Journal of Circular Economy

An applied scholarly journal on circular economy

View PDF

We are keen to help you publish your research.

If you have any questions about the Journal of Circular Economy, please reach out to

Rethinking regional embeddedness and innovation systems for transitions towards just, responsible, and circular bioeconomies

Michael P. Schlaile, Jonathan Friedrich (co-first authors), & Jana Zscheischler

Under a Creative Commons license


Few studies have explicitly explored regional embeddedness and both the inconsistencies and injustices of circular bioeconomy (CBE) innovations. To better navigate the normative dimension of these innovations and CBE transitions in general, our article presents a threefold argument for the relevance of the regional level of analysis. First, CBE innovations are influenced by and affect regional metabolisms and actor constellations, assets, and (biophysical) resources within regional innovation systems (RIS). Second, thoroughly exploring these dimensions of regional (un)embeddedness can reveal ethical concerns, including potential "dark sides" and injustices, such as exclusivity and exploitation. Third, to address these concerns in CBE research and governance, we outline four facets: complementing the RIS as a framework and policy approach, balancing creative and destructive measures, addressing the need for more inclusive regional CBE policies, and establishing dedicated intermediaries to better govern regional CBE transitions. In summary, this conceptual article provides starting points for further research and proactive measures that help govern the normative dimension and the design of CBE transitions at the regional level, promoting inclusivity, justice, responsibility, and legitimacy for both innovation and exnovation.


Circular Bioeconomy, Socio-Economic Embeddedness; Socio-Ecological Embeddedness; Justice, Directionality, Legitimacy, Responsibility, Social Metabolism, Dedicated Innovation System, Challenge-Oriented Regional Innovation System, Regional Policy, Inclusive Innovation, Intermediaries


Abson, D., von Wehrden, H., Baumgärtner, S., Fischer, J., Hanspach, J., Härdtle, W., Heinrichs, H., Klein, A.M., Lang, D.J., Martens, P., & Walmsley, D. (2014). Ecosystem services as a boundary object for sustainability. Ecological Economics, 103, 29-37.

Abson, D.J., Fischer, J., Leventon, J., Newig, J., Schomerus, T., Vilsmaier, U., von Wehrden, H., Abernethy, P., Ives, C.I., Jager, N.W., Lang, D.J. (2017). Leverage points for sustainability transformation. Ambio 46, 30–39.

Albrecht, M. (2019). (Re-)producing bioassemblages: Positionalities of regional bioeconomy development in Finland. Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, 24(4), 342-357.

Almudi, I., & Fatas-Villafranca, F. (2018). Promotion and coevolutionary dynamics in contemporary capitalism. Journal of Economic Issues, 52(1), 80-102.

Almudi, I., & Fatas-Villafranca, F. (2022). “Coevolution” (in innovative economic systems). In C. Antonelli (Ed.), Elgar encyclopedia on the economics of knowledge and innovation (pp. 39-45). Edward Elgar.

Andersen, A. D., & Johnson, B. (2015). Low-carbon development and inclusive innovation systems. Innovation and Development, 5(2), 279–296.

Andersson, C., Törnberg, P. (2018) Wickedness and the anatomy of complexity. Futures, 95, 118-138.

Andersson, J., Hellsmark, H., & Sandén, B. (2021). The outcomes of directionality: Towards a morphology of sociotechnical systems. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 40, 108-131.

Asheim, B. (2007). Differentiated knowledge bases and varieties of regional innovation systems. Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, 20(3), 223–241.

Asheim, B. T., & Gertler, M. S. (2006). The geography of innovation: Regional innovation systems. In J. Fagerberg & D.C. Mowery (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of innovation (pp. 291–317). Oxford University Press.

Asheim, B. T., Grillitsch, M., & Trippl, M. (2016). Regional innovation systems: Past – present – future. In R. Shearmu, C. Carrincazeaux, & D. Doloreux (Eds.), Handbook on the geographies of innovation (pp. 45–62). Edward Elgar.

Asheim, B., Grillitsch, M., & Trippl, M. (2017). Introduction: Combinatorial knowledge bases, regional innovation, and development dynamics. Economic Geography, 93(5), 429–435.

Asheim, B. T., Isaksen, A., & Trippl, M. (2019). Advanced introduction to regional innovation systems. Edward Elgar.

Asheim, B. T., Isaksen, A., & Trippl, M. (2020). The role of the Regional Innovation System approach in contemporary regional policy: Is it still relevant in a globalised world? In M. González-López & B. T. Asheim (Eds.), Regions and innovation policies in Europe: Learning from the margins (pp. 12-29). Edward Elgar.

Backhouse, M., Lehmann, R., Lorenzen, K., Lühmann, M., Puder, J., Rodríguez, F., & Tittor, A. (Eds.) (2021). Bioeconomy and global inequalities: Socio-ecological perspectives on biomass sourcing and production. Palgrave Macmillan.

Backhouse, M., Lühmann, M., & Tittor, A. (2022). Global inequalities in the bioeconomy: Thinking continuity and change in view of the global soy complex. Sustainability, 14(9), 5481.

Bastos Lima, M. G. (2022). Just transition towards a bioeconomy: Four dimensions in Brazil, India and Indonesia. Forest Policy and Economics, 136, 102684.

Bennett, N.J., Blythe, J., Cisneros-Montemayor, A.M., Singh, G.G., & Sumaila, U.R. (2019). Just transformations to sustainability. Sustainability, 11(14), 3881.

Biber-Freudenberger, L., Ergeneman, C., Förster, J.J., Dietz, T., & Börner, J. (2020). Bioeconomy futures: Expectation patterns of scientists and practitioners on the sustainability of bio-based transformation. Sustainable Development, 28, 1220-1235.

Birch, K. (2012). Knowledge, place, and power: Geographies of value in the bioeconomy. New Genetics and Society, 31(2), 183-201.

Binz, C., & Truffer, B. (2017). Global innovation systems—A conceptual framework for innovation dynamics in transnational contexts. Research Policy, 46(7), 1284-1298.

Blok, V. (2021). What is innovation? Laying the ground for a philosophy of innovation. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology, 25(1), 72–96.

Blok, V. (2023). The normative and social dimensions of the transition towards a responsible, circular bio-based economy. In S. Lamalle & P. Stoett (Eds.), Representations and rights of the environment (pp. 334–352). Cambridge University Press.

Blok, V., & Lemmens, P. (2015). The emerging concept of responsible innovation. Three reasons why it is questionable and calls for a radical transformation of the concept of innovation. In B.-J. Koops, I. Oosterlaken, H. Romijn, T. Swierstra, & J. van den Hoven (Eds.), Responsible innovation 2: Concepts, approaches, and applications (pp. 19-35). Springer.

BMBF [Federal Ministry of Education and Research] & BMEL [Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture] (2020). National Bioeconomy Strategy. Online:

Bogner, K., & Dahlke, J. (2022). Born to transform? German bioeconomy policy and research projects for transformations towards sustainability. Ecological Economics, 195, 107366.

Bogner, K., Kump, B., Beekman, M., Wittmayer, J. (2024). Coping with transition pain: An emotions perspective on phase-outs in sustainability transitions. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 50, 100806.

Boschma, R. (2005). Proximity and innovation: A critical assessment. Regional Studies, 39(1), 61–74.

Boschma, R. (2023). Evolutionary economic geography and policy. In K. Dopfer, R.R. Nelson, J. Potts, & A. Pyka (Eds.), Routledge handbook of evolutionary economics (pp. 332-340). Routledge.

Boyer, M., Kusche, F., Hackfort, S., Prause, L., & Engelbrecht-Bock, F. (2023). The making of sustainability: Ideological strategies, the materiality of nature, and biomass use in the bioeconomy. Sustainability Science, 18(2), 675–688.

Breslin, D., Kask, J., Schlaile, M., & Abatecola, G. (2021). Developing a coevolutionary account of innovation ecosystems. Industrial Marketing Management, 98, 59–68.

Bröring, S., Baum, C.M., Butkowski, O.K., & Kircher, M. (2020). Criteria for the success of the bioeconomy. In J. Pietzsch (Ed.), Bioeconomy for beginners (pp. 159-176). Springer.

Bryden, J., Gezelius, S.G., Refsgaard, K., & Sutz, J. (2017). Inclusive innovation in the bioeconomy: Concepts and directions for research. Innovation and Development, 7(1), 1-16.

Buchmann, T., & Pyka, A. (2012). Innovation networks. In M. Dietrich & J. Krafft (Eds.), Handbook on the economics and theory of the firm (pp. 466–482). Edward Elgar.

Bugge, M., Hansen, T., & Klitkou, A. (2016). What Is the bioeconomy? A review of the literature. Sustainability, 8(7), 691.

Bunker, I., & Zscheischler, J. (2023). Societal acceptability of insect-based livestock feed: A qualitative study from Europe. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 36, 23.

Busch, C., & Barkema, H. (2019). Social entrepreneurs as network orchestrators: A framework and research agenda on networks and leadership in the context of social innovation. In G. George, T. Baker, P. Tracey, & H. Joshi (Eds.), Handbook of inclusive innovation: The role of organizations, markets and communities in social innovation (pp. 464-485). Edward Elgar.

Busse, M., Zoll, F., Siebert, R., Bartels, A., Bokelmann, A., & Scharschmidt, P. (2021). How farmers think about insects: perceptions of biodiversity, biodiversity loss and attitudes towards insect-friendly farming practices. Biodiversity and Conservation, 30, 3045-3066.

Butzin, A., & Widmaier, B. (2016). Exploring territorial knowledge dynamics through innovation biographies. Regional Studies, 50(2), 220–232.

Cameron, W.B. (1963). Informal sociology: A casual introduction to sociological thinking. Random House.

Chaminade, C. (2020). Innovation for what? Unpacking the role of innovation for weak and strong sustainability. Journal of Sustainability Research, 2(1), e200007.

Chembessi, C. (2023). Learning and knowledge management in the transition to Circular Economy (CE): Roots and research avenues. Journal of Circular Economy, 1(3),

Ciplet, D., & Harrison, J.L. (2020). Transition tensions: Mapping conflicts in movements for a just and sustainable transition. Environmental Politics, 29(3), 435-456.

Coad, A., Nightingale, P., Stilgoe, J., & Vezzani, A. (2021). Editorial: The dark side of innovation. Industry and Innovation, 28(1), 102-112.

Collingridge, D. (1980). The social control of technology. Frances Pinter (Publishers) Limited.

Cooke, P., Clifton, N., & Oleaga, M. (2005). Social capital, firm embeddedness and regional development. Regional Studies, 39(8), 1065-1077.

Costanza-Chock, S. (2020). Design justice: Community-led practices to build the worlds we need. The MIT Press.

Daimer, S., Hufnagl, M., & Warnke, P. (2012). Challenge-oriented policy-making and innovation systems theory: Reconsidering systemic instruments. In Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI (Ed.), Innovation systems revisited: Experiences from 40 years of Fraunhofer ISI research (pp. 217-234). Fraunhofer Verlag.

D’Amato, D., Droste, N., Allen, B., Kettunen, M., Lähtinen, K., Korhonen, J., Leskinen, P., Matthies, B. D., & Toppinen, A. (2017). Green, circular, bio economy: A comparative analysis of sustainability avenues. Journal of Cleaner Production, 168, 716–734.

Davidson,D.J. (2019). Exnovating for a renewable energy transition. Nature Energy, 4, 254-256.

Deutsch, M. (1985). Distributive justice: A social-psychological perspective. Yale University Press.

Dieken, S., Dallendörfer, M., Henseleit, M., Siekmann, F., & Venghaus, S. (2021). The multitudes of bioeconomies: A systematic review of stakeholders’ bioeconomy perceptions. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 27, 1703–1717.

Dobroć, P., Bögel, P., & Upham, P. (2023). Narratives of change: Strategies for inclusivity in shaping socio-technical future visions. Futures, 145, 103076.

Dobson, A. (1998). Justice and the environment: Conceptions of environmental sustainability and theories of distributive justice. Oxford University Press.

Dorninger, C., Menéndez, L. P., & Caniglia, G. (2024). Social-ecological niche construction for sustainability: Understanding destructive processes and exploring regenerative potentials. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 379(1893), 20220431.

European Commission (2018). A sustainable bioeconomy for Europe. Strengthening the connection between economy, society and the environment: Updated bioeconomy strategy. Publications Office of the European Union.

European Environment Agency (2024). Delivering justice in sustainability transitions. Briefing no. 26/2023.

Eversberg, D., & Fritz, M. (2022). Bioeconomy as a societal transformation: Mentalities, conflicts and social practices. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 30, 973–987.

Eversberg, D., Holz, J., & Pungas, L. (2023). The bioeconomy and its untenable growth promises: Reality checks from research. Sustainability Science, 18(2), 569–582.

Eversberg, D., Koch, P., Lehmann, R., Saltelli, A., Ramcilovic-Suominen, S., & Kovacic, Z. (2023). The more things change, the more they stay the same: Promises of bioeconomy and the economy of promises. Sustainability Science, 18(2), 557–568.

Feola, G., Vincent, O., & Moore, D. (2021). (Un)making in sustainability transformation beyond capitalism. Global Environmental Change, 69, 102290.

Ferraz, D., & Pyka, A. (2023). Circular economy, bioeconomy, and sustainable development goals: A systematic literature review. Environmental Science and Pollution Research.

Fischer‐Kowalski, M. (1998). Society’s metabolism: The intellectual history of materials flow analysis, part I, 1860–1970. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 2(1), 61–78.

Fischer-Kowalski, M., & Haberl, H. (1998). Sustainable development: Socio-economic metabolism and colonization of nature. International Social Science Journal, 50(158), 573-587.

Fischer‐Kowalski, M., & Hüttler, W. (1998). Society’s metabolism: The intellectual history of materials flow analysis, part II, 1970–1998. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 2(4), 107–136.

Foray, D. (2023). Smart specialisation. In K. Dopfer, R.R. Nelson, J. Potts, & A. Pyka (Eds.), Routledge handbook of evolutionary economics (pp. 316-331). Routledge.

Frenken, K., Van Oort, F.G., & Verburg, T. (2007). Related variety, unrelated variety and regional economic growth. Regional Studies, 41, 685-697.

Fricker, M. (2007). Epistemic injustice: Power and the ethics of knowing. Oxford University Press.

Friedrich, J., Bunker, I., Uthes, S., Zscheischler, J. (2021) The potential of bioeconomic innovations to contribute to a social-ecological transformation: A case study in the livestock system. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 34, 24.

Friedrich, J., Holz, J., Koch, P., Pungas, L., Eversberg, D., & Zscheischler, J. (2023). Rural bioeconomies in Europe: Socio-ecological conflicts, marginalized people and practices. GAIA – Ecological Perspectives for Science and Society, 32(2), 219–224.

Friedrich, J., Najork, K., Keck, M., & Zscheischler, J. (2022). Bioeconomic fiction between narrative dynamics and a fixed imaginary: Evidence from India and Germany. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 30, 584–595.

Friedrich, J., Tups, G. (2023). Mission impossible? The fugacity of the new and the persistence of the old as mechanisms of un-making futures. Dialogues in Human Geography.

Friedrich, J., Zscheischler, J., & Faust, H. (2022). Preservation, modernization, and transformation: Contesting bioeconomic imaginations of “manure futures” and trajectories toward a sustainable livestock system. Sustainability Science, 17(6), 2221–2235.

Fritsch, M., Kudic, M., & Pyka, A. (2019). Evolution and co-evolution of regional innovation processes. Regional Studies, 53(9), 1235-1239.

Fritsch, M., & Wyrwich, M. (2019). Regional trajectories of entrepreneurship, knowledge, and growth: The role of history and culture. Springer.

Fritsche, U., Brunori, G., Chiaramonti, D., Galanakis, C., Hellweg, S., Matthews, R., & Panoutsou, C. (2020). Future transitions for the bioeconomy towards sustainable development and a climate-neutral economy: Knowledge synthesis final report. Publications Office of the European Union.

George, G., Baker, T., Tracey, P., & Joshi, H. (2019). Inclusion and innovation: A call to action. In G. George, T. Baker, P. Tracey, & H. Joshi (Eds.), Handbook of inclusive innovation: The role of organizations, markets and communities in social innovation (pp. 2-22). Edward Elgar.

Genus, A., & Stirling, A. (2018). Collingridge and the dilemma of control: Towards responsible and accountable innovation. Research Policy, 47, 61-69.

Giampietro, M. (2019). On the circular bioeconomy and decoupling: Implications for sustainable growth. Ecological Economics, 162, 143–156.

Godin, B. (2006). The linear model of innovation: The historical construction of an analytical framework. Science, Technology & Human Values, 31(6), 639-667.

Godin, B. (2014). “Innovation Studies”: Staking the claim for a new disciplinary “tribe”. Minerva, 52(4), 489-495.

Graf, H., & Kalthaus, M. (2023). Global knowledge embeddedness. In K. Dopfer, R.R. Nelson, J. Potts, & A. Pyka (Eds.), Routledge handbook of evolutionary economics (pp. 341-358). Routledge.

Granovetter, M. (1985). Economic action and social structure: The problem of embeddedness. American Journal of Sociology, 91(3), 481–510.

Haarich, S., & Kirchmayr-Novak, S. (2022). Bioeconomy strategy development in EU regions. (Edited by J. Sanchez Lopez, M.T. Borzacchiello, & M. Avraamides). Publications Office of the European Union.

Haberl, H., Fischer-Kowalski, M., Krausmann, F., & Schmid, M. (2023). Socio-metabolic transitions. In M. U. Hensel, D. Sunguroğlu Hensel, C. R. Binder, & F. Ludwig (Eds.), Introduction to designing environments (pp. 71–92). Springer.

Haberl, H., Wiedenhofer, D., Pauliuk, S., Krausmann, F., Müller, D. B., & Fischer-Kowalski, M. (2019). Contributions of sociometabolic research to sustainability science. Nature Sustainability, 2(3), 173–184.

Haddad, C., Nakić, V., Bergek, A., & Hellsmark, H. (2022). Transformative innovation policy: A systematic review. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 43, 14-40.

Hall, B.L., & Tandon, R. (2017). Decolonization of knowledge, epistemicide, participatory research and higher education. Research for All, 1(1), 6–19.

Halonen, M., Näyhä, A., & Kuhmonen, I. (2022). Regional sustainability transition through forest-based bioeconomy? Development actors’ perspectives on related policies, power, and justice. Forest Policy and Economics, 142, 102775.

Harrahill, K., Macken-Walsh, Á., & O’Neill, E. (2023). Prospects for the bioeconomy in achieving a Just Transition: Perspectives from Irish beef farmers on future pathways. Journal of Regional Studies, 100, 103020.

Hassink, R. (2001). Towards regionally embedded innovation support systems in South Korea? Case studies from Kyongbuk-Taegu and Kyonggi. Urban Studies, 38(8), 1373-1395.

Hausknost, D., Schiefl, E., Lauk, C., & Kalt, G. (2017). A transition to which bioeconomy? An exploration of diverging techno-political choices. Sustainability, 9(4), 669.

Häyry, M., & Laihonen, M. (2024). Situating a sustainable bioeconomy strategy on a map of justice: A solution and its problems. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 26, 517-534.

Heidenreich, M., & Mattes, J. (2012). Regional embeddedness of multinational companies and their limits: A typology. In M. Heidenreich (Ed.), Innovation and institutional embeddedness of multinational companies (pp. 29-58). Edward Elgar.

Hermans, F.L.P. (2021). Bioclusters and sustainable regional development. In S.R. Sedita & S. Blasi (Eds.), Rethinking clusters: Place-based value creation in sustainability transitions (pp. 81-91). Springer.

Herwix, A., Haj-Bolouri, A., Rossi, M., Tremblay, M. C., Purao, S., & Gregor, S. (2022). Ethics in information systems and design science research: Five perspectives. Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 50(1), 589–616.

Hinderer, S., Brändle, L., & Kuckertz, A. (2021). Transition to a sustainable bioeconomy. Sustainability, 13(15), 8232.

Hoes, A-C., van der Burg, S., & Overbeek, G. (2021). Transitioning responsibly toward a circular bioeconomy: Using stakeholder workshops to reveal market dependencies. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 34, 21.

Holland, C., McCarthy, A., Ferri, P., & Shapira, P. (2024). Innovation intermediaries at the convergence of digital technologies, sustainability, and governance: A case study of AI-enabled engineering biology. Technovation, 129, 102875.

Holmgren, S., Giurca, A., Johansson, J., Kanarp, C. S., Stenius, T., & Fischer, K. (2022). Whose transformation is this? Unpacking the ‘apparatus of capture’ in Sweden’s bioeconomy. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 42, 44–57.

Holz, J. R. (2023). Threatened sustainability: Extractivist tendencies in the forest-based bioeconomy in Finland. Sustainability Science, 18(2), 645–659.

Hölscher, K., Wittmayer, J. K., Loorbach, D. (2017). Transition versus transformation: What’s the difference? Environmental Innovation and Societal Transition, 27, 1-3.

Isaksen, A., Trippl, M., & Mayer, H. (2022). Regional innovation systems in an era of grand societal challenges: Reorientation versus transformation. European Planning Studies, 30(11), 2125–2138.

Jahn, T., Bergmann, M., & Keil, F. (2012). Transdisciplinarity: Between mainstreaming and marginalization. Ecological Economics, 79, 1-10.

Janssen, M., Torrens, J., Wesseling, J., & Wanzenböck, I. (2021). The promises and premises of mission-oriented innovation policy—A reflection and ways forward. Science and Public Policy, 48(3), 438–444.

Joly, P.-B. (2010). On the economics of techno-scientific promises. In M. Akrich, Y. Barthe, F. Muniesa, & P. Mustar (Eds.), Débordements: Mélanges offerts à Michel Callon (pp. 203–222). Presses des Mines.

Jurowetzki, R., Lema, R., & Lundvall, B.-Å. (2018). Combining innovation systems and global value chains for development: Towards a research agenda. The European Journal of Development Research, 30, 364-388.

Kanda, W. (2023). Systems and ecosystems in the circular economy: What’s the difference? Journal of Circular Economy, 1(3), 1-10.

Kattel, R., & Mazzucato, M. (2023). Mission-oriented innovation policies in Europe: From normative to epistemic turn? UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, Working Paper Series (IIPP WP 2023-09). Available at:

Kern, F., Rogge, K.S., & Howlett, M. (2019). Policy mixes for sustainability transitions: New approaches and insights through bridging innovation and policy studies. Research Policy, 48(10), 103832.

Kivimaa, P., Boon, W., Hyysalo, S., & Klerkx, L. (2019). Towards a typology of intermediaries in sustainability transitions: A systematic review and a research agenda. Research Policy, 48, 1062-1075.

Kivimaa, P., & Kern, F. (2016). Creative destruction or mere niche support? Innovation policy mixes for sustainability transitions. Research Policy, 45(1), 205–217.

Kivimaa, P., & Martiskainen, M. (2018). Dynamics of policy change and intermediation: The arduous transition towards low-energy homes in the United Kingdom. Energy Research & Social Science, 44, 83-99.

Kivimaa, P., & Morgan, K. (2023). Multilevel governance, sustainability transitions and the experimentalist turn. In S. Schwaag Serger, L. Soete, & J. Stierna (Eds.), The square: Putting place-based innovation policy for sustainability at the centre of policymaking (pp. 105-123). Publications Office of the European Union.

Klingler-Vidra, R., Glennie, A., & Lawrence, C.S. (2022). Inclusive innovation. Routledge.

Knight, F. H. (1921). Risk, uncertainty, and profit. Houghton Mifflin.

Korhonen, J., Nuur, C., Feldmann, A., & Birkie, S. E. (2018). Circular economy as an essentially contested concept. Journal of Cleaner Production, 175, 544–552.

Lang, D. J., Wiek, A., Bergmann, M., Stauffacher, M., Martens, P., Moll, P., Swilling, M., & Thomas, C. J. (2012). Transdisciplinary research in sustainability science: Practice, principles, and challenges. Sustainability Science, 7, 25-43.

Lang, S., Minnucci, G., Mueller, M., & Schlaile, M. P. (2023). The role of consumers in business model innovations for a sustainable circular bioeconomy. Sustainability, 15(12), 9573.

Leipold, S., Petit-Boix, A., Luo, A., Helander, H., Simoens, M., Ashton, W.S., Babbitt, C.W., Bala, A., Bening, C.R., Birkved, M., Blomsma, F., Boks, C., Boldrin, A., Deutz, P., Domenech, T., Ferronato, N., Gallego-Schmid, A., Giurco, D., Hobson, K., … Xue, B. (2023). Lessons, narratives, and research directions for a sustainable circular economy. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 27, 6-18.

Lepore, D. (2023). Intermediaries in innovation systems: Match or mismatch? Journal of the Knowledge Economy.

Lindner, R., Daimer, S., Beckert, B., Heyen, N., Koehler, J., Teufel, B., Warnke, P., & Wydra, S. (2016). Addressing directionality: Orientation failure and the systems of innovation heuristic: Towards reflexive governance. Fraunhofer ISI Discussion Papers Innovation Systems and Policy Analysis No. 25.

Losacker, S., Hansmeier, H., Horbach, J., Liefner, I. (2023). The geography of environmental innovation: A critical review and agenda for future research. Review of Regional Research, 43, 291-316.

Lühmann, M., & Vogelpohl, T. (2023). The bioeconomy in Germany: A failing political project? Ecological Economics, 207, 107783.

March, J. (1991). Exploration and exploitation in organizational learning. Organization Science, 2(1), 71-87.

Martin, H., Grundel, I., & Dahlström, M. (2023). Reconsidering actor roles in regional innovation systems: Transformative industrial change in the forest-based bioeconomy. Regional Studies, 57(9), 1636–1648.

Martin, R., & Sunley, P. (2010). The place of path dependence in an evolutionary perspective on the economic landscape. In R. Boschma & R. Martin (Eds.), The handbook of evolutionary economic geography (pp. 62-92). Edward Elgar.

Martin, R. (2021). Path dependence and the spatial economy: Putting history in its place. In M.M. Fischer, P. Nijkamp (Eds.), Handbook of regional science, 2nd edition (pp. 1265-1289). Springer.

Marty, P., Dermine-Brullot, S., Madelrieux, S., Fleuet, J., & Lescoat, P. (2022). Transformation of socioeconomic metabolism due to development of the bioeconomy: The case of northern Aube (France). European Planning Studies, 30(7), 1212–1229.

Mattes, J., Huber, A., & Koehrsen, J. (2015). Energy transitions in small-scale regions – What we can learn from a regional innovation systems perspective. Energy Policy, 78, 255-264.

McCauley, D., & Heffron, R. (2018). Just transition: Integrating climate, energy and environmental justice. Energy Policy, 119, 1-7.

McCormick, K., & Kautto, N. (2013). The bioeconomy in Europe: An overview. Sustainability, 5, 2589-2608.

Meadows, D. (2008). Thinking in systems: A primer. (Edited by D. Wright). Earthscan.

Mendoza Barajas, E. (2022). Dedicated innovation systems for local sustainability transformations in the Global South. Doctoral Dissertation, Institute of Economics, University of Hohenheim.

Morales, D. (2021). Spaces of the forest-based bioeconomy in Finnish Lapland and Catalonia: practitioners, narratives and forgotten spatialities. Fennia – International Journal of Geography, 199(2), 174–187.

Morales, D., Dahlström, M. (2023). Smart specialization and participatory processes in green path renewal. Analysis of the forest-based bioeconomy in sparsely populated regions in the Nordics. European Planning Studies, 31(8), 1734-1753.

Morena, E., Krause, D., & Stevis, D. (Eds.). (2020). Just transitions: Social justice in the shift towards a low-carbon world. Pluto Press.

Morone, P., D’Amato, D., Befort, N., & Yilan, G. (2023). The circular bioeconomy: Theories and tools for economists and sustainability scientists. Cambridge University Press.

Mubareka, S., Giuntoli, J., Sanchez Lopez, J., Lasarte Lopez, J., M’barek, R., Ronzon, T., Renner, A., & Avraamides, M. (2023). Trends in the EU bioeconomy. Publications Office of the European Union.

Muller, J.Z. (2018). The tyranny of metrics. Princeton University Press.

Muscat, A., de Olde, E., Ripoll-Bosch, R., Van Zanten, H.H.E., Metze, T.A.P., Termeer, C.J.A.M., van Ittersum, M.K., & de Boer, I.J.M. (2021). Principles, drivers and opportunities of a circular economy. Nature Food, 2, 561-566.

Nooteboom, B., Van Haverbeke, W., Duysters, G., Gilsing, V., & van den Oord, A. (2007). Optimal cognitive distance and absorptive capacity. Research Policy, 36(7), 1016-1034.

Nowotny, H. (2003). Democratising expertise and socially robust knowledge. Science and Public Policy, 30(3), 151–156.

Onyeali, W., Schlaile, M. P., & Winkler, B. (2023). Navigating the biocosmos: Cornerstones of a bioeconomic utopia. Land, 12(6), 1212.

Ostrom, E. (2010). Beyond markets and states: Polycentric governance of complex economic systems. American Economic Review, 100(3), 641–672.

Owen, R., Macnaghten, P., & Stilgoe, J. (2012). Responsible research and innovation: From science in society to science for society, with society. Science and Public Policy, 39(6), 751–760.

Parks, D. (2022). Directionality in transformative innovation policy: Who is giving directions? Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 43, 1–13.

Patterson, J., Schulz, K., Vervoort, J., van der Hel, S., Widerberg, O., Adler, C., Hurlbert, M., Anderton, K., Sethi, M., & Barau, A. (2017). Exploring the governance and politics of transformations towards sustainability. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 24, 1-16.

Pauliuk, S., & Hertwich, E. G. (2015). Socioeconomic metabolism as paradigm for studying the biophysical basis of human societies. Ecological Economics, 119, 83–93.

Pel, B., Wittmayer, J.M., Avelino, F., Loorbach, D., & de Geus, T. (2023). How to account for the dark sides of social innovation? Transitions directionality in renewable energy prosumerism. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 49, 100775.

Pfau, S.F., Hagens, J.E., Dankbaar, B., & Smits, A.J.M. (2014). Visions of sustainability in bioeconomy research. Sustainability, 6(3), 1222-1249.

Pohl, C., Truffer, B., & Hirsch-Hadorn, G. (2017). Addressing wicked problems through transdisciplinary research. In R. Frodeman, J.T. Klein, & R.C.d.S. Pachero (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of interdisciplinarity, 2nd edition (pp. 319-331). Oxford University Press.

ProClim- (1997). Research on sustainability and global change: Visions in science policy by Swiss researchers. ProClim- Forum for Climate and Global Change, Swiss Academy of Sciences.

Purvis, B., Celebi, D., & Pansera, M. (2023). A framework for a responsible circular economy. Journal of Cleaner Production, 400, 136679.

Pyka, A. (2014). Avoiding evolutionary inefficiencies in innovation networks. Prometheus, 32(3), 265-279.

Pyka, A. (2017). Dedicated innovation systems to support the transformation towards sustainability: Creating income opportunities and employment in the knowledge-based digital bioeconomy. Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, 3(4), 1–18.

Pyka, A., Ari, E., Alva-Ferrari, A., & Urmetzer, S. (2022). The bioeconomy transition process: Sailing through storms and doldrums in unknown waters. Journal of Innovation Economics & Management, 38(2), 34-61.

Pyka, A., Kudic, M., & Müller, M. (2019). Systemic interventions in regional innovation systems: Entrepreneurship, knowledge accumulation and regional innovation. Regional Studies, 53(9), 1321-1332.

Pyka, A., Lang, S., & Stöber, L.F. (2023). A sustainable knowledge-based economy analysis. In L. Adatto, C. Aouinaït, S.T.K. Le, & M. Mongo (Eds.), Innovation ecosystems in the new economic era: Digital revolution and ecological transition (pp. 99-127). Peter Lang.

Ramcilovic-Suominen, S. (2023). Envisioning just transformations in and beyond the EU bioeconomy: Inspirations from decolonial environmental justice and degrowth. Sustainability Science, 18, 707-722.

Rau, T.J. (2023). Collective power: Patterns for a self-organized future. Sociocracy For All.

Rehfeld, D. (2019). Responsible research and innovation (RRI) and regional innovation studies (RIS) – reflecting on the normative aspects. European Planning Studies, 27(12), 2344–2358.

Rittel, H.W.J., Webber, M.M. (1973). Dilemmas in a general theory of planning. Policy Sciences, 4, 155-169.

Rutten, R., & Boekema, F. (2007). Regional social capital: Embeddedness, innovation networks and regional economic development. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 74(9), 1834–1846.

Sattler, C. (2022). Using Process Net-Map to analyze governance innovations in the forestry sector. Ecosystem Services, 55, 101433.

Schiffer, E., & Hauck, J. (2010). Net-Map: Collecting social network data and facilitating network learning through participatory influence network mapping. Field Methods, 22(3), 231-249.

Schot, J., & Steinmueller, W.E. (2018). Three frames for innovation policy: R&D, systems of innovation and transformative change. Research Policy, 47(9), 1554-1567.

Schlaile, M.P., Kask, J., Brewer, J., Bogner, K., Urmetzer, S., & de Witt, A. (2022). Proposing a cultural evolutionary perspective for dedicated innovation systems: Bioeconomy transitions and beyond. Journal of Innovation Economics & Management, 38(2), 93–118.

Schlaile, M.P., & Urmetzer, S. (2021). Transitions to sustainable development. In W. Leal Filho, A.M. Azul, L. Brandli, A. Lange Salvia, & T. Wall (Eds.), Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Decent Work and Economic Growth (pp. 1067-1081). Springer.

Schlaile, M.P., Urmetzer, S., Blok, V., Andersen, A.D., Timmermans, J., Mueller, M., Fagerberg, J., & Pyka, A. (2017). Innovation systems for transformations towards sustainability? Taking the normative dimension seriously. Sustainability, 9(12), 2253.

Schlaile, M.P., Urmetzer, S., Ehrenberger, M.B., & Brewer, J. (2021). Systems entrepreneurship: A conceptual substantiation of a novel entrepreneurial “species”. Sustainability Science, 16(3), 781–794.

Schlaile, M.P., Zeman, J., & Mueller, M. (2018). It’s a match! Simulating compatibility-based learning in a network of networks. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 28, 1111-1150.

Schlosberg, D. (2007). Defining environmental justice: Theories, movements, and nature. Oxford University Press.

Schramm, M. (2022). Relational processes in Whitehead’s metaphysics and Commons’ economics. The relevance of cosmology for economic theory. In L. Biggero, D. de Jongh, B. Priddat, J. Wieland, A. Zicari, & D. Fischer (Eds.), The relational view of economics: A new research agenda for the study of relational transactions (pp. 249-275). Springer.

Scoones, I., Stirling, A. (Eds.) (2020). The politics of uncertainty: Challenges of transformation. Routledge.

Sjøtun, S.G., & Njøs, R. (2019). Green reorientation of clusters and the role of policy: ‘The normative’ and ‘the neutral’ route. European Planning Studies, 27, 2411-2430.

Skjølsvold, T. M., Coenen, L. (2021). Are rapid and inclusive energy and climate transitions oxymorons? Towards principles of responsible acceleration. Energy Research & Social Science, 79, 1021164.

Star, S.L., & Griesemer, J.R. (1989). Institutional ecology, ‘translations’ and boundary objects: Amateurs and professionals in Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, 1907-39. Social Studies of Science, 19(3), 387-420.

Starke, J. R., Metze, T. A. P., Candel, J. J. L., Dewulf, A. R. P. J., & Termeer, K. J. A. M. (2023). ‘Green future’ versus ‘planetary boundaries’? Evolving online discourse coalitions in European bioeconomy conflicts. Journal of Cleaner Production, 425, 139058.

Starke, J. R., Metze, T. A. P., Candel, J. J. L., & Termeer, C. J. A. M. (2022). Conceptualizing controversies in the EU circular bioeconomy transition. Ambio, 51(10), 2079–2090.

Stevis, D. (2023). Just transitions: Promise and contestation. Cambridge University Press.

Stilgoe, J., Owen, R., & Macnaghten, P. (2013). Developing a framework for responsible innovation. Research Policy, 42(9), 1568–1580.

Stöber, L. F., Boesino, M., Pyka, A., & Schuenemann, F. (2023). Bioeconomy innovation networks in urban regions: The case of Stuttgart. Land, 12(4), 935.

Suitner, J., Haider, W., & Philipp, S. (2023). Social innovation for regional energy transition? An agency perspective on transformative change in non-core regions. Regional Studies, 57(8), 1498–1510.

Swilling, M. (2020). The age of sustainability: Just transitions in a complex world. Routledge.

Tartaruga, I., Sperotto, F., & Carvalho, L. (2024). Addressing inclusion, innovation, and sustainability challenges through the lens of economic geography: Introducing the Hierarchical Regional Innovation System. Geography and Sustainability, 5(1), 1-12.

Tapia, C., Bianchi, M., Pallaske, G., & Bassi, A. (2021). Towards a territorial definition of a circular economy: Exploring the role of territorial factors in closed-loop systems. European Planning Studies, 29, 1438-1457.

Tödtling, F., & Trippl, M. (2018). Regional innovation policies for new path development – beyond neo-liberal and traditional systemic views. European Planning Studies, 26(9), 1779–1795.

Tödtling, F., Trippl, M., & Desch, V. (2022). New directions for RIS studies and policies in the face of grand societal challenges. European Planning Studies, 30(11), 2139–2156.

Traub, S., & Kittel., B. (Eds.) (2020). Need-based distributive justice: An interdisciplinary perspective. Springer.

Trippl, M. (2023). Challenge-oriented regional innovation systems and strategies for sustainability transitions. In S. Schwaag Serger, L. Soete, & S. Stierna (Eds.), The Square: Putting place-based innovation policy for sustainability at the centre of policymaking (pp. 62-69). Publications Office of the European Union.

Trippl, M., Baumgartinger-Seiringer, S., & Kastrup, J. (2024). Challenge-oriented regional innovation systems: Towards a research agenda. Investigaciones Regionales – Journal of Regional Research.

Upham, P., Sovacool, B., & Ghosh, B. (2022). Just transitions for industrial decarbonisation: A framework for innovation, participation, and justice. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 167, 112699.

Urmetzer, S., Lask, J., Vargas-Carpintero, R., & Pyka, A. (2020). Learning to change: Transformative knowledge for building a sustainable bioeconomy. Ecological Economics, 167, 106435.

Urmetzer, S., & Pyka, A. (2017). Varieties of knowledge-based bioeconomies. In S. Dabbert, I. Lewandowski, J. Weiss, & A. Pyka (Eds.), Knowledge-driven developments in the bioeconomy (pp. 57–82). Springer.

Urmetzer, S., Schlaile, M.P., Bogner, K.B., Mueller, M., & Pyka, A. (2018). Exploring the dedicated knowledge base of a transformation towards a sustainable bioeconomy. Sustainability, 10(6), 1694.

Urmetzer, S., Schlaile, M.P., Blok, V., & Pyka, A. (2022). Quo vadis, bioeconomy? The necessity of normative considerations in the transition. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 35(1), 1.

Uyarra, E., Ribeiro, B., & Dale-Clough, L. (2019). Exploring the normative turn in regional innovation policy: Responsibility and the quest for public value. European Planning Studies, 27(12), 2359–2375.

Vanacore, E., Giné, L. F., Hunka, A. D. (2023). Optimising public procurement through circular practice: The power of intermediation. Journal of Circular Economy, 1(3), 1-20.

Veraart, R., Blok, V., & Lemmens, P. (2023). Ecomodernism and the libidinal economy: Towards a critical conception of technology in the bio-based economy. Philosophy & Technology, 36(2), 18.

Villalba Morales, M. L., Ruiz Castañeda, W., & Robledo Velásquez, J. (2023). Configuration of inclusive innovation systems: Function, agents and capabilities. Research Policy, 52(7), 104796.

Vivien, F.-D., Nieddu, M., Befort, N., Debref, R., & Giampietro, M. (2019). The hijacking of the bioeconomy. Ecological Economics, 159, 189–197.

Vogel, J., Porras, F., Schlaile, M.P., Hector, V., Plesner Volkdal, C., & Xu, Z. (2023). The normative dimension of transdisciplinary cooperation. European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes: Debating Development Research (12/12/2023).

Vogt, M., & Frankenreiter, I. (2022). Bioeconomy: The innovative twin of sustainability. Sustainability, 14(22), 14924.

von Schomberg, R. (2013). A vision of responsible research and innovation. In R. Owen, J. Bessant, & M. Heintz (Eds.), Responsible innovation: Managing the responsible emergence of science and innovation in society (pp. 51-74). Wiley.

Waddock, S. (2023). Catalyzing transformation: Making system change happen. Business Expert Press.

Wanzenböck, I., Scherngell, T., & Brenner, T. (2014). Embeddedness of regions in European knowledge networks: A comparative analysis of inter-regional R&D collaborations, co-patents and co-publications. The Annals of Regional Science, 53(2), 337-368.

Wanzenböck, I., Wesseling, J.H., Frenken, K., Hekkert, M.P., & Weber, K.M. (2020). A framework for mission-oriented innovation policy: Alternative pathways through the problem-solution space. Science and Public Policy, 47(4), 474-489.

Warnke, P., Koschatzky, K., Dönitz, E., Zenker, A., Stahlecker, T., Som, O., Cuhls, K., & Güth, S. (2016). Opening up the innovation system framework towards new actors and institutions. Fraunhofer ISI Discussion Papers Innovation Systems and Policy Analysis No. 49.

Watkins, A., McCarthy, A., Holland, C., Shapira, P. (2023) Public biofoundries as innovation intermediaries: the integration of translation, sustainability, and responsibility. The Journal of Technology Transfer,

WBCSD. (2020). Circular bioeconomy: The business opportunity contributing to a sustainable world. WBCSD.

Weber, K.M., & Rohracher, H. (2012). Legitimizing research, technology and innovation policies for transformative change: Combining insights from innovation systems and multi-level perspective in a comprehensive ‘failures’ framework. Research Policy, 41, 1037-1047.

Weisz, H. (2011). The probability of the improbable: Society-nature coevolution. Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography, 93(4), 325-336.

Wiarda, M., Janssen, M.J., Coenen, T.B.J., & Doorn, N. (2024). Responsible mission governance: An integrative framework and research agenda. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 50, 100820.

Wilde, K., & Hermans, F. (2024). Transition towards a bioeconomy: Comparison of conditions and institutional work in selected industries. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 50, 100814.

Wilke, U., & Pyka, A. (2024a). Assessing the relevance of different proximity dimensions for knowledge exchange and (co-)creation in sustainability-oriented innovation networks. Sustainability Science,

Wilke, U., & Pyka, A. (2024b). Sustainable innovations, knowledge and the role of proximity: A systematic literature review. Journal of Economic Surveys,

Wilke, U., Schlaile, M.P., Urmetzer, S., Mueller, M., Bogner, K., & Pyka, A. (2021). Time to say ‘good buy’ to the passive consumer? A conceptual review of the consumer in the bioeconomy. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 34(4), 20.

Wittmayer, J.M., Hielscher, S., Rogge, K.S., & Weber, K.M. (2024). Advancing the understanding of social innovation in sustainability transitions: Exploring processes, politics, and policies for accelerating transitions. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 50, 100805.

Wohlfahrt, J., Ferchaud, F., Gabrielle, B., Godard, C., Kurek, B., Loyce, C., & Therond, O. (2019). Characteristics of bioeconomy systems and sustainability issues at the territorial scale. A review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 232, 898-909.

Wolfram, M. (2016). Conceptualizing urban transformative capacity: A framework for research and policy. Cities, 51, 121-130.

Young, I.M. (1990). Justice and the politics of difference. Princeton University Press.

Young, I.M. (2011). Responsibility for justice. Oxford University Press.

Ziegler, R. (2020). Innovation, ethics and our common futures: A collaborative philosophy. Edward Elgar.

Ziegler, R. (2023). Exnovation. In J. Howaldt & C. Kaletka (Eds.), Encyclopedia of social innovation (pp. 56-60). Edward Elgar.

Zscheischler, J. (2021). Transdisciplinary research in land use science—developments, criticism and empirical findings from research practice. In T. Weith, T. Barkmann, N. Gaasch, S. Rogga, C. Strauß, & J. Zscheischler (Eds), Sustainable land management in a European context (pp. 127–143), Springer.

Zscheischler, J., & Rogga, S. (2015). Transdisciplinarity in land use science–a review of concepts, empirical findings and current practices. Futures, 65, 28-44.

Zscheischler, J., Brunsch, R., Rogga, S., & Scholz, R. W. (2022). Perceived risks and vulnerabilities of employing digitalization and digital data in agriculture–Socially robust orientations from a transdisciplinary process. Journal of Cleaner Production, 358, 132034.

Zukauskaite, E. (2018). Variety of regional innovation systems and their institutional characteristics. In A. Isaksen, R. Martin, & M. Trippl (Eds.), New avenues for regional innovation systems – theoretical advances, empirical cases and policy lessons (pp. 41-60). Springer.

Zwart, H., Barbosa Mendes, A., & Blok, V. (2024). Epistemic inclusion: A key challenge for global RRI. Journal of Responsible Innovation, 11(1), 2326721.


DSRPT is an education technology start-up in stealth mode.
Circular Economy is our first venture. We are on a mission to disrupt higher education. If you wish to learn more about us, drop us a message: