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EU bridging bioeconomy skills gap

The bioeconomy is a buoyant sector that could create a million new jobs in Europe by 2030, according to some estimates. To maximise the opportunities though, an education system effective at skilling the next generation is needed.

This is the challenge being taken on by BIObec, a new European project that aims to leverage ‘education to unlock the full potential of the European Union’s bioeconomy’. Through an interconnected web of universities, innovation labs, industrial stakeholders, and R&D centres, the goal is to build a strong system that can ‘avoid skills and competencies gaps’. Partner organisations from 12 different countries are signed up to collaborate over the next 30 months to ‘build bridges between the bio-based industry and the education system’.

BIObec supports a merging of the ideas underpinning traditional educational institutions with those of knowledge hubs for the creation of Bio-Based Education Centres (BBECs) that can offer interweaving environments where academic institutions, students, innovation entities and policymakers can connect.

“We are very glad to coordinate a project proposing a collaborative perspective for the development of new skills and educational approaches”, said Davide Viaggi, Professor and Researcher at University of Bologna and BIObec’s Project Coordinator. “By developing the concept of the Bio-Based Education Centres, we expect to align the bio-based industry needs for skills and competencies, with the workforce potential through consistent interactions between all the relevant stakeholders.”

BIObec initially plans for six BBECs to be developed across Europe, with more to follow, as it strives to support Europe’s transition to a low carbon economy.


The bioeconomy will take centre stage in Vienna next month when the European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology and Bioeconomy (EFIB) takes place in the Austrian capital. It is the 14th edition of the event, and Innovators Magazine has been a media partner for about half of them, and we are proud to be one again this year.

EFIB brings together the diverse range of stakeholders working in the sector, to catalyse new innovations, share ideas, showcase startups, and develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. There will be over 110 organisations taking part open to partnership opportunities, 20 leading bioeconomy SMEs in the Start-up Village, and dozens of speakers from across the world of biotechnology.

Organised by EuropaBio, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, it will be a moment when those in the sector are asked to ‘vote for the most significant biotech from the last quarter century’. There are lots of amazing breakthroughs to choose from, including the first COVID vaccine.

Taking place on 6-7 October, it is the goto annual meeting of biotech innovators. Register today to be part of it.

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Written By

Susan is the co-founder of Innovators Magazine and a consultant for OnePoint5 Media. Susan is also a member of the UNFCCC-led Resilience Frontiers Nexus group and co-chair of the APOPO Foundation UK board.


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