Why is a higher education in bio-economy needed? EU member states like Spain, Finland and Germany as well as Vietnam show a high dependence on imports of woody raw materials. The demands on forests for wood and bioenergy production will increase in the future, eventually depleting resources. In both regions – Europe and Vietnam – forestry is second only to agriculture among production sectors in most demand. Forests provide the bioeconomy sector with its most important, versatile and affordable renewable raw material: wood. A revised model of profitability and sustainability in forestry is needed to reduce the abandonment of whole regions, support long-term investment in forests and encourage political and societal appreciation for forest ecosystem services. Today, the EU and over 50 countries globally have developed Bio-Economy strategies for transitioning to economies based on renewable natural resources and according to principles of sustainability.
The BioEcoN project promotes sustainable value creation in the bioeconomy sector as it equips universities and future graduates with the required skills, methodologies and innovation to transform the sector. Among European Higher Education Institutions there are currently no courses offered with a similar focus on sustainable forest-based bioeconomy.