Policies stressing circularity in our economy is becoming ever more important. Understanding the economic implications is critical for assessing the policies. The market structure and performance of the value chain, in combination with technical change, influence- and are influenced by circular bioeconomic policies. A company that wants to succeed in the circular bioeconomy must be prepared for the challenges and opportunities ahead.
This MicroMasters programme will help you understand the basic economics of a circular biobased economy. You will learn to carry out economic assessments of the benefits and costs of new biobased technologies, in a dynamic value chain, where feedback occurs between different actors such as between retailers and food processors. At the end of the MicroMasters programme, in the last course, you will perform a capstone project in which you apply the knowledge from all courses to your own business case. This will give you the opportunity to receive feedback from experts in the field of circular bioeconomy economics and policies.
Completion of this MicroMasters programme in Business and Economics for a Circular BioEconomy will provide you with knowledge and tools to analyse the economics and policy sides of converting biological resources into biobased products. Upon earning the programme certificate, you will be able to contribute substantially to managerial decision-making, as well as policy development.
Courses under this program: Course 1: From Fossil Resources to Biomass: A Chemistry Perspective
Explore how to create a sustainable future by moving away from dependence on fossil resources to biomass resources for the production of food, chemicals and energy-carriers. Discover how to use microorganisms and catalysts to create biobased products.
Course 2: Circular Economy: An Interdisciplinary Approach
Join the transition towards a circular economy considering economic, supply chain, social, technical, managerial and environmental aspects.
Course 3: Economics and Policies in a Biobased Economy
Lead your company to make the switch to biobased resources and build a profitable sustainable business. Learn how to deal with the economics and policies governing this transition and the implementation and learn how to measure the outcome.
Course 4: Capstone Economics and Policies for a Circular Economy
This capstone project is the final part of the MicroMasters® Program Economics and Policies for a Circular Economy. Interdisciplinarity is central in this part, linking the various sections in this MicroMasters Program.
Do you want to contribute to a more sustainable society? Tackle the challenges in the transition towards a circular economy? In this course you will analyse what it takes to create a circular economy including sustainable supply chains.
The transition towards a circular economy is one of the biggest challenges in order to create a more sustainable society. This transition requires circular thinking and an interdisciplinary approach, combining socio-technical, managerial, and environmental considerations.
Right now we design products from cradle to grave: from production to consumption to waste, which is a linear model. But we should design products from cradle to cradle: in a closed loop whereby they don't become waste, but valuable resources again. And when we start thinking in circles, we might as well try to reinvent not just supply chains, but entire systems. Because that's what we have been doing with sustainability: we have been departing from the status quo, while cradle to cradle and circular pushes us to think outside the box.
Cradle to Cradle celebrates abundance; it recognizes that people, just like ants and trees, are abundant and have a large impact on their environment. The challenge is to make this impact a positive one and we invite you to join this challenge!
In the MOOC Circular Economy: An Interdisciplinary Approach, we therefore take a systems approach to the circular economy, considering different stakeholder perspectives, their incentive structures, and their impact on circular alternatives.
The circular solutions will be assessed by using applied, as well as emerging, technologies. You will learn how to use life cycle assessment and agent-based modelling to assess the socio-technical and manageable challenges and environmental benefits of alternative solutions.
The upcoming years are all about creating a sustainable future where it is necessary to move away from fossil resources and explore and implement the opportunities that biomass as a renewable energy source gives us.
Join this course if you want to learn how to create a sustainable future by moving away from dependence on fossil resources to biomass resources for the production of food, chemicals and energy-carriers. You will learn what biomass is, how to produce biomass renewable energy- and biomass fuel and how to make biobased products.
You will get a solid understanding of how chemistry works in a biobased economy and in the production of biomass renewable products. Your valuable knowledge will help your company drive into sustainability and actually make the transition to use biomass resources to produce biobased products.
You will learn about the products that can be derived from biomass and the processes used to do so.
We will explore catalytic conversion of biomass by discussing types of catalysts, special challenges for catalysis when converting biomass into biomass energy and the interplay of catalysis and up/down stream processes. Then we dive into biorefinery. Biorefinery deals with the challenge of extracting valuable biomass components and converting them to final products. To achieve this you first need knowledge of the different types of biomass, the molecules present and their chemical characteristics. Biorefinery is all about efficient processing. Aspects of processing include the harvesting, pre-treatments, conversion and separation technologies.
Stating the obvious; a biobased economy runs on biomass. To apply the gained knowledge to the production of crops, it is therefore important to understand which factors play a major role in crop growth, yield formation and quality. In this module you’ll learn to identify design criteria for the production of biobased crops on both crop- and farm level.
The Business and Operations for a Circular Bio-Economy MicroMasters Program will provide you with the knowledge and tools to analyse the business and operations side of the switch to biobased products.
The MicroMasters Program Economics and Policies for a Circular Bio-Economy covers the economic and policy side of converting biological resources into biobased products. You will able to contribute substantially to managerial decision-making as well as policy development. Both programmes consist of 3 courses and a final project; the capstone.
Explore the other courses in the MicroMasters programmes:
“In order to produce food in a sustainable way for an additional 2 billion people by 2050, a business-as-usual approach will not be sufficient. This is especially true in the face of climate change and other forces threatening natural resources like biodiversity, land and water that are essential for food production and agriculture, including forestry and fisheries. To meet these challenges, science and the application of biotechnologies as well as conventional technologies will play a key role.” FAO
Are you responsible for dealing with the economics and policies governing the transition- and implementation of biobased products and resources? Join the MOOC Economics and Policies in a Biobased Economy and discover the whole value chain from Research & Development, over application, processing, retailing and final demand. Learn how the value chain and the rents and their distribution along the chain are affected by policies. Examples such as the benefits and costs of developing, cultivating, and marketing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) will be discussed extensively.
Upgrade your knowledge about the recent trends in the circular economy and in sustainable business. Know how to measure adoption and environmental benefits, learn about the benefits and costs and the distribution of sustainable products, market power, approval processes, supply chain, guiding policies and the current social debate.
A series of 3 courses and a final capstone project designed to help you cover the economic and policy side of converting biological resources into biobased products. You will be able to contribute to managerial decision-making, as well as policy development.
Explore the other courses in this MicroMasters Program:
Please note: The capstone project is only accessible for ID-verified MicroMasters Program learners who successfully obtained verified certificate in all MicroMasters Program courses.
In the first three courses of the MicroMasters Program, you will learn about all the different steps in a biobased process and the economics and policy aspects you should consider before choosing a certain process. In this capstone project, you will combine the knowledge of the technological section with the economics and policies sections to develop a sustainable biobased practice. The focus is on linking the various aspects into an integral research, based on literature research and applied to a practical case.
The final product in this capstone project is a written report. From an economic perspective, you will write an advice for an audience of your choice, for example the executive board of a company, an investor or a governmental agency. You are free to choose the subjects you want to address in this advice. This means you get the opportunity to work on a case of your choice and receive feedback from experts in the field.
In order to find the information and publications you need, you will get tips and advice on how to do proper literature research. Along the way, you will get feedback on your proposal, draft and final report. The final report should reflect the academic research capabilities on a master's level, i.e. defining a research proposal, proper literature research, methodology, data, results and conclusions and discussion.
Maria Barbosa, Jan Vreeburg, Jacqueline Bloemhof, Jos Bijman, Renzo Akkerman, Dusan Drabik, Kim Poldner, David Strik, Alistair Beames, Gert Jan Hofstede, Hans van Meijl, Harry Bitter, Corjan van den Berg, Paul Struik, Elinor Scott, Emiel Wubben and Justus Wesseler