ValBio-Urban: Social Perception of Bioeconomy Products in Baden-Württemberg

Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies

The project, funded by the Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector Baden-Württemberg, investigates the social perception and evaluation of ‘products made from residues’.

Project Fundation

Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector Baden-Württemberg

Project Duration

May 2022 – December 2022

The fostering of a circular sustainable bioeconomy for sustainable growth with environmental protection is on the social, political and scientific agenda worldwide. The Paris Climate Agreement of 2015, the European ‘Green Deal’, the national bioeconomy strategy passed by the Federal Cabinet in 2020 and the state strategy 'Sustainable Bioeconomy for Baden-Württemberg' published in 2019 impressively demonstrate the scope of the movement. The realisation of the bioeconomy is a global activity that concerns the economy, society and politics in equal measure. It requires the solidarity of interest groups, scientists and users - across all sectors. The initiative Valorisation of Bioresources - Urban (ValBio-Urban), launched by scientists at the University of Stuttgart, wants to contribute to successfully shaping this transformation in Baden-Württemberg.

The success of these new bioeconomic methods is not only based on their technical feasibility, but also to a large extent on the acceptance of producers and end consumers. The project examines the social perception and evaluation of bioeconomic products in order to accompany future translations of corresponding technologies in a methodologically structured way. (New) technologies and innovative products are always embedded in socio-technical systems in which technical, political and social factors interact. Such a perspective therefore does not limit bioeconomic products to material artefacts, but also examines the rules and norms of their application as well as the societal consequences.

Based on ongoing projects in the context of the Stuttgart Research Initiative "ValBio", the aim is to examine how some of the products considered (e.g. from the areas of fuel, cosmetics, cleaning agents & plastics) are evaluated by future end users as well as professional customers and multipliers. This is achieved by using qualitative methods such as focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews.

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