The use of technological innovation in bio-based industries to foster growth in the bioeconomy: a South African perspective

Edwin Hlangwani, Keleabetswe Lerato Mpye, Leon Matsuro, Bhekisisa Dlamini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Several countries around the world are taking advantage of emerging technologies to leverage the use of natural resources to develop and grow bio-based industries. As a result, these activities have become the backbone of bioeconomy-growth strategies in the developing world. Adoption of the concepts and technological aspects of this facet of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) across government, academia, and industry has fostered innovation in the health, agricultural, and manufacturing sectors. However, the relationship between the technological catalysis of innovation and the bioeconomy from the perspective of a developing country has been left unexplored. In this context, this review explores the contribution of technological advances toward a sustainable, valuable bioeconomy and the current policy mandates. We focus our attention on South Africa because the country has a holistic, well-defined bioeconomy strategy that is consistent with the conditions of developed nations more generally. The review suggests that developing countries could adopt a multidisciplinary approach to designing their bioeconomy strategies. We further assert that developing holistic strategies that address the recent COVID-19 pandemic and potential future world crises could be beneficial in achieving sustainable development goals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2200300
JournalSustainability: Science, Practice, and Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Bio-based products
  • innovation
  • policy
  • South Africa
  • sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • General Environmental Science


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