“The BIObec Project will allow Europe, especially its bio-based industries, to have great professionals in this field in the short term, reinforcing the competitiveness of companies and the creation and consolidation of new bioeconomy value chains”.
María García Alegre, from Technological Corporation of Andalusia, (CTA) is an Innovation Consultant in the Business Development Department of CTA, one of the largest innovation clusters in Spain. In collaboration with her colleagues, she is helping the BIObec project in the achievement of the milestones regarding the coordination planning for the roll-out and replication of the methodology performed for the BIObec Education Centres ideation. She has almost 20 years of experience in Innovation and Sustainability affairs in several organisations, companies, and public institutions. Maria has a large educational background in Environment and Business Management from the Autonomous University of Madrid, the University of Alcalá de Henares in Madrid, as well as Escuela de Organización Industrial (EOI) and EAE Business School of Madrid.
- What are your expectations from the BIObec project?
After a long journey that began with the implementation of the UrBIOfuture project, which laid some of the foundations on which the value proposition of BIObec was built, I hope that the BIObec project will be a decisive step towards effectively working on a training offer. This will be focused on the bioeconomy, from a holistic point of view, in terms of content, training itineraries or academic capacities and infrastructures. This will allow Europe, especially its bio-based industries, to have great professionals in this field in the short term, reinforcing the competitiveness of companies and the creation and consolidation of new bioeconomy value chains.
- What is the main role of CTA in BIObec?
CTA is leading the roll-out and replication work package aimed at coordinating the exploitation of results of the project and what learned in the ideation of the BIObec Bio-Based Education Centres (BBECs) in other regions at European and international level. We foster the exploitation of the outcomes within and beyond the pilot regions of the project by performing a roadmap that allows an external user to clearly and easily follow the methodology developed and implemented by the six BBECs. This methodology will be accompanied by cross-fertilisation and train-the-trainer sessions to guarantee the correct exploitation of the results obtained. In addition, CTA participates as a partner of the Mediterranean BBEC, collaborating in the creation of its model based on the inherent needs of the Spanish bioeconomy ecosystem.
- Could you talk a bit more about the different activities carried out by CTA until this time?
CTA has been mainly focused on providing relevant information at the Spanish level for the design of the Mediterranean BBEC, regarding the identification and involvement of relevant stakeholders as members of the Implementation and Replication Working Group (IRWG) of the project; the identification of baseline situation, needs and expectations; the design of the operational model of the BBEC; and the performance of the feasibility and sustainability assessment. Additionally, CTA is leading the activities under the roll-out and replication work package, as previously explained.
- What are the main benefits that BIObec could provide to society and what field do you think will be most impacted positively?
As a knowledge and technology transfer actor, with 18 years of experience at regional, national and international level, CTA is strongly committed to the understanding and rapprochement between the academic and business worlds. This approach, together with the promotion of the economic growth of the territories through the reinforcement of the private sector competitiveness, and the creation of added value job opportunities aligned with the industry demands, are the most relevant benefits BIObec activities could contribute.
- What do you think will be the main outcomes of the BIObec project?
I believe that BIObec will mean an incremental advance in the construction and implementation of Bio-Based Education Centres in Europe. This will entail the creation of a coordinated network of reference institutions at an educational level, with a clear vocation for cooperation with the industrial sector. The BBCEs will have a direct impact on business competitiveness, the generation of wealth and the positioning of Europe in such a strategic sector as the bioeconomy, by promoting better-prepared professionals to respond to the specific needs that the sector is demanding.