This paper provides an innovation systems perspective on the combination of policy instrumentsthat will be required to stimulate technological development in the advanced biorefi nery fi eld.We fi rst consult the established innovation policy literature, and provide a general framework that canbe used to identify the type of policy instruments needed to develop new sustainable technology. In asecond step, we illustrate how these general principles can be applied in the context of future biorefineries based on either the thermochemical or biochemical conversion of lignocellulosic biomassfeedstocks. We draw heavily on the experiences of biorefi nery development in Sweden. A central conclusionis that in Sweden, and elsewhere, there are few niche markets for advanced biorefi neries and alack of long-term policy instruments for the more established renewable fuels. For this reason, there isa need for innovation policy instruments that create markets for renewable fuels and green chemicals,thus supporting technology development during a niche market phase and allowing for the fi rst commercial-scale plants to be built. The aim of such a policy would be to stimulate learning, form valuechains, and experiment with various design options on a larger scale; this complements the use oftechnology-neutral policy instruments such as carbon pricing, which primarily promotes the diffusionof mature technologies. The policy instruments that are candidates for the niche market phase include,for example, public procurement and various types of price guarantees.