Design of contracts and ownership structures in bio-based business models

Project: PhD

Project Details


Since the EU adopted the bioeconomy strategy in the mid-2000s, bio-based businesses and their production processes relying on biological resources, have developed rapidly. However, current business models, including contractual agreements and ownership structures, have limitations in fostering innovation. They often fail to align with the collaborative nature of the sector and marginalize primary producers in terms of their contributions to innovation and profit sharing. Recent research on contract and ownership design also fails to consider all stakeholders' objectives. In light of these challenges, this project aims to design contracts and ownership structures that enhance primary producers' contributions to bio-based businesses. It will emphasize not only their preferences but also those of downstream actors. The new design is expected to align with the current EU bioeconomy strategy, promoting inclusive business models, partnerships between producers and industries, fairness, and innovation. The project will begin with a systematic literature review to identify weaknesses in current contracts and ownership structures regarding their role in innovation. Following this, a framed field experiment using a public goods game will explore how contracts and ownership can increase cooperative behaviour among primary producers, particularly their contributions to joint investments. To identify the most effective collaboration-facilitating contracts and ownership structures, multi-criteria decision-making analysis using game theory will be conducted, considering all stakeholders' decision-making criteria and objectives. Finally, a set of business models will undergo robustness testing against uncertainties to assess their replicability across various sub-sectors in European countries. This PhD project contributes to the C4B project, which involves several stakeholders across Europe.
Effective start/end date1/03/24 → …


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