The bio-economy represents a significant shift in socio-economic, agricultural, energy and technical systems. The concept of the bio-economy – also called the bio-based economy or the knowledge-based bio-economy in Europe – can be understood as an economy where the basic building blocks for materials, chemicals and energy are derived from renewable biological resources, such as plant and animal sources. This type of economy can meet the requirements of sustainability from environmental, social and economic perspectives. The bio-economy is being made possible by the recent surge in scientific knowledge and technical competences that can be used to harness biological processes. Significant advances can also be expected over the coming decades.