ICA-CoP Bio-Edu Community of Practice for Bioeconomy Education Workshop 2023

Engaging with industry to ensure that graduates and professionals are well prepared for employment in the Bioeconomy

Was held at Warsaw University of Life Sciences from 26 to 28 April 2023


A  Workshop focus

Educators and employers are experiencing a gap between the competences of graduates and what is needed by the employer in the bioeconomy. Although it is not possible to prepare students for specific jobs, it should be possible with the support of industry to prepare students more effectively for their future careers in the bioeconomy

The key objectives of the workshop will be to:

  • recognise and examine the gap between expectations of graduates and industry on the working ethos of the bioeconomy industries.

  • identify the specific generic competences required by graduates for careers in the bioeconomy

  • recognise the need to embed in our graduates the mindset for the bioeconomy  – referring back to the Colloquium in 2022

  • exchange good practices in realising cooperation between representatives of employers and educational institutions to improve the engagement of industry employees in curricula at VET, Bachelor and Master education levels.

  • examine how to develop life long learning cooperation between employers and educational institutions in support of up-skilling industry employees for the bioeconomy

B   Expected Outcome

It is expected that participants will:

  • address how to realise an optimal engagement of employer partners in the educational programmes to prepare graduates and professionals for their future employment.

C  Target Audience

Degree programme coordinators, lecturers, members of committees responsible for the (strategic) development of curricula. National education advisors and employers, who have a special interest in cooperating with education institutions, are also invited to contribute to the discussion. 

D  Workshop Format

On the Wednesday afternoon there will be a joint plenary session focusing on all three workshop themes.  The Thursday session has three parallel sessions, one for each Workshop Theme. The Friday session will start with the three parallel sessions and then come together for a final plenary session.

Each Session of the Workshop theme will be addressed by keynote speakers followed by round table breakout groups to discuss the issues raised, with a concluding report from the breakout groups of the issues raised in the final plenary session on Friday morning.

E   Programme

Wednesday 26 April

13.00 Registration and Lunch

14.00 Welcome Marta Mendel, Vice Rector for International Cooperation, Warsaw Universityof Life Sciences

14.10 Introduction of the ambitions for the Workshop, Han van Osch, Chair of ICA-CoP Bio-Edu

14.20 Session 1 –Framing the challenge of Enhancing Student and Industry Engagement

15.30 Coffee


16.45 Round table discussions

17.30 Closure

19.00 Welcome Reception and Walking Dinner

Thursday 27 April

Session 2 Engaging with industry to ensure that our graduates do not have a skills gap that limits their fitness for employment in the Bioeconomy?

9.00  What are the skills that need to be addressed in addition to the core generic/soft skills (e.g. those of problem solving, critical thinking, communication, team working, ethics, leadership)? 

11.00 Coffee

11.30 Keynote: Experience of new entrants to the Bioeconomy employment sector - did I have the right skills set?
Katrin Jõgi, EU Bioeconomy Ambassador & Sustainability Manager, OÜ Fibenol, Tallinn, EE

12.00 Round Table discussions and report back. 

13.00 Lunch

14.00  How do universities engage proactively with industry in curricular and in extra-curricular activities

MaryAnne Hurley, Climate smart innovation sprints, Irelands Knowledge Centre for Carbon, Climate and Community Action (IKC3), Munster Technological University, IE

Damian Kuznowicz, Hackathon as a tool to boost circular transition - the BioBoosters project, Foundation of Education and Social Dialogue "PRO CIVIS", Kielce, PL

Anna Maroušková, Engagement between university and industry to support student skills, Department of Regional Management and Law, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, CZ

Ewa Rembiałkowska, Innoavtive education for better employment, Department of Functional and Organic Food, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, PL

Tuija Pirttijärvi, Competence development of the dairy industry professionals; life-long learning and cooperation between VET, Bachelor and Master education levels, Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK), Hämeenlinna, FI

Josef Maroušek, Instute of Technology and Business in Ceske Budejovice, CZ

Han van Osch, Engaging with industry on the level of a course and a department, Avans University of Applied Science, Breda, NL

15.30 Coffee

16.00 Round table discussions

17.00 Closure

17.15 ICA-CoP Bio-Edu General Assembly

20.00 Workshop Gala Dinner Warsaw City centre,

Friday 28 April

Session 3 Universities of life sciences in support of up-skilling industry employees for the Bioeconomy through life long learning and the award of micro-credentials

9.00 Introduction

9.10 Keynote: A European approach to micro-credentials for life long learning and employability.
Agnieszka Jelnicka, Policy Officer, DG for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC), European Commission, Brussels, BE (online presentation).

9.40 Keynote: Experience from Avans University of Applied Sciences in providing up-skilling for industry employees, Han van Osch, Avans University of Applied Science, Breda, NL

10.10 Roundtable discussion and Report back

10.45 Coffee

Session 4 Plenary - Enhancing Student and Industry Engagement

11.15 Discussion of the outcomes of the Workshop

12.30 Closure and Lunch

F  Workshop organising committee

  • Han van Osch, (Chair) Avans University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands & Dutch Biobased Knowledge Network

  • George Sakellaris, (Vice Chair) Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic & BioEast

  • Ingar Janzik, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH and Bioeconomy Science Center, Germany

  • Pawan Kumar Mishra, Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic & UniNet

  • Mona-Anitta Riihimäki, Häme University of Applied Sciences, Finland

  • Constantinos Vorgias, University of Athens, Greece

G  Questions?

Contact Simon Heath This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.