Carbon storage in the soil

The Conversation, that invaluable source of balanced information, ran an article on carbon storage in the soil. Potentially, one of our main instruments for controlling the rise of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. But present developments point the other way: … Read more

Education on strike

Dutch primary education has a huge problem, that also affects bio-economy developments. There’s a substantial shortage of teachers, the teaching profession is not appreciated much, and the pay gap with secondary education is decently described by the sector as ‘not … Read more

Introspection and innovation don’t easily match: ‘In the Netherlands we tend to think we are pretty good.’

The Dutch Cabinet has determined missions to tackle major societal issues, and Dutch knowledge sectors are currently drawing up Knowledge and Innovation Agendas on how to support the realisation of these missions. I just finished reading the joint innovation agenda … Read more

Biobased leather

biobased leather

This month, NNFCC’s newsletter highlighted the launch of two biobased leather products. Isn’t all leather biobased then? Yes, but here we mean leather of vegetable origin. The synthetic leather market amounted to $ 26 billion in 2018 and is still … Read more

High hopes for holism

Reductionism, reducing issues to little fragments, is at the basis of our present wealth. It also has a major influence on our social behaviour and our worldview. This may take us quite a distance, but we may also lose the … Read more

Bio-bitumen for the roads of the future


Bitumen is a by-product of oil production and is used to bind the surfaces of paved roads. Some researchers, concerned about its environmental impacts and future supply if petroleum refining slows down, have started to develop alternatives: bio-bitumen. An alternative … Read more

Climate change: trees to the rescue

Bringing nature back into cities, in the form of trees, can help fight global warming. Climate change is the challenge of the century. The last UN Environment Emissions Gap Report warned that, in order to ensure global warming stays below … Read more

Do not avoid risks, but contain them

Brexit and The Wall not only generate news. These issues also provide for interesting comments that ultimately can apply to other, or much broader, areas like the bio-economy. Where continuous development is hampered by risk aversion, learning to identify and … Read more