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Building a Biorefinery Business - If it does not fit, make it fit - strategies for successful commercialization

Kasnitz, Lara LU (2017) In IIIEE Masters Thesis IMEN41 20172
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
Abstract
Due to a combination of economic challenges as well as uncertain policy conditions in the United States and the European Union, the development of (advanced) biorefineries has been slower than anticipated. This has hampered the transition to a more sustainable and less carbon-intensive economy, namely the bioeconomy. In this thesis, the technological innovation system (TIS) approach is combined with the business model (BM) framework to analyze how biorefineries have addressed commercialization challenges and system weaknesses in practice. Hereby, a business-centered perspective is taken, using case study analysis and expert interviews as major means of empirical data collection. The analysis highlights a number of key strategies that have... (More)
Due to a combination of economic challenges as well as uncertain policy conditions in the United States and the European Union, the development of (advanced) biorefineries has been slower than anticipated. This has hampered the transition to a more sustainable and less carbon-intensive economy, namely the bioeconomy. In this thesis, the technological innovation system (TIS) approach is combined with the business model (BM) framework to analyze how biorefineries have addressed commercialization challenges and system weaknesses in practice. Hereby, a business-centered perspective is taken, using case study analysis and expert interviews as major means of empirical data collection. The analysis highlights a number of key strategies that have been applied: (1) cooperation, partnerships and networks play a major role for e.g. the mobilization of resources, market formation and knowledge development and diffusion; (2) a high degree of vertical integration, especially upstream, is found to overcome feedstock related challenges (3) product and market diversification into higher values is perceived as key to overcome dependence on oil prices and policy frameworks. Furthermore, prospects for lignocellulosic biorefineries are considered low due to unfavorable economics and lack of policy incentives. In addition to the empirical contribution, the study contributes with novel insights into the role of agency and individual actors as system builders within the TIS framework. The thesis thus suggests that both actor specific activities as well as policy measures are needed to overcome system weaknesses to achieve successful commercialization of biorefineries. (Less)
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author
Kasnitz, Lara LU
supervisor
organization
course
IMEN41 20172
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
biorefinery, technological innovation systems, strategic management, business model, case study
publication/series
IIIEE Masters Thesis
report number
2017:22
ISSN
1401-9191
language
English
id
8929264
date added to LUP
2017-12-11 10:42:39
date last changed
2017-12-11 10:42:39
@misc{8929264,
  abstract     = {Due to a combination of economic challenges as well as uncertain policy conditions in the United States and the European Union, the development of (advanced) biorefineries has been slower than anticipated. This has hampered the transition to a more sustainable and less carbon-intensive economy, namely the bioeconomy. In this thesis, the technological innovation system (TIS) approach is combined with the business model (BM) framework to analyze how biorefineries have addressed commercialization challenges and system weaknesses in practice. Hereby, a business-centered perspective is taken, using case study analysis and expert interviews as major means of empirical data collection. The analysis highlights a number of key strategies that have been applied: (1) cooperation, partnerships and networks play a major role for e.g. the mobilization of resources, market formation and knowledge development and diffusion; (2) a high degree of vertical integration, especially upstream, is found to overcome feedstock related challenges (3) product and market diversification into higher values is perceived as key to overcome dependence on oil prices and policy frameworks. Furthermore, prospects for lignocellulosic biorefineries are considered low due to unfavorable economics and lack of policy incentives. In addition to the empirical contribution, the study contributes with novel insights into the role of agency and individual actors as system builders within the TIS framework. The thesis thus suggests that both actor specific activities as well as policy measures are needed to overcome system weaknesses to achieve successful commercialization of biorefineries.},
  author       = {Kasnitz, Lara},
  issn         = {1401-9191},
  keyword      = {biorefinery,technological innovation systems,strategic management,business model,case study},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {IIIEE Masters Thesis},
  title        = {Building a Biorefinery Business - If it does not fit, make it fit - strategies for successful commercialization},
  year         = {2017},
}