Scholarship code CU2.286

The role of Public Administration in the transition towards a sustainable and circular bioeconomy: policies, practices and assessment methods.

  • Reference person
  • Host University/Institute
    University of Messina
  • Internship
  • Research Keywords
    Circular bio-economy
    Public administration
    Sustainability assessment
  • Reference ERCs
    SH7_6 E
    SH1_9 I
  • Reference SDGs
    GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
    GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
    GOAL 13: Climate Action


Achieving a sustainable and circular bioeconomy (BE) is among the EU’s priorities. The link between BE and the circular economy is highly emphasized and often associated with the implementation of a sustainable production model, but the effects that new processes and new cascade recycling applications could have in terms of GHG and other emissions are not yet fully known. In fact, it is not taken for granted that circular BE strategies always and in any case involve an improvement in sustainability performances. In addition, a sustainable and circular bioeconomy requires innovative technical solutions, but also a proper policy structure and administrative guide able to stimulate a change of production and consumption patterns and the use of waste and recycling material, taking into account possible rebound effects. Thus, understanding the Public Administration (PA) role in the transition towards a sustainable and circular bioeconomy is key because PA should promote, facilitate and enable the transition to a circular and climate-neutral economy. Indeed, PA should ensure a system change across decision-takers, as well as define proper assessment methods able to measure the sustainability of circular bio-based products and processes able to capture complexity and interdependencies, and provide a comprehensive and objective balance useful to address the sustainability of integrated production and consumption systems.Candidates are invited to present research proposals which may investigate one or more of the various areas of the bio-economy, may refer to different levels of Public Administration and government approaches (local, regional, national, international), and may have various object of analysis (cities, materials, technologies, etc.), but should always focus the attention on the sustainability assessment of the investigated circular bio-economy strategies/options and how PA can promote, facilitate and enable the transition.Thus, the main goals of the proposals within this call should be oriented in the understanding of: a) circular bioeconomy initiatives and approaches, adopted by the PA in their operational and strategic activities; b) successful policies and practices able to accelerate the transition; c) assessment methods useful in measuring the extent of the sustainability of circular bio-economy strategies/options. Other related goals could be explored only if focused on the organization and strategic management of PA for the development of an integrated territorial system of circular bio-economy supply chains.

Suggested skills:

We are looking for candidates with a background or experience within at least one of the following areas: Sustainability Management, Industrial Ecology, Industrial Management, Environmental Sciences, Sustainability Assessment. The person we look for is expected to have: Good command of written and verbal English; Proficiency in advanced computer skills including Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, as well as other products included in Microsoft Office 365 Business; Ability and willingness to work in collaborative, multi-disciplinary environment, with an inter-disciplinary approach and interest, and preferably with documented experience of both quantitative and qualitative research work; availability to stably work in Messina but also to travel and move whenever required; knowledge and understanding in environmental systems analysis, like life cycle assessment, is seen as a merit; proven record of designing and writing scientific publications is desirable but not required.

Research team and environment

The research will take place at the Sustainability Lab, of the Department of Economics of the University of Messina. The Sustainability Lab is a study and research laboratory for corporate sustainability and Life Cycle Management, equipped with 5 computers, 4 printers, 1 server. Software: SimaPro Analyst, GaBi Professional, Adobe Acrobato 20 Pro, DeltaGraph, Nvivo, Vensim Pro, VOSviewer. Database: Ecoinvent 3 for SimaPro, Social Hotspot Database (SHDB) for SimaPro, Product Social Impact Life Cycle Assessment (PSILCA) for SimaPro, Ecoinvent 3 for GaBi. At the moment the researchers working at the Sustainability Lab are involved in the following projects: CRESTING CiRcular Economy: SusTainability ImplicatioNs and Guiding progress - Marie Skodowska Curie (MSCA) Innovative Training Network - European Commission (2018-2021) G.A. No 765198 - UNIME partner - http://cresting.Hull.Ac.Uk ELETTRORIGENERA Regenerative electrolysers for the conversion and accumulation of surplus electricity from renewable sources in hydrogen and efficient reuse of energy in residential applications - P.O. FESR SICILY 2014/2020, Action 1.1.5 - UNIME partner - PRIN 2017 "Promoting Agri-Food Sustainability: Development of an Italian Life Cycle Inventory Database of Agri-Food Products" (ILCIDAF) - PRIN 2017EC9WF2_002 - UNIME partner THALASSA - TecHnology And materials for safe Low consumption And low life cycle cost veSSels And crafts - PON "Research and Innovation 2014 and 2020" and FSC - Progetto ARS01_00293 - CUP B46C18000720005