Overcoming non-technical challenges in bioeconomy value-chain development: Learning from practice

Anouk Mertens, Jonas Van Lancker, Jeroen Buysse, Ludwig Lauwers, Jef Van Meensel

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


The emerging bioeconomy requires vast amounts of biomass that current value chains cannot provide.
Novel biomass value chains therefore need to be developed. To date, only few novel value chains
emerged and additional research on their development is much needed. This paper presents the results
of an exploratory case-study analysis of a corn stover value-chain development process in two regions:
Ontario (Canada) and Flanders (Belgium). Applying an integrated analytical framework and comparing
the results with literature, we identified a number of barriers for novel value-chain development and
state seven concrete actions that value-chain actors can take to overcome these barriers. These recommendations can be used by policy makers wishing to facilitate the development of novel biomass
value chains in their region; by farmers and industrial actors working to establish new avenues to
valorize currently underutilized biomass sources and create additional revenues; and by researchers
seeking to disseminate and implement their knowledge about novel technologies as well as socioeconomic insights.
Original languageEnglish
Article number231
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Issue number231
Pages (from-to)10-20
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • B410-agricultural-hydrology
  • Bioeconomy
  • Innovation systems
  • Value-chain development
  • Integrated analytical framework
  • Corn stover
  • Exploratory case-study


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