Through carefully managing the exploitation of natural resources, and not at least sharing the benefits, Norway has successfully built an extensive state funded welfare. As oil gradually will be phased out, the bioeconomy has been pointed to as ‘the new oil’. BioShare will develop knowledge and analytical understanding necessary to assess, organise and manage the sharing of benefits from the utilization of bioresources, and provide policy recommendations accordingly.

We will carry out an interdisciplinary analysis of the institutional system for benefit-sharing in the hydropower and petroleum sectors, which were the basis for the emergence of the extensive Norwegian public welfare. From here will draw lessons to the blue economies of aquaculture and marine bioprospecting, which are sectors expected to play important parts in the future bioeconomy.

Ocean and coastal governance is demanding, and today’s regulatory arrangements do not guarantee that value creation from aquaculture and bioprospecting sufficiently benefit the public. Models for distributing benefits from marine bioresources are therefore currently up for consideration. Decisions taken today might have major consequences for citizens’ future access to publically funded welfare.

BioShare will study the historical contexts in which benefit-sharing regimes became established in Norway, and compare benefit-sharing systems and principles across the petroleum, hydropower, aquaculture and bioprospecting sectors. BioShare will explore local and regional effects of benefit-sharing in the marine bioeconomy, and its relations to the social legitimacy of industrial activities. The project will assemble international scholars within studies of ocean governance to gather, develop and publish cutting edge scholarly work.

Finally, BioShare will develop a set of coherent policy guidelines to inform future strategies for managing public goods for a growing range of uses and users in the Norwegian bioeconomy.

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