Business Models of Born Globals in a Forest-Based Bioeconomy (BIOBM)

Research summary

The aim of the BIOBM project is to investigate the transition to the bioeconomy as a profound change in production and usage, as well as in doing business and consumption. The study is driven by the social, ecological and economic considerations of a sustainable bioeconomy which call for rethinking how we define and utilize resources, how value is created in a networked world and how the circular processes of bio-based and other material flows connect in novel ways. Our aim is to identify the characteristics of successful business models of born globals for a sustainable bioeconomy.


The BIOBM project challenges the traditional sector-oriented linear thinking and takes the perspective of innovative firms offering new bio-based products and solutions by utilizing novel channels to the networked global markets.

We approach the emerging bioeconomy through two perspectives: On one hand, we investigate the born global companies that come outside of the traditional forest-sector and seek for indications of cross-sectoral business models and networks in the bioeconomy-related fields. On the other hand, we analyze established forest sector companies and their value networks which are being built around biorefineries developing new ways of utilizing opportunities from a bioeconomy. Through a comparative analysis of these two types of business actors, we aim at identifying new models of value creation and capture, which in turn may contribute to the redefinition of 'forest-based resources' in the future: instead of the accustomed measurements of cubic meters and tons in the forest-based sector, the new metrics may be molecules and substances, gigabytes of data, particles in the biosphere or changes in human blood pressure. The new ways of integrating both tangible and intangible resources, and the new ways of defining value for the customer as well as the society at large, are also a means to lay the foundation for next-generation bioeconomy solutions, practices and technologies.

The research will produce new information on business models in an emerging
bioeconomy, and it contributes to the resource based theories of the firm by extending the analytic framework towards a novel thinking about how valuable resources and capabilities can be defined in a sustainable bioeconomy.

More information

Project information

Research info

Research title
Business Models of Born Globals in a Forest-Based Bioeconomy (BIOBM)

Research timeline
1.8.2017 - 1.7.2020

Actors-resources-activities (ARA) Bio-based materials Bioeconomy Biorefineries Forest sector companies

Latin America

Finland, Uruguay

University of Eastern Finland
Business school, School of Forest Sciences
Kuopio and Joensuu, Finland

Funding instrument
Business Finland, Academy of Finland

Head of research
Mika Gabrielsson

Research team
Mika Gabrielsson, Saara Julkunen, Emma Incze, Sara Fraccastoro, Jouni Pykäläinen, Päivi Pelli, Anu Laakkonen

University of Eastern Finland, Business School, Kuopio, University of Eastern Finland, School of Forest Sciences, Joensuu, Born Global Bioeconomy firms in Switzerland, Finland and Sweden, Forest Sector companies in Uruguay and Finland.

Contact information
Mika Gabrielsson
+358 50 5687626,
Open link

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