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"

Sixten Sunabacka

Sixten Sunabacka
Head of the Finnish Bioeconomy Strategy implementation - Ministry of Employment and the Economy of Finland


Strategic Director Sixten Sunabacka, Master in Forestry and eMBA, is the head of the Strategic Programme for the Forest Sector in Finland. As a key government project, the main goal of the programme is to promote competitiveness and innovation in the forest sector.

The programme is responsible for the implementation of the Finnish bioeconomy strategy and the Finnish National Wood Construction Programme.
Sixten Sunabacka has an extensive role in developing the Finnish forest sector and bioeconomy. He is a member of the Finnish Forest Council, the Research Committee for the Finnish Bioeconomy Cluster and several national working groups. Mr. Sunabacka is the Finnish chairman of the Working Group for Forest Industry of The Finnish-Russian Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation. Prior to joining the ministry, Mr. Sunabacka had an extensive career in the forest industry.



An example of Bioeconomy strategy from inside the EU
The Finnish Bioeconomy Strategy: Sustainable growth from bioeconomy
Growth, declining natural resources, loss of biodiversity and climate change challenge us to develop a bio based economy. It is justified to refer to the transition from a fossil economy to a bioeconomy as the next wave of the global economy.
The bioeconomy is a combination of several primary production and refining sectors and end product markets. The objective of the future bioeconomy is to generate new economic growth and jobs, while reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcity and securing the operating conditions for the nature’s ecosystems.
The Europe 2020 Strategy calls for a bioeconomy as a key element for smart and green growth in Europe. Finland recently defined its Bioeconomy strategy through a process with participation from several ministries and other stakeholders. The Finnish government has also decided that bioeconomy will be a spearhead in the future Finnish economical growth. The Finnish bioeconomy strategy outlines following four priority areas to be developed:
1. A competitive operating environment for bioeconomy growth
2. New business from the bioeconomy by risk financing, bold experiments and crossing of sectoral boundaries
3. A strong bioeconomy competence base by developing education, training and research
4. Secured biomass accessibility and sustainable use of biomasses.
The strategy implementation is led by a strategic programme under the Ministry of Employment and the Economy in cooperation with other ministries and stakeholders.
New bioeconomy business opportunities will be based on smart use of biomasses, the development of technologies associated with this, and high added value products and services. New business will grow alongside the existing businesses of forest, chemical and food industries, agriculture, construction sector and energy production. In this presentation I will show through examples how innovation, cooperation and combination of industries make Finland a pioneer in bioeconomy.