Concept: Participatory approach

BioSTEP aims at promoting participative governance of the European bioeconomy by engaging key stakeholders and the general public. The project follows a participatory approach, which aims at involving relevant actors and societal groups in a dialogue process on the future development of the bioeconomy. Moreover, BioSTEP fosters open and informed debates in order to increase the understanding of bioeconomy among participants.

As there is no "one size fits all" approach for involving different stakeholder groups and the initiation of debates is usually a complex process, BioSTEP applies a three-tier approach, which distinguishes among three different target groups: policy makers, the various stakeholders related to the bioeconomy (industry, academia, non-governmental organisations, etc.), and citizens.

Specifically, the BioSTEP-project has the following objectives:

• To increase understanding of the bioeconomy as well as its consequences and benefits by considering citizens' needs and concerns;    
• To mobilise engagement and raise awareness among citizens and various stakeholder groups;
• To identify and disseminate best practices to stakeholders from industry, academia, NGOs, policy makers, citizens and end users;
• To test promising approaches and lessons learned;
• To facilitate a shared vision and understanding of the bioeconomy among citizens, stakeholders and policy makers:
• To overcome the current lack of information by identifying existing data on bio-based products and processes to make it accessible for the general public and various stakeholder groups.

To meet these objectives, BioSTEP will build on the following principles:

• Take account of past and existing initiatives, activities and platforms in the bioeconomy domain;
• Use participatory approaches to facilitate stakeholder engagement;
• Identify and disseminate information on bio-based products, guidelines and recommendations with a long-term perspective to maximise the project’s usefulness for stakeholders;
• Develop audience-targeted communication and dissemination strategies to increase public awareness of the bioeconomy;
• Apply the ‘living lab’ approach in order to link policy makers with citizens and end users and to test best practices.

Project Team