Identify opportunities and gaps to promote careers in the bio-based industry, education and research (applied and fundamental) at regional, national and European level, building upon earlier activities.
Proposals must be the collective result of cooperation bringing together industry actors, both large and small, and educational and research institutions and associations, including technical colleges. The objective is to further align education and research to provide the skilled people needed to build a sustainable bio-based industry in Europe.
A broader approach, including a vision for reaching young students in the early stages of the educational system as well as specialists already working in the industry, each with appropriate approaches, will be an asset to the proposal.
Proposals should be based on an overview of new and ongoing programmes at the national, regional, European and key international levels that address bio-based activities and the bioeconomy so as to avoid overlaps, utilise results and lessons learned where applicable, and build on strengths at European level.
The Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) will set up an industry expert group from among its members to provide expertise in the implementation and follow-up of the different tasks and help organise meetings. This expert group should have an advisory role in the project, but as such is not a beneficiary in the consortium.
It is considered that proposals requesting a maximum of EUR 1 million and a planned duration of not more than one year would be able to address this specific challenge appropriately. However, this does not preclude the submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts or durations.
Crossing the boundaries between existing and new industrial sectors and involving partners in a variety of fields entails working in areas where different academic disciplines cross paths and in diverse teams to speed up innovation. Adequately skilled people will be needed to operate innovative value chains while establishing and sustaining a bio-based industry in Europe. The bio-based industry is looking to forge a true partnership with academia that delivers the right skills for the 21st century. This partnership should also raise the profile of career opportunities in the bio-based industry and related academic fields.
In recent years a number of sectors have carried out many activities and programmes to address a rising skills mismatch and prevent a widening skills gap in the future. These programmes are running at the regional, national and European levels1. The bio-based industry does not have such programmes at European level. As the bio-based sector is expected to bring growth and jobs, particularly in rural and coastal areas, it could play a significant role in tackling unemployment in areas such as southern Europe, where youth unemployment is high2. Often this may require retraining to provide the skills needed.
The specific challenge of this topic is to identify education needs and gaps in Europe’s bio-based sector and point to career opportunities in research and the industry.
1 See, for example, the European Commission’s New Skills Agenda for Europe. The 2017 blueprint includes six pilot sectors: automotive; defence; maritime technology; space (geo information); textile, leather, clothing and footwear; and tourism. The pulp and paper sector is a candidate for the second round. See also the chemical industry’s ‘Educate to Innovate’ programme and topic FCH-04.2-2015: Novel Education and Training Tools of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, http://www.fch.europa.eu/sites/default/files/Annex%201%20-%20AWP2015%20final%20.pdf.
- provide the bio-based industry and sector with an overview of completed and ongoing programmes addressing curricula that involve bio-based activities;
- provide the bio-based industry and sector with a basis for promoting careers in the bio-based sector;
- promote an improved and efficient alignment and interaction among industry and educational and research institutions, focusing on the needed skills and potential job opportunities in the bio-based sector.
Number of projects: A maximum of one project will be funded under this topic.
Expected duration: Up to one year.
Type of action: Coordination and support action.