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Mobilizing European Communities of Practice in bio-based systems for better governance and skills development networks in bioeconomy

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BioGov.net (Mobilizing European Communities of Practice in bio-based systems for better governance and skills development networks in bioeconomy)

Reporting period: 2022-06-01 to 2023-11-30

BioGov.net project engages 10 experienced partners to mobilize local resources and stakeholders in eight EU states (Estonia, Italy, Netherland, Greece, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Portugal and Germany). The project aims strategically to support the establishment of innovative governance models in bioeconomy to achieve better-informed decision-making processes, social engagement of all actors and uptake of sustainable innovations in bioeconomy.

With the specific objective to provide validated guidelines for bioeconomy training and mentoring based on case studies from 8 EU regions, BioGov.net undertakes to:
- identify and assess from the perspective of using the good practices and successful case studies for novel training framework,
- complete an assessment based on regional capacities, opportunities, barriers and potentials;
- define regional needs and expectations, local feedstock availabilities and use, governance barriers, social and economic landscape;
- identify needs for skills required by the novel business models and related social measures to enable consumers,
industry and public bodies to switch to socially and environmentally responsible behaviour within their spheres (e.g. regulatory measures, corporate responsibility initiatives, education and training).

The methodology of the project ensures the synergies between respective parties, transparency of actions and inclusiveness of all actors, incl the socially
vulnerable groups.

Based on the collected materials, analyses and Quintuple Innovation Helix approach, the project develops guidelines for the setup of the modern and inclusive training and mentoring frameworks and programmes in specific European regions targeting the local bio-systems, regulators and policies for building the bridge between knowledge, skills, bioeconomy and good governance.
The expected outcomes of the project are:

- identified good practices and case studies, completed assessment, identified regional capacities, defined opportunities, barriers, potentials based on data of 8 regions in partnering countries.
- defined regional needs and expectations, based on local feedstock, governance barriers such as professional certification and educational qualification and certification systems, inclusion of minorities and vulnerable groups, training and employment in bio-systems.
- identified needs for skills required by the novel business models and related social measures to enable consumers, industry and public bodies to switch to socially and environmentally responsible behavior within their spheres; ensuring synergies, transparency and inclusiveness of all actors.
- guidelines for training and mentoring programmes in specific European regions targeting the local bio-systems, regulators and policies for building the knowledge and skills useful in the bioeconomy, and in particular bio-based sectors.
- Blueprint of guidelines for training and mentoring programmes with integrated opportunities created by the human-centric principles, offered by art, culture and (eco)-design, in respect to the bio-based feedstocks, including traditional and novel biological materials.
- Guidelines for (Local) policy makers how to engage the local stakeholders and develop regionals skills and capabilities to innovate and participate in developing climate neutral, biobased or circular and low carbon footprint products and services.
The current educational concepts are still mostly built on the old economic models, based on the assumption that markets have the ability to ensure efficient allocation and optimal utilization of resources, force to educate qualified and skilled employees and therefore create the value. Furthermore, these concepts relay on the weak sustainability paradigm while holding a self-regulating market view.
〉〉 To address this challenge, BioGov.net focuses on the developing continuous training and skills development aimed on the engaging the professionals in innovation, training and educational activities in the field of bioeconomy. Inherent for this approach is system thinking, participatory design and network enrichment. The sustainable and fast development can only be achieved by engagement of the all relevant stakeholders.

The bioeconomy growth relies on biological resources being fully exploited to provide products and services in all sectors of society and the economy. This requires fundamental structural change, which in turn, fundamentally changes what is required from educational and re-training centres in preparation of specialists now and in the future.
〉〉 Therefore, BioGov.net project takes the benefit from robust co-design, communication and spill-over activities from different knowledge areas and expects to boost the cooperative efforts towards innovative concepts in skill building instead of another master course.

In order to increase awareness, understanding and engagement altogether and for all regional actors in the bioeconomy, the simple consultation and co-creation need to be shifted towards a system thinking in which consumers, industry and public bodies undertake socially and environmentally responsible behaviours, but also create novel paths towards more sustainable economy. Co-creation and a systemic approach are therefore keys to ensure collaboration between bio-system actors, academia, and governments to reach a tailor-made solution that is effective in a particular region.
〉〉 Therefore, BioGov.net project takes the benefit from spill-over effects through the engagement of more and less advanced regions and from different knowledge areas to boost the cooperative efforts towards novel governance concepts which can be adopted on regional level.

To ensure the full deployment of the bioeconomy and foster local development in regions and cities by creating new opportunities and jobs, it is mandatory to stimulate both: education and entrepreneurship.
〉〉 Therefore, BioGov.net project aims to establish open and informed consultations among bio-based education centres, bioeconomy innovation networks, local research centres, business and industry stakeholders, the civil society on local and EU level, and various levels of government including BBI-JU and the European Commission on definition of needs for skills and competences in the bioeconomy sector.
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