The world economy is experiencing dramatic changes.In this context, the concept of bioeconomy (or bio-economy, or bio-based economy) has emerged as a key strategy to match human needs while facing resource efficiency requirements, based on the sustainable exploitation of biological resources. The Italian Association of Agriculture and Applied Economics (AIEAA) is launching a new journal, “Bio-based and applied economics” (BAE). The main questions behind this initiative are: why a Journal on bio-based economics? And, why is it launched by a scientific society of agricultural economists? We will try to answer these questions by briefly reviewing current trends in the evolution of academic responses to past, recent and emerging research needs in the field of agriculture economics and its interaction with the closest fields of economics, building on this examination to single out relevant challenges for future research.