BIOEAST Board and its thematic working group initiated the BIOEAST University Network that was established in Prague on 8th December 2022 on the international conference Bioeconomy education A BIOEAST perspective when six universities from Central and Eastern Europe signed a memorandum of understanding.
MEDELU, Czech Republic, Debrecen University, Hungary, Agricultural University Nitra, Slovakia, Osijek University, Croatia, Agricultural University-Plovdiv Bulgaria and Magnus University Lithuania agreed on developing common research and innovation agendas and working together on common priorities to further enhance their curricula benefiting the next generations.
The conference was opened by Martin Úlovec, a representative of the Minister of Education Youth & Sports Czech Republic who expressed the support of the Ministry of Education Youth & Sports for this initiative as bioeconomy has the perspective to alter consumer behaviour towards sustainability. Giuseppe Pellegrino representative of the EU appraised the event and articulated support of the EC for the new network of Bieconomy Universities in the BIOEAST macro region. George Sakellaris, the Leader of the Thematic Working Group (TWG) Bioeconomy Education demonstrated the need to for a responsible smart transition process to a knowledge-based society that is strongly oriented towards circularity and sustainability in the light of global challenges. Han van Osch Chairman, ICA-Community of Practice on Bioeconomy Education endorse the support for the BIOEAST Uni Net. Martin Greimel from the BOKU University who was representing the European Bioeconomy Universities articulated the intention to establish and strengthen synergies with BIOEAST Initiative and its working bodies. Marie Kubankova the Co-Leader of the TWG Bioeconomy Education and the Coordinator of the BIOEAST HUB CZ introduced TWG Bioeconomy Education as a working body of the BIOEAST Initiative, that with will carry on establishing proper communication among the universities and first joint activities. Barna Kovacs highlighted that wider participation in the excellent based innovation is the core stone of the BIOEAST Initiative, he expressed that immediate enhancement of bioeconomy education is an essential perquisite for the macro-region to reach to students, policy makers, entrepreneurs.
Christian Paterman addressed the audience in a pre-recorded video message. He emphasised the ongoing worldwide developments in new bioeconomy strategies promoted in USA and China, and highlighted the need that also in the BIOEAST region should there be re dynamisation of the bioeconomy action plan and proper information flow to improve coordination of funds and awareness raising activities.
Barna Kovacs resumed: “The conference demonstrated again the urgency to develop education in bioeconomy in our macro region. After establishing the thematic working group, the BIOEAST Board supported the establishment of the dedicated network of universities to join forces and tackle this issue together. It is clear the support from the EU is crucial, we need to build our capacities and benefit from the already established networks on the EU level.” The conference organised under the auspices of the Minister for European Affairs doc. PhDr. Mikuláš Bek, Ph.D. by the BIOEAST Initiative and BIOEAST HUB CZ in cooperation with the Czech Ministry of Education CZ took place on 8th December 2022 in Prague.