EBU Alliance Initiates Research Collaboration: an Online Workshop Discussed Bioeconomy Foresight

The first European Bioeconomy University (EBU) online workshop on research collaboration was successfully completed on 21 June 2021 with 22 participants from six universities. The pilot event focused on a selected thematic area of bioeconomy foresight. The workshop was targeted to scientists, group leaders and research coordinators within the EBU Alliance. The aim was to advance networking and outline action towards scientific cooperation within EBU Alliance.

The one-day online event started with Jyrki Kangas and Riitta Tegelberg (UEF) giving some opening words. The program featured introductory presentations on bioeconomy-related futures/foresight research in each participating university. Teppo Hujala from UEF talked about forest bioeconomy research foci in UEF, Franck Lecocq from AgroParisTech talked about modelling and simulation, Bastian Winkler from UHOH provided insights about innovation and entrepreneurship, and Davide Viaggi from Uni Bologna talked about research focusing on agriculture and food. Also, trainees at EBU-UEF, Karuna Karki and Mahtuf Ikhsan presented a preliminary literature review on foresight-related research within EBU, and Riitta Tegelberg introduced some foresight-related research funding possibilities among upcoming EU funding calls.

The group work part of the workshop first distinguished joint and complementary expertise related to futures-oriented bioeconomy research. Thereafter, the participants gathered and discussed ideas for strategic aims, action lines, and concrete actions to strengthen scientific cooperation within EBU. Finally, contents for a possible EBU Bioeconomy Position Paper were outlined. The tasks and some responses from the group sessions are shown in the image below.

Group session tasks and the responses of participants at the EBU Foresight workshop

The event was closed by Jukka Tikkanen from UEF with the next steps to be taken by the EBU alliance to explore ways to utilize the common expertise, build a good platform to facilitate knowledge exchange and strengthen the current capacity of EBU. More advanced conclusions of the workshop and scrutinised action proposals will be delivered at EBU Scientific Forum in September 2021.

Report by Karuna Karki, MSc European Forestry student, trainee in UEF on EBU matters