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European Bioeconomy University

In July 2019, six EU universities agreed on an ambitious goal : Research, teaching, and innovation for a smart, climate-friendly, and sustainable European bioeconomy

In a bid to educate a new generation of experts, six European universities combine their strengths. The official start of the cooperation was the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding in Brussels. Under the name "European Bioeconomy University", the consortium aims to promote the necessary transformation of the economy and society in Europe. The founding members are AgroParisTech (France), the Universities of Bologna (Italy), Eastern Finland (Finland), and Hohenheim (Germany), the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (Austria), and the Wageningen University and Research Centre (Netherlands).

Instead of non-renewable resources, the bioeconomy relies on biological resources from plants, animals, and micro-organisms including waste and residual materials. This has an enormous potential : Bioeconomy "will drive the renewal of our industries, the modernisation of our primary production systems, the protection of the environment and will enhance biodiversity" predicted the EU in its Circular Economy Action Plan of the EC (2019).

To be successful, the European bioeconomy needs to have sustainability and circularity at its heart. To this end, six universities, each of which is a leader in its own country in the field of bioeconomy, have now joined forces.

The partners share the vision of the EU. They are convinced that specific skills are needed to fully benefit from the opportunities offered by bioeconomy. Building on complementarities and thriving pre-existing collaborations, the six universities decided to deepen their collaboration by forming an alliance. They are jointly addressing the key challenges of bioeconomy in Europe and thereby achieving a greater impact.

Experts and innovations for the transfer of knowledge

The cooperation is intended to create a framework for excellent, interdisciplinary, and transnational research. Together, the six founding partners aim to educate the best minds to create a new generation of European experts. Technical as well as social innovations are to push the transfer of knowledge from research into business and society.

In order to prevent the climate being overburdened and planetary boundaries being further overstepped, fossil-based and other non-renewable raw materials will need to be replaced by bio-based and/or biodegradable ones. “Our global intellectual leadership is our strongest asset in meeting the expectations and legitimate claims of future generations,” announced the leaders of the six partner universities in their mission statement at the signing ceremony in Brussels.

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