Carbon economy – Studies on support to research and innovation policy in the area of bio-based products and services


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Nova-Institute, together with COWI and Utrecht University published a report on the role of carbon in the global, European and regional economy for the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (European Commission).

The report herein contains five Work Packages (WPs) that embody the requirements set out in the European Commission’s “Studies on support to R&I policy in the area of bio-based products and services – Carbon Economy (Lot 1).” The main aim of the project was to map out the current pathways available for the transition towards a low carbon economy as well as the barriers that hinder this transition. Based on the conclusions and key findings from the WPs, the authors set the scene for the future of the bio-based sector with a particular focus on ten case studies of regions and cities across the EU (WP4), an evaluation of promising innovations and novel technologies for the realisation of such an economy and a sweeping regulatory analysis containing Q1 2020 updates (WP3) on EU directives and regulations that pertain to the low carbon economy. This attention to the local level as well as the broader policy sphere is supported by a scientific understanding of the low carbon economy (WP1), potential future scenarios towards 2050 (WP2) as well as clear dissemination of the findings across the entire study (WP5). In the frame of the study an animated educational video was produced. The final study report contains an executive summary followed by each Work Package in its entirety, which can also be treated as stand-alone reports in their own right.

Further information at:

COWI, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (European Commission), nova-Institute, Utrecht University
Date of publication
Feb 2021
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