Seventh Bioeconomy Report: a pillar of the New European Green Deal

The Bioeconomy in Italy generated an output of €317 billion in 2020. New perspectives expected from bio-based chemistrySeventh Bioeconomy Report: a pillar of the New European Green Deal.

The pandemic has accentuated the need to rethink the economic development model, paying closer attention to sustainability and respect for the environment.

The Bioeconomy, as a system that uses biological resources, including waste, for the production of goods and energy, is capable of creating integrated multidisciplinary supply chains linked to the territory. For this reason it represents one of the pillars of the New Green Deal launched by the European Union and is also at the centre of many projects in the Italian National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP).

The quantification and in-depth analysis of the supply chains generated by the Bioeconomy become essential elements for targeted economic policy choices that are aware of the changes taking place.

This is highlighted in the 7th Report “The Bioeconomy in Europe”, drawn up by the Intesa Sanpaolo Studies and Research Department in collaboration with the National Cluster of the Circular Bioeconomy SPRING and Federchimica Assobiotec. Economists from SRM-Studi e Ricerche per il Mezzogiorno (a study centre linked to the Intesa Sanpaolo Group) also contributed to the analysis.

The main points of the Report are as follows:

  • In 2020, the Bioeconomy in Italy generated an output of €317 billion, employing just under two million people
  • After closing 2019 with an increase of 1.4%, in 2020 the Bioeconomy lost 6.5% of the value of production overall, a smaller drop than that marked by the economy as a whole (-8.8%): the weight of the Bioeconomy in terms of production therefore rose to 10.2% compared to 10% in 2019 and 9.9% in 2018
  • Across all European countries, the value of the Bioeconomy showed a less significant decline than the rest of the sectors, showing greater resilience to the pandemic shock due to the essential nature of the activities of this metasect
  • The circular development potential of the Bioeconomy is high in our country and widespread nationwide. The original estimates of the value added of the Bioeconomy in the Italian regions show a particular role of the Bioeconomy in the North-Eastern and Southern regions, with a weight of the Bioeconomy on the regional value added of 8.2% and 6.7% respectively (2018). Below the Italian average (6.4%) the weight of the Bioeconomy in the North-West (5.3%) and in the Centre (5.7%)
  • Basilicata and Trentino-Alto Adige, with an incidence of 9.3%, take the first places for added value of the Bioeconomy on the total. Tuscany, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna follow, with a weight between 8% and 8.7%
  • There is particular interest in bio-based chemistry, which uses renewable biological raw materials instead of fossil fuels. The mapping highlights a complex, dynamic system, with more than 830 subjects, from the 84 universities and research centres (public and private) to the approximately 730 companies (with more than 500 start-ups), alongside other institutions and associations with a supporting and promotional role.

Download the Italian summary of the Report “The Bioeconomy in Europe”.