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FOEBE project

FOSTERING ENTREPRENEURSHIP FOR THE BIOECONOMY

FOEBE project is funded by the Erasmus+ programme. It aims at equipping bioeconomy students with sustainable entrepreneurship skills to speed up the European expansion of the bioeconomy sector.

Bioeconomy is a key strategy for the European Union, whose thorough deployment is a prerequisite for the success of the Green Deal. This new, systemic approach, which includes different economic sectors and is based on circularity and sustainability principles requires a paradigm shift in both training curricula and pedagogical practices to equip young professionals with sustainable entrepreneurship skills. Those will be instrumental to the advent of the bioeconomy as novel, out-of-the-box environmental-friendly and economically sound solutions are needed.

Current entrepreneurship training programmes are not tailored to the needs of the bioeconomy sector, which hampers its development potential. Furthermore, there is a lack of an European approach in this respect, despite bioeconomy appearing high on the policy agenda. Also, jointly developing contents at EU level would enable students (ie, entrepreneurs to be) to have a vision encompassing all dimensions of the bioeconomy in such context.

FOEBE aims at tackling this skills mismatch and becoming a game-changer for the bioeconomy education in Europe. Its overarching objective consists of equipping bioeconomy students at Master’s and PhD levels with tailor-made sustainable entrepreneurship skills. Seven excellent higher education institutions, fully active and recognized under the umbrella of the EBU (European Bioeconomy University) decided to join forces to provide the best possible training curricula to graduate students. This project builds on their expertise, resources and know-how to offer the most relevant add-on courses to would-be bioeconomy entrepreneurs. FOEBE partners have strong links to the bioeconomy industry and their innovation ecosystems, in particular through national clusters.

The general approach of FOEBE revolves around a blended learning format which combines e-learning and face-to-face sessions, with an emphasis on innovative pedagogical practices. FOEBE will offer a suite of modules that students enrolled in bioeconomy Master’s or PhD programmes can attend as extra or elective courses. This results in an “enhanced curriculum” whose add-on modules are flexible enough to be compatible with the graduate curricula currently offered in European HEIs.

Project activities include :

  • The design of skills portfolios and curricula for entrepreneurship in the bioeconomy, based on an initial survey of bioeconomy industrial players to define the desired qualification and competence profiles ;
  • Innovative teaching practices (i.e. hackathon, student competition, non-formal education learning activities, contextual learning) will be shared in order to work out the possible options to apply for entrepreneurship in the bioeconomy ;
  • A digital learning platform to support the development of courses and training materials ;
  • Guidelines on innovative teaching formats to foster entrepreneurship through training ;
  • Pedagogical resources, add-on modules and innovative teaching practices necessary to foster the entrepreneurial mindset of bioeconomy students ;
  • Guidelines and recommendations on how to best equip bioeconomy graduate students with the skill set relevant to this area, and put them in a position to become innovators and bring their ideas to the market. This report will enable other universities to design their own implementation of the FOEBE add-on curricula and offer them to their graduate students, thereby enriching their academic programmes.

By contributing a flexible and optimal approach to bioeconomy entrepreneurship training, FOEBE is expected to leverage the potential of graduate students to innovate and foster the transfer of their ideas to the market.

Coordinator AgroParisTech
Partners the University of Bologna (UNIBO - Italy),
the University of Eastern Finland (UEF - Finland),
the University of Hohenheim (Germany),
the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU - Austria),
the Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR - Netherlands),
Warsaw University of Life Sciences (WULS - Poland).
Duration 3 years (from 01/09/2020 to 31/08/2023)

Contact at AgroParisTech : Benoit Gabrielle

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