Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy

Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy

Technology and Innovation Management in Agribusiness| Universität Bonn


Prof. Dr. Stefanie Bröring

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Research topics and profile (related to bioeconomy)

The change from petroleum-based to a more sustainable bio-based economy gathers momentum and the need for innovations that can combine economic prosperity with environmental responsibility becomes of high importance. This is because it is exactly these new technologies and their novel product, process, and business-model applications that are required to facilitate sustainability transitions. Against this background, we focus on research questions at the interface between natural sciences and innovation management, whether at a technology level, individual companies and networks of firms, or consumers. Our central research interest is to understand how new technologies and innovations emerge, develop, diffuse in order to shape value chains within the bioeconomy.

Our team focuses in particular on three research areas:

  • Strategic technology management in an era of convergence - we strive to comprehendthe process and patterns of convergence within the bioeconomy and how the emerging "inter-industry" segments (e.g. nutraceuticals or biopolymers) can be anticipated by patent- and publication analyses. Furthermore, we seek to understand mechanisms of technology transfer in the interdisciplinary domain of the bioeconomy.
  • Innovation management within firms, value chains and networks - we evaluate those dynamics by empirically analysing the emergence of novel value chains consequent to the introduction of product/process innovations or cascading usage of agricultural by-products/waste, aimed at addressing global challenges such as resource scarcity (e.g. phosphorus). Furthermore, we seek to contribute to the understanding of the interplay between regulation and public/private standards and innovation in the agri-food chain.

Public understanding of technology and innovation – within the context of technology acceptance, we explore whether certain product and process qualities (e.g. health-promoting properties) of food products are able to increase the acceptability of novel technologies across the food chain. In this regard, we aim to achieve greater understanding of opportunities and barriers for the adoption/implementation of these technologies not only at the level of consumers, but also farmers, processors, retailers.

Contributions to BioSC

As part of Research area 4 – Economy and societal implications, our Chair group offers expertise in bioeconomic strategy and innovation management, as well as broad experience in working on development and commercialization of radically innovative technologies (in tandem with FocusLab partners). In accordance with our core research groups, our work within the BioSC network focusses mostly on:

  • Exploration of technology transfer in interdisciplinary settings in order to achieve market introduction of new technologies. This topic is further developed in BioSC-funded projects (White Paper, EconBioSC, greenRelease).
  • Empirical analyses in the emerging field of the bioeconomy, in relation to open and cross-industry innovation – research on novel emerging value chains consequent to introduction of radical innovations (as for example in the projects P-ENGInducTomE and AP3).
  • Understanding of the obstacles and success factors for acceptance and adoption of technological innovations. Furthermore, exploration of novel methods of scientific communication and stakeholder outreach in the bioeconomy that are used to foster more robust societal dialogue (CombiCom).