Advancing the bioeconomy transition in the Nordic Region (BioWiseTrans)

Coordinator: Karen Refsgaard (karen.refsgaard@nordregio.se)


Period: 2018-2019

Read about when the BioWiseTrans Network met for the 2nd time, in Hamar!


Bio-Wise-Trans workshop 9.-10.01.2018

The SNS network BioWiseTrans searches for the way towards a primarily land and biomass-based bioeconomy.


The network, led by Nordregio and project leader Michael Kull, is transdisciplinary and will engage stakeholders outside of the researchers world. To be able to do that, the network also has to identify the key stakeholders and link them to the network.

– We want to engage people relevant for sustainable rural development and from a variety of sectors such as rural interest groups, agriculture, forestry, bioenergy, recreation and cluster organisations, says Karen Refsgaard, one of the participants in the network.

Encourage participation
The aim of the network is to encourage and empower these key stakeholders to participate in research and innovation processes to identify conflicts and to gain improved governance and utilization of land and resources.

– At the same time, solutions need to be deliberated in a science-policy-practice dialogue and solutions co-constructed between these different actors, says Karen Refsgaards.

Changed institutional frameworks
To transform the current economy from a primary fossil economy into a bioeconomy there is a need for changed institutional frameworks at local, regional and national level. These frameworks need to be sensitive to place-based knowledge, types of resources and existing policies. Specific and unique local and regional contexts and interests requires specific and unique solutions and trigger different behavior – the network aims to increase the understanding of how positive outcomes are inhibited or encouraged by locally adapted institutional regimes. One part of the job will be mapping of resources and outcomes of regional and local initiatives and to encourage local innovation networks.

The network will also study the ways in which national and EU regulations and policies affects processes of local adaption.

Arranging conference
BioWiseTrans will arrange a larger conference in the field as well as a few workshops including field trips to learn from best practice examples in place in all Nordic countries. Ultimately, BioWiseTrans seeks to create an environment for practitioners to learn across regions and localities.

– We will extend activities even to include experts from Latin America, says Karen Refsgaard.

The network will also initiate research proposals if a relevant call is announced.



• Nordic countries: Nordregio, research centre
• Finland, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), research institute,
• Norway, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, NIBIO
University of Oslo: Research Institute and University
• Sweden: Centre for Regional Studies, Karlstad University

Bioenergy associations in the Nordic countries and the Baltic countries
• Denmark: DI Bioenergi, Michael Persson
• Finland: Bioenergia, Tage Fredriksson
• Norway: NOBIO, Martin Kristensen
• Sweden: SVEBIO, Kjell Andersson
• Lithuania: Vilma Gaubyte
• Latvia: Didzis Palejs

Forest: Forest associations
• Finland: The Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK)
• Norway: Norges skogeierforbund
• Sweden: Skogsstyrelsen, land owners and forest associations in Sweden
Norra forest owners (Svarte Svartling)

• Finland: The Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK)
• Norway: Norges bondelag, Norges bonde- og småbrukerlag
Norsk landbrukssamvirke
• Sweden: Lantbrukarnas Riksförbund (LRF)

Recreational interests
• Finland: Local tourist entrepreneurship associations such as VisitKarelia
• Norway: Den Norske Turistforening (DNT)
• Sweden: Svenska Turistföreningen (STF)

Rural interest groups
•  Finland: Village Association Finland
• Sweden: Hela Sverige ska leva
Dalälvernas Utvecklingsområde

Sweden: Cluster organisation Paper Province, CEO Maria Hollander

Sustainable Rural Development in Latin America
• Latin America: Julio Berdegué, research director at the Latin American Center for Rural Development
• Brazil: Alan Milhomens, Manager of the Department of Sustainable Development, Federal Ministry of the Environment



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