“The main point of the BIObec project is to solve the gap between education, science, businesses, institutions, and citizenship about Bioeconomy, rooting the concept and offering practical and concrete input for the development of this field”.
Davide Viaggi, from the University of Bologna (UNIBO), is the BIObec project coordinator. His role involves the supervision of the scientific programme and direct activities progress towards the objectives and milestones, ensuring adherence to the project timetable and the optimization of the overall impact, among other partner’s alignment and management activities.
Viaggi is a PhD, Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Bologna, with considerable experience in coordinating/participating in a large portfolio of projects in public-private cooperation. He is the Chairman of the UNIBO Research Board on Agrifood and represents UNIBO in the European Bioeconomy University alliance, as well as taking part in the institutional working group within the Biobased Industries Consortium (BIC) working for the BBI JU implementation.
What are your expectations from the BIOBEC project?
Bioeconomy is a large concept that sometimes appears issues with its understanding and practical and shared models and knowledge. The main point of the BIObec project is to solve the gap between education, science, businesses, institutions, and citizenship about Bioeconomy, rooting the concept and offering practical and concrete input for the development of this field. We seek to create more than specific training, courses, or even building a centre: our approach is to enhance the Bioeconomy’s meaning and understanding.
What is the main role of UNIBO in BIOBEC?
Since its origins in 1088, the University of Bologna has been student-centred, hosting prominent figures from Arts and Science. At BIOBEC, we play multiple roles as we are the initiative’s coordinator, especially the management activities, but also contribute to the validation of the BIOBEC Education Centre (BBEC) concept in the different regions across Europe. I think that this position is so interesting because BIObec places different perspectives and contexts from different parts of Europe that we must manage with creativity and innovation.
Can you talk a bit more about the Mediterranean BIOBEC?
The Mediterranean BBEC places Italian and Spanish partners working together to develop different methodologies and tools to enhance some of its main sectors as Agriculture or Food, as well as facing some of its challenges as could be water management, circularity, or climate change impact mitigation. Of course, there are many dedicated pieces of training about those topics individually, but we are working on developing common knowledge and standards, both in the academy and business sides. Our vision takes more than the creation looks about the future follow up and review about the project.
Why do you think such a project as BIOBEC is necessary, and how do you think it could benefit society as a whole?
As I said before, there are many programmes in Education attaching different parts of our topic or related initiatives. The need we want to solve is to provide the proper, global vision to professionals and academics for better Bioeconomy development in Europe. This better knowledge approach will directly benefit production, sustainability, businesses, and employability for all our stakeholders involved.
What do you think will be the main outcomes of the BIOBEC project?
Bioeconomy could be key for our future. The proper understanding and enhancement methods for planning productions, circularity and management in the sectors targeted will allow us to arrive better and further together. The development of this new Education concept will be a tool to unlock our potential in many different activities and innovations, reducing gaps and creating more prosperity for the local communities.