TALLINN – At the government meeting on Thursday, Minister of Rural Affairs Urmas Kruuse presented an ambitious plan for Estonia to evolve as a recognized development center for the bioeconomy in Europe.
"Over the past three years, Estonian researchers have done a lot of preparatory work, thoroughly exploring the challenges and opportunities of our bioeconomy. Building on this, we need to move forward to make the most of our bioresource," Kruuse said in a press release.
To continue the work of researchers, an inter-ministerial steering group will be established under the leadership of the Ministry of Rural Affairs. As the bioeconomy entails environmental and economic aspects, along with aspects related to export, research and education, it is planned to involve all the ministries overseeing these areas in the work of the steering group.
"We try to be as practical and business-oriented as possible. Instead of strategies, we will focus on a roadmap, on what can be done quickly to strengthen the bioeconomy. A good example that is already working is the wood sector, which produces lignin for the chemical industry," the minister said.
Benefiting from the combined effect of the green transition and technological development, Estonia has the opportunity to become a leader in developments towards rapid growth and higher value-added in the bioeconomy in Europe, for example in synthetic biology applications, the digital transformation of agriculture, or biotechnology.
According to Kruuse, the bioeconomy should be looked at from a regional perspective, which would mean focusing on the development of the blue economy, meaning everything that can be done in the sea, in West Estonia, making use of forest resources in South Estonia, and the use of farmland in Central Estonia.
"Together, we will try to give a boost to economic development and show that the green transition has a clear economic dimension in addition to the environmental effect," the minister added.