Background - Biobased Sciences

Many challenges, current and future, lie ahead in a transition to a sustainable biobased economy. The number of people in the world is growing, as are the levels of well-being and prosperity. It is possible for all nine billion humans to have a relatively high level of prosperity and welfare in 2050. For this to happen, however, major changes in the way we deal with food, animal feed, materials and energy are required.

Right now, materials and energy are often produced from fossil fuels, and this should increasingly be replaced by biomass in the future. The main challenge for the current generation of students is to work on improving resource efficiency and the use of land in order to meet all these needs, while not forgetting climate, biodiversity, multiple land use, recreation and societal issues.

Wageningen University & Research covers the transition from a petrochemical to a biobased society from the different disciplines in a multidisciplinary, holistic approach. The programme includes the interdisciplinary design of production chains including biomass production, bioconversion, biorefinery and social, logistic and economic transition processes. New products will be designed in multi-disciplinary teams, taking into account the socio-economic, ethical and environmental aspects related to biomass production and carbon capture in an international context.

Wageningen offers many pilot facilities, such as AlgaePARC, Acrres and CAT AgroFood, as well as production facilities for products such as bioplastics, chemicals and packaging materials.