Five Minutes With… Takanori Nagano, Kobe University

Takanori Nagano
Takanori Nagano is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural Engineering and Socio-Economics, at Kobe University, Japan. In the past 15 years, he has been involved in large scientific projects, assessing the impact of climate change on agriculture, mainly in terms of water resource management and adaptation to climate extremes. He has gradually shifted his focus to regional planning and today he sees bioeconomy as an integrated solution, to mitigate climate change, to create more job opportunities in rural areas and for enhancing ecological services. Prof. Takanori Nagano will be appearing on the Education panel at the World Bioeconomy Forum (WCBEF) virtual event to be broadcast live from Ruka, Finland on 10th September 2020. He spoke to the WCBEF about the importance of education to the future of circular bioeconomy.

How important is the subject of education to the future of the circular bioeconomy, and what can be done to make sure that young, bright people are attracted to the sector?       

A circular bioeconomy is about establishing balanced links among different industrial domains in the humanosphere and ecosystem. Therefore, the education system needs to be really transdisciplinary. Science and management need to be studied at the same time. A circular bioeconomy is also about creating better livelihood in the rural areas. It would certainly attract young people if we can show opportunities it creates, because it is about sustainability, landscape design and ultimately freedom.  

Do you see the circular bioeconomy as having an important role in the post Covid-19 world?  

Covid-19 made us aware about physical boundaries, the tradeoff between economy and environment and the risk of living in a densely populated area. The circular bioeconomy certainly has an important role because it creates opportunities for people to live in rural areas where people have more freedom in such situations. I live in the rural area and work in the city and have experienced this drastic contrast of stress.  

The World Bioeconomy Forum has a diverse range of high-level speakers and panelists, what are you hoping to achieve by taking part in the event, and what are you hopes for the future of the circular bioeconomy?     

This is my first time participating. I want to experience how broad the discussion would extend to. In Japan there are many promising sectors for the future of the circular bioeconomy however, these sectors still lack views on how they could create links with others. I want to convey the latest discussion in the forum to those sectors. We really need similar events to be held in Japan to broaden our views so I am looking forward to learning a lot.  

The Education Panel at the event will also include other representatives from some of the foremost universities around the world, like Sao PauloEastern Finland, and Cambridge, as well as Ahmed Fahmi, Chief of the Section of Innovation and Capacity Building, UNESCO. The Panel will be moderated by Professor Mark Rudnicki, Professor of Practice Forest Biomaterials at Michigan Technological University and Advisory Board Member of WCBEF.

Five Minutes With… is a series of interviews being run by the WCBEF to highlight some of the high-level speakers and panellists taking part in the event this year. To view the whole full day programme and register for the event please visit

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