When today one speaks of bioeconomy in Colombia, the reference is ALCUE NET
based on an interview with Rafael Aramendis and Adriana Castaño from SURICATA S.A.S., Colombia.
Rafael Aramendis works for the Colombian consultancy SURICATA SAS. The company was in charge of realizing a series of case studies for ALCUE NET for the topic of Bioeconomy in Colombia. Rafael sees a clear maturation of Bioeconomy as a field of research and business in Colombia since the start of the ALCUE NET project. According to him there is now consciousness for the topic on the political level. Bioeconomy is being discussed by governmental bodies and concrete actions are being developed. Most importantly Bioeconomy is considered as being a critical topic for the definition of public policy in Colombia. Especially COLCIENCIAS, the Administrative Department for Science, Technology and Innovation, is pushing the topic forward. A series of factors, and among them the support of ALCUE NET and the EC as an economic partner, are provoking that Colombia is developing its own bioeconomy model and taking decisions based on the sustainable use of natural resources which exist in abundancy in Colombia.
Compared to other countries in the Andean region and Central America, the topic of bioeconomy is more advanced in Colombia where a clear regulatory framework for bioeconomy exists. Rafael Aramendis sees ALCUE NET as the main promotor for this. The project has contributed in two specific ways to make bioeconomy more relevant in Colombia: one, by giving the topic visibility and two, by being the hub for the diffusion of bioeconomy related information. Different research groups in Colombia have been doing research in the bioeconomy field, but ALCUE NET started to strategically bring those actors together. “When today one speaks of bioeconomy in Colombia, the reference is ALCUE NET. If you go and ask a Colombian researcher or entrepreneur about bioeconomy, he will say, go have a look at the ALCUE NET project.” So far, regionally important institutions like the Colombian Universidad Javeriana or the CIAT (International Centre for Tropical Agriculture) have been cooperating in ALCUE NET activities related to bioeconomy. This means that not only EU – CELAC cooperation in bioeconomy is being strengthened, but also intra-American cooperation. Another example for this is that the online newspaper El Diario de Hoy from El Salvador is launching articles about the importance of bioeconomy for Central America which Rafael Aramendis sees inter alia as a result of ALCUE NET information campaigns.