The junction of health, environment and the bioeconomy - Foresight and implications for European research & innovation policies
A rapidly increasing world population, unsustainable production and consumption patterns, and environmental change form complex and interdependent systemic challenges for our societies, threaten the biosphere and humanity as a whole.
The key message from the exercise of identifying trends at the junction of health, environment and the bioeconomy is that a systemic approach to challenges is necessary, often going beyond the three areas, for example to encompass issues of energy and mobility. Searching for 'triple-winners', i.e research delivering benefits across the three fields allowed to identify four areas offering the most potential: sustainable food improving human diets and minimizing risks to health and environment, circular economy, including the bio-economy, cities as testing grounds and demonstrators of triple-winners, holistic health (i.e. integrating life-style, environment and well-being).
Sensor technology development and user/citizen engagement are identified as two key enabling success factors throughout the three fields of Environment, Health and the Bioeconomy. Observing the intersection between health, environment and the bioeconomy offers a unique occasion to contribute to a safer, more sustainable and healthy Society.