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Improving understanding of and engagement in bio-based systems with training and skills development

Improved and informed governance including social innovation contributes to reducing resource consumption and results in an increased innovation capacity of all actors, and reducing the risk of leaving anyone behind. This should take into account the need to promote social engagement, supporting the permanent learning and re-training, in the area of bio-based economy.

This needs to take into account local specificities, such as the sustainable biological resources available (both traditional materials such as wood, cork or straw), but also innovations such as sustainable bio-textiles, bio-composites, 3-D printed biomaterials, recycled agro-food residues etc. This also helps to advance innovation and awareness including on social level, looking on the role of design, arts and culture, as technological capacities. The improved understanding of the social attitudes in diverse European regions forms an important part of this action.

This action should support the implementation of sustainable bio-based value chains, in the regional settings, by developing guidelines and creating feedback loops to the respective policy makers. Proposals should benefit from social creativity and opportunities for bio-based systems unleashed at regional scale ensuring their low environmental footprint and sustainability. Robust environmental evaluation should underpin the effort undertaken.

The proposals should seek complementarities with related actions on governance of bio-based innovation and ensure inclusiveness and engagement of all actors, especially SMEs, civil society organisations including NGOs and broader civil society (e.g. educational institutions, museums, science, art centres).

Social innovation is recommended when the solution is at the socio-technical interface and requires social change, new social practices, social ownership or market uptake. Proposal could explore intersectionality approaches and consider aspects like gender, ethnicity, migrant or refugee status, social class, sexual orientation and disability to ensure inclusion of marginalised groups in decision-making, citizen engagement and training activities.

Proposals should:

  1. Analyse and develop guidelines on the regional bioeconomy-related skills/(re)-training/adult learning programmes to allow replication across Europe, taking into account the diversity of regional/local approaches, including the existing support measures (e.g. bioeconomy strategies, sectorial public and industry programmes and initiatives).
  2. Assess and integrate the contribution from the humanities/art/design/culture into bioeconomy/bio-based economy sectors (e.g. role of innovation and sustainability for the new bio-based materials, new functionalities, safety, user-friendliness, understanding);
  3. Ensure efficient exchange of best practice and engagement of all actors (e.g. regional and local authorities, SMEs, civil society organisations including NGOs, University alliances and professionals’ associations, knowledge providers, artists, designers and architects) via robust and transparent communication and awareness-rising campaigns;
  4. Analyse and develop recommendations on social and economic barriers and potentialities (e.g. job creation capacity and its quality) to enable the transition towards socially and environmentally responsible behaviour within all ranges (e.g. regulatory measures, corporate responsibility initiatives, education), ensuring inclusiveness of all actors (NGOs, civil society, including women, ethnic and religious minorities, migrants and refugees, the LGBTIQ community, disabled persons, youth and the elderly, etc);
  5. Link with relevant activities under H2020, BBI JU, BIOEAST Initiative and EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities, in particular their education efforts.

This topic should involve the effective contribution of SSH disciplines.