“The conference "New skills for a European Bioeconomy" hosted by the European Commission in Brussels on 20-21 November 2012 will bring together bioeconomy stakeholders at the European, national and regional level and also those active in the education and training sectors to discuss the role of skills development in driving and facilitating the transition towards a bioeconomy and seizing the employment opportunities that this transition entails. The conference aims to outline the new skills needed in the bioeconomy, the pathways for their acquisition, as well as how new skills, know-how, competences and capacities developed in academia could be optimally put at work to drive change and develop new models for the future of the bioeconomy sectors.” Codrin Paveliuc-Olariu, a member of the YPARD Steering Committee will attend and represent YPARD, the Young Professionals for Agricultural Research for Development, and will be speaking in "Session 4: Inclusion of primary producers in the knowledge loop" about the importance of the agricultural curricula change in higher education. They will also discuss what are those skills needed for - amongst others - cost-effective and sustainable biomass logistics planning and processing and linking primary production, cultivation, and harvesting to the secondary production and the use and recycling of the products. The discussions will furthermore include how to address the existing skill gaps, share best practices and will present examples of programs aiming to provide new skills.Codrin's contribution will be based on results of the YPARD curricula study, 2011: Working towards a new generation of Young Professionals in ARD , its summary: Skill gaps in formal higher agricultural education: A youth perspective and the outcomes of the GCARD Youth e-discussions run in September 2012 on Changes in agricultural curricula - GCARD2 Youth discussions meant to feed in Youth discussions and intervention at the Second Global Conference for Agricultural Research for Development – GCARD2 , end of October, on Youth Capacity Building. “During the EC conference, the following questions concerning the bioeconomy will be addressed:
- Which scientific disciplines need to be developed further and/or integrated to tackle bioeconomy-related societal challenges, as well as to create and support the competitiveness of bioeconomy?
- What are the needs of industry and how to meet them?
- What training and lifelong learning could be offered for those in primary production sector?
- How to design new curricula and foster multidisciplinary training to meet changing labour market needs and shape future needs?
- How to promote better dialogue between policy makers, academic institutions and industry to take into account emerging skill needs?
- How can education and training systems be designed not just to respond quickly to continuously changing needs, but also to shape future ones? What should be the policy response?