Last week’s European Bioeconomy Congress in Lodz, Poland, gathered about 800 participants who participated in 14 sessions. Many important agreements were signed during the Congress, such as a Letter of Intent on collaboration with the European Construction Technology Platform (ECTP), and an annex with new members of the Central and Eastern European Bioregions Forum.

The Congress also adopted the ‘LODZ Declaration on a European Bioeconomy Education Platform’, which is an initiative led by professor Stanislaw Bielecki (Lodz University of Technology) and George Sakellaris. The Declaration consists of conclusions that, after a preparatory year and exchanges of opinions, experts from all over Europe could agree on during the two-day Congress.

The Declaration consists of the following conclusions:

  • Biobased Economy and Circular Economy become substantial elements for the future development and growth in Europe.  
  • The current dynamics in business and market requirements are changing. Therefore, it is demanded a new generation of skilled working force, educated according to these needs.
  • This education presupposes multi-disciplinarity in a wide spectrum of topics, so the competent teams can gradually be complemented by skilled individuals.
  • The educational perspective has to be aligned with European priorities for growth, offering a good potential for improvement in all levels (technological, economic social and regulatory).
  • Considering National and Regional priorities, the educational programs should be flexible enough and adjustable on a case by case basis according to specific demands and conditions.
  • The Educational curricula should consider the development of soft skills in addition to disciplinary knowledge.
  • Finally, Further Education and Life Long Learning be considered for the educators according to the new requirements.

Based on the above, the Initiative Group will establish a steering committee aiming to integrate the Educational Platform in the wider European policy and governance for growth, covering all European regions.

This steering committee is charged with the following priorities:

  1. To start a platform on Bioeconomy Education in Europe.
  2. To prepare a related regulatory framework for the platform.
  3. To prepare an Agenda and Roadmap ending to a decisive meeting with officials of the EC.
  4. To spread the message and invite institutions and related associations to join the platform.
  5. To prepare, submit and execute a COST proposal dedicated to Bioeconomy Education.

This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s 'Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme', under Grant Agreement No 730052