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A report from the European Forum Alpbach by Gottfried Pessl – Bioeconomy – how it will change future farming

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“Liberty & Security” – were the two buzz words discussed extensively by the speakers and participants at the recent Technology Symposium in Alpbach – Austria (August 22nd to 24th). If you think about it, liberty & security don’t often fit well together – consider a prisoner who has the highest level of security in his cell, but his liberty is quite limited! By connecting everything, the internet has created unexpected liberties, promising universal information and education for all but has also shown its dark side with cybercrime, mobbing or the targeted manipulation of information.

I have attended this conference for the last 15 years, and as Pessl Instruments has been involved in the Internet of Things since 2004, I was very curious about what the future could bring. There were many theoretical discussions on the future of data protection and how this will impact the individual and society, however the bottom line is, if data is shared in a responsible way it will bring benefit to many stakeholders.

One session was particularly interesting, it discussed the topic ‘Bio-Economy – Essential for the Future and Security of Mankind’, where the high-level panel explored the future changes expected for all of us.

I firmly believe that Bio-economy will change our way of life as significantly as the car did for the horse (see the picture above). I am in the lucky position to have two adult daughters who are practicing Bioeconomy already and one 7 years old who will suffer very much if we do not change our ECO footprint soon.

What are the key factors of the Bioeconomy?

It consists of the following three columns:
Technical innovations – Social Innovations – Organizational & Political innovations

It is all about climate change and what every individual can do to mitigate it. If we look at the recent discussions about the wildfires in the Amazonas in Brazil and the heat waves we had in Europe this year, we can get a dimension on what this means.

Our politicians are still hesitating, but our younger generation understands that and we need to change our ecological footprint drastically, if not mankind will end in disaster.

Many times mankind has been at the edge of the cliff. In the 1920’s predictions were made that the world would run out of natural fertilizer within 15 years and millions of people would die due to massive food shortages, however with post-war developments to the Haber–Bosch process, artificial ammonia fertilizers became freely available, significantly increasing yields of food and feed grain crops – Mankind is always very innovative when it comes to new solutions for drastic problems.

Slowly various governments are acting to implement Bioeconomy into the politics – more 49 countries have done already (click here to download this fantastic presentation of Prof. J. von Braun to understand what this means). We at Pessl Instruments are manufacturing technology which lasts and helps farmers to use resources responsibly to produce the best sustainably. If you are interested to join this initiative, please share my blog.

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