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Periodic Reporting for period 3 - BioEnergyTrain (BioEnergyTrain)

Reporting period: 2018-02-01 to 2019-04-30

The development and adoption of renewable and sustainable energy has become a top priority in Europe, and is Horizon 2020’s most prominent theme. Research into new energy methods required to reduce humanity’s carbon footprint is an urgent and critical need, and is reliant upon a flow of newly qualified persons in areas as diverse as renewable energy infrastructure management, new energy materials and methods, and smart buildings and transport.

Bioenergy is a particularly important field in this respect as it is at the cross-roads of several important European policies, from the Strategic Energy Technology Plan Roadmap on Education and Training (SET-Plan) to the European Bio-economy Strategy to European Food Safety and Nutrition Policy. European development in this prioritised field is stalled due to a lack of qualified personnel, a lack of cohesion and integration among stakeholders, and poor linkage between professional training and industry needs.

To address these problems, BioEnergyTrain brings together fifteen partners from six EU countries to create new post-graduate level curricula in key bioenergy disciplines, and a network of tertiary education institutions, research centres, professional associations and industry stakeholders encompassing the whole value chain of bioenergy from field/forest to integration into the sustainable energy systems of buildings, settlements and regions.

The project will foster European cooperation to provide a highly skilled and innovative workforce across the whole bioenergy value chain, closely following the recommendations of the SET-Plan Education Roadmap.
As aligned with the SET-Plan’s needs analysis for European development, BioEnergyTrain has 5 objectives:
• To address identified knowledge gaps through common training collaboration and best practices by clearly identifying the technology and knowledge chain for the development and leverage of European expertise. As identified by the SET-Plan there are two areas where expertise on the post-graduate level is urgently needed within the field of bio-economy development: bio-refinery engineers, and bio-resource value chain managers.
• To bridge the gap between industrial innovation and education in order to improve the practical orientation of higher and professional education to enable the market up-take of innovative solutions for SET-Plan measures.
• To create a network of integrated research and industrial infrastructures and develop programmes on the integration of practical training modules at these installations in curricula.
• To create a forum for stakeholders within the bioenergy value chain from research, universities, industry and the public sector to exchange information on educational needs and share knowledge and experience.
• To create a ‘network of networks’, linking HEIs with stakeholders in their regional context, providing information, awareness raising and training opportunities as well as hands-on assistance for implementing bioenergy systems.

The main deliverables will be the two master curricula Biorefinery Engineer (BRE) and Bioresource Value Chain Manager (BVCM). The curricula will be implemented at the two pilot universities University of Twente (NL) (BVCM) and Graz University of Technology (AT) (BRE). The new courses created by the BET partners will have open access through an online e-learning platform.
• Education and curriculum development: The two new master programmes were created:
• Biorefinery Engineering and
• Bioresource Value Chain Management have been created in cooperation of fifteen partners from six EU countries coordinated by eseia.
Indicators / Achievements:
• D1.2 and D2.2: Course material of new and existing courses for BRE developed for both master programmes (BRE and BVM)
• 19 newly developed courses;
• BRE Master Curriculum fully developed and implemented at TU Graz as of Oct 2017 (11 – 38 students in courses, 4 dedicated BRE students);
• BVM Curriculum to be implemented as track of the Sustainable Energy Technology (SET) Master Program at UTwente as of Oct 2018 (35 Students).

Engagement with industry:
BioEnergyTrain developed and implemented multiple cooperative educational formats to become role-models for practice-oriented education. These include the two master curricula BRE and BVM with the BET courses, the developed Professional Educational Formats, as well as internships, master theses and design case work.
Interdisciplinary Student Camps;
International Summer Schools;
Pilot Plant Courses;
Design Case Work, Internships and Master theses.
Indicators / Achievements:
Implemented Cooperative Educational Formats:
• D3.3: Pilot Plant Course 1 hosted by :metabolon, Lindlar, Germany, 26-28 October 2016;
• D3.4: International Summer School (ISS) 2 hosted by University of Zagreb, 25 June - 2 July 2017;
• D3.6 Pilot Plant Course 2 hosted by :metabolon, Lindlar, Germany, 18-20 October 2017.

eseia shares all materials and news among the stakeholders. By targeting the stakeholders with cooperation formats, the target groups are achieved and by participating at eseia events they have the possibility to share their ideas
Indicators / Achievements:
• All newly developed materials are available on an e-learning platform developed by KIC, and made accessible to stakeholders to allow them to apply the programme or parts of it in their own training contexts.
• The BioEnergyTrain website is connected to social media.

• Engagement with regional stakeholders and EU decision bodies: eseia created a strategy in order to use the BET materials by the BET HEIs in cooperation with EAB
• eseia distinguished the possible pathways to involve a minimum of 21 HEIs in the BET extended network;
Indicators / Achievements:
• BET achieved the first KPI: to include 5 core Higher Education Institutions by 2018: In total five HEIs contributed to the development of the courses and implementation of the BET curricula;
• eseia (29 members), KIC, EUA-EPUE, ECO and BIO-C involved also as umbrella organizations , therefore their members can be involved by BET;
In the second reporting period, the BET Impact Analysis Team will need to focus on forging initial contacts with actors into sustainable partnerships. Dissemination and exploitation as well as communication will need to be stepped up considerably.

Preliminary assessment according to BET Impact Metrics:
- Linking actors: from among a pool of 1,000+ European actors from higher education, research and business
- Training : 42 trainees in alternative learning formats
- Exploitation: 9 regional outreach networks created
- Impact Analysis Team set up: evaluate the overall impact of BioEnergyTrain’s efforts by quantitative measures and guided interviews with stakeholders according to BET KPIs. They analyse the BET curricula in terms of student enrolment and the feedback from the first BET students. Members of the Impact Analysis Team: Andrej Gubina from UL, Nigel Foxhall from BRP, Boglarka Vajda from BIO-C supported by eseia.
BioEnergyTrain Kick-off meeting in Brussels, Belgium, 16 - 17 June 2015
BioEnergyTrain Buying-in Event in Graz, Austria, 5 April 2016