Bioeconomy: launch of the European Bioeconomy University international alliance
Promoting research, education and innovation in the field of the bioeconomy by creating a European network is the objective of the newly formed European Bioeconomy University consortium.
The initiative is promoted by 6 leading European universities in this field of study, including University of Bologna, Italy. The aim is to make the European economy more resource-efficient, sustainable, competitive and based on a circular perspective.
There are many crucial challenges facing the bioeconomy: an approach to development based on a sustainable use of resources. A major challenge is the rapid increase in the world’s population: a trend that takes constant effort to ensure food safety, and, at the same time, a sustainable use of resources.
The bioeconomy could also support the transition to an economy increasingly independent of fossil fuels, differently from the current economy, and aimed at climate change mitigation. It is, therefore, a sector with important social implications and benefits in terms of jobs since – the project partners warn – it currently employs more than 18 million people and could lead to the creation of another million green jobs by 2030.
In particular, the European Bioeconomy University intends to create a new think tank for the future of the European Union. To this end, the project will support research activities, educational excellence – a key ingredient to develop the full potential of the future bioeconomy – and, finally, innovation, essential for the transformation of the results of research activities into new technologies, services, products and companies.
Together with the University of Bologna, the project involves: University of Eastern Finland (Finland), University of Hohenheim (Germany), AgroParisTech-Paris Institute of Technology for Life, Food and Environmental Sciences (France), University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (Austria) and Wageningen University and Research (Netherlands).
The fields of activity of the six universities cover all areas of the bioeconomy: from agriculture to nutrition, from forestry to environmental sustainability, including industrial applications and biotechnology, to the economic and social aspects related to this sector.