Competitive Advantage for the Forest-based Sector in the Future Bioeconomy – research question priority

Eric Hansen, Hans Fredrik Hoen, Erlend Nybakk


A multi-stage Deplhi-study was undertaken to explore key research questions and priorities regarding competitive advantage in the bioeconomy for the forest-based sector from the perspective or Nordic forest economics researchers. The study started with a brainstorming event undertaken in plenum among the 62 participants at the Biennial meeting of the Scandinavian Society of Forest Economics (SSFE) at Oscarsborg, Norway 26th-27th of May, 2016. This was followed up by a two-round Delphi-study, with the first round in August-September 2016 and the second round in November 2016. The initial brainstorming during the SSFE 2016 meeting resulted in five named categories of key future research questions; Innovation & Innovation Systems, Collaboration, Culture, Consumers/Customers, Environmental Scanning and with a sixth category termed Miscellaneous. In a first Delphi-round respondents were asked to add new questions, edit or delete existing questions, and propose category changes. In the second Delphi-round respondents were asked to give priority to categories, sub-categories and individual research questions. Overall, research questions relating to policies for innovation and consumer attitudes/preferences received the highest priority. Collaboration, a highly visible topic in the bioeconomy discourse, received surprisingly low priority, especially given its sparse coverage in the existing literature.


bioeconomy, competitive advantage, Delphi, research questions

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