European Commission
Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union
TOBE 2014 – 3rd BioEconomy Stakeholders' Conference

BioEconomy Stakeholders' Conference

"From sectors to system, from concept to reality"

Rogier van der Sande

Rogier van der Sande
Province of Zuid-Holland - Member of the Executive Council of the Province of Zuid-Holland - Member of the Committee of the Regions - CoR-rapporteur on Innovation for sustainable growth: A bioeconomy for Europe - Representative of the regions on behalf of CoR in the European Bioeconomy Panel

Mr. Rogier van der Sande (1966) is member of the Zuid-Holland Executive Council (The Netherlands). Zuid-Holland is the Netherlands’ most important province in terms of economic activity (over 22% of Dutch GNP), agriculture and the service sector. Mr. Van der Sande’s portfolio includes Organisation & Finance, Recreation & Tourism and European & International Affairs.

He is also deputy Kings Commissioner. Before this position, Mr. Van der Sande has been active both in the private and the public sector. He has been a banker, consultant and interim manager. He has also been Alderman of the City of Leiden and Vice-president of the national liberal party.


One of the main challenges for the bioeconomy is to provide a policy framework that is future oriented and robust as the transition from a fossil based economy towards a biobased society takes several decades. Regions are vital in this process as they are positioned close to the implementation on the ground and therefore are the first to be confronted with possible barriers and risks. Most regions due to their intermediate role are dealing with the bioeconomy in an integrated, cross-sectoral and practical way.



Each region has opportunities in the bioeconomy. The challenge we are facing is to develop a profile and a strategy that matches the strength of individual regions and to set this in motion in real life. In my presentation I will show the need for and feasability of a bottom-up regional approach towards the bioeconomy, illustrated by examples of regional practice. The formation of chains from biomass production, via conversion, towards products is a powerfull strategy to form strong and worldwide competing clusters. To reach this goal cooperation and coordination is needed and can be succesfully employed using smart specialisation.

The differences between European regions are large. We can make use of the individual characteristics to use the full potential of biomass production, innovation, industry and market formation if we link sectors, developments and knowlegde in the right way.