurship in the emerging bioeconomy, literature search appears not to have shown any conceptual framework that advances entrepreneurship development framework in a bioeconomy. This chapter addresses this shortcoming.

From the foregoing, the working definition of bioeconomy in this chapter is: innovation-triggered bio-based technological entrepreneurial activities to sustainably produce, utilize, and conserve biological resources which will replace fossil fuels in the production of various bio-based products, for final and intermediate consumption in several economic sectors towards achieving sustainable development and livelihoods. According to the European Standard (EN 16575:2014), bio-based products are wholly or partly derived from materials of biological origin, excluding materials embedded in geological formations and/or fossilized. They offer a promising basis for the production of sustainable chemicals, materials, and more complex articles (Sheerwood, Clark, Farmer, Herrero-Davila, & Moity, 2016).

Consistent with the above definition of bioeconomy, this chapter draws from different strands of literature to achieve its threefold objective. First, the chapter enumerates the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship in the transition to sustainable bioeconomy. Second, the chapter identifies the key production determinants and transformative game changers in a bioeconomy that should be the focus of innovation and entrepreneurial activities. Third, it presents a framework for entrepreneurship development in a bioeconomy. With these objectives in mind, the chapter proceeds as follows. To set the stage, the first 3 sections focus on concepts of bioeconomy as a pathway to sustainable development, knowledge-intensive innovative entrepreneurship and bioeconomy as a knowledge-based innovative economy. After these conceptual investigations, entrepreneurial opportunities, production determinants and transformative game changers in a bioeconomy move to the centre stage. The chapter will then present and discuss a conceptual framework for entrepreneurship development in a bioeconomy, before concluding with a set of recommendations that will serve as bases for further discussions and research.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Entrepreneurship: The process of designing, launching, and running a new business to generate a profit.

Framework: A basic structure underlying a system, concept, or text.

Sustainable Development: Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Policy: A course or principle of action adopted or proposed by an organization or individual

Bioeconomy: The sustainable production of renewable biological resources and the conversion of these resources and waste streams into value added products for final and intermediate consumption.

Innovation: An idea, method, process, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other unit of adoption.

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