2017 Berlin

Inclusive Digitalisation: When Digi meets Bio - digital disruption in the bioeconomy

Time:         14th June, 13.45 – 15.15
Venue:       Willy-Brandt-Saal


What are the challenges and opportunities when ‘Digi meets Bio’? The session focuses on the digital disruptions of production and consumption in the food and forest industry. We will investigate existing examples and experiences, discus the impacts of emerging trends and explore the potentials of a digital bioeconomy in the light of the need for a sustainable transition of the ‘old’ bioeconomy industries.

Speakers / panellists:

  • Jaakko Kuusisaari, Director, Head of Wood and Fibre Solutions at Tieto
  • Hörður G. Kristinsson, Chief Science and Innovation Officer, Matis and chair of the Nordic Bioeconomy Panel
  • Business cases from Nordic and Baltic countries - Anders Olsson, Värmland, Sweden, Davis Bojars Direcet Buying Movement, Latvia and Nelli Mikkola, Nordregio


  • Maria Olofsson, Project Manager, Growth Incubator and Infotech Umeå, Business Coach

 Organiser(s) & contact details:

  • Policy Area Innovation & Policy Area Bioeconomy (NCM)
    Liv la Cour Belling, Project Officer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +4560394204
  • Baltic Development Forum
  • Nordregio


Digitalisation has been viewed as a solution that can turn around the trend of outmigration from smaller cities, towns and communities into larger city areas. However, globalisation, urbanisation and digitalisation affect different places, rural and urban, in different ways, and today the impact of digitalisation is often experienced by smaller towns and remote areas as the absence of banks and shops and with healthcare provision as a distant e-service. Recognizing both the opportunities and challenges of digitalization this session will initiate a discussion of how to ensure an inclusive digitalization, as a solution to connect the BSR societies, including industries and consumers.

We will introduce a discussion of this issue through two inter-connected seminars (following each other):

  1. Tech StartUps and Digital Transformation in rural areas
  2. When Digi meets Bio - digital disruption in the bioeconomy

A key opportunity arising from digitalization is the possibility to act local while ensuring a global outreach - building on local advantages, competences and social networks – connecting the “Local buzz and global pipelines” (State of the Digital Region 2016, by Top of Digital Europe, www.topofdigital.eu)

Secondly, the bioeconomy in the BSR could benefit from a digital ‘revolution’ as digital technologies can help the development of new, local and sustainable products and services, improving both the ecological footprint and creating new jobs. An essential part of this development is the disruptive nature of digitalization with regard to traditional value chains and the opportunities for remote regions to connect directly to end consumers.

It is in this context of recognizing both the opportunities and challenges of digitalization that the session will initiate a discussion of how to ensure an inclusive digitalization, as a solution to connect the BSR societies.

Both sessions will explore the following overarching questions:

  • Is it possible to achieve a “successful” digital transformation in rural areas and smaller towns? How would such a transformation look?
  • How can digitalisation push for sustainable solutions in tech StartUps, respectively in the food- and forest sector in the Baltic Sea Region?
  • What initiatives / policies are needed to ensure an inclusive digitalisation outside metropolitan areas?