Bioeconomy offers a realistic opportunity to reconcile economic growth in a sustainable way and within an environmentally responsible frame. The first step of the Bioeconomy chain is the raw materials production, thus, the scientific topics related to agro-forestry. Then, innovative processes and technologies from the biosciences are the essential tools. In addition, economy background and new approaches are indispensable in converting the new technologies into beneficial processes. The development of Bioeconomy requires an interdisciplinary approach to research and innovation, the implementation of innovative solutions requires a new generation skilled expert. Consumers (both individuals, business and also public sector) are becoming ever more aware of the need to make changes to mitigate the climate crisis. In these perspectives, tailored Bioeconomy education and training are ever more important to enhance the transition to sustainable development.
Bioeconomy Education has been a key issue on the European Strategy for Bioeconomy from the very beginning. In both Strategy documents (2012 and 2018) the issue appears as a main priority for Europe. The Bioeconomy Stakeholders Manifesto issued on 2019, places Education as a top priority for the sustainable development and growth and finally the European Commission tends to institutionalize the issue. By principle, Bioeconomy actions have a regional character due to factors such as, homogeneity of structural and operational challenges, more susceptible public acceptance and consumers’ demand, the presence of stimulating ecosystems at regional level, the importance of smart specialization strategies, the existing funding and supporting tools, the presence of key actors of regional scale, the existence of regional clusters and national strategies oriented for good regional priorities. The expected impact is to highlight these factors and to examine them into a specific educational initiative on a case by case basis. Therefore, the BIOEAST TWG on Bioeconomy Education (TWG BE ED) was established to meet the specific macro regional education needs of the BIOEAST macro-region.
TWG BE ED is coordinated by Agriculture Research and led by George Sakellaris and Marie Kubankova. The main goal of this TWG is to support the development of Bioeconomy education in the BIOEAST region, indicates the pathway how to cooperate with in the European Bioeconomy University and other networks and education-oriented Institutions in Europe. The group tends to outline actions on how to implement tailored training in Bioeconomy to support implementation of Bioeconomy in the BIOEAST region. The participation of Agriculture Research in the “BIOBec” BBI-JU project enhances a good connection with the European Bioeconomy University. TWG BE ED has established the connection with the Community of Practice on Bioeconomy Education and it is also participating on the webinars organized in the EU study Promoting education, training and skills across the Bioeconomy.