The end of the beginning – looking forward to build future of bioeconomy together

After two intensive weeks the online course ”Sustainable Solutions for Circular Bio-based World (5 ECTS)” has successfully come to its end.
Planification for the joint course between Chile and Finland started at the end of March 2021, following the agreement between seven universities: la Universidad Católica del Maule de Chile, la Universidad Austral de Chile, la Universidad de Talca, la Universidad de Concepción, University of Eastern Finland, Karelia University of Applied Sciences and Savonia University of Applied Sciences.

At first the core of collaboration was the co-creation of a course focusing on sustainable bioeconomy, soon enough, the members of core group agreed that in addition to the course there should be a webinar, which would set the basis for the course.Thanks to the proactive and collaborative attitude of the organizing team ideas became solid and today we can say that the collaboration lead to the first results: a webinar and a course that have accounted with the participation of great Chilean and Finnish experts in bioeconomy related topics and latest tendencies.

The course counted with students from different parts of the world including Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. During the first week of the course students and professionals gain knowledge on the general context of bioeconomy and circular economy mainly in Chile and Finland but also worldwide. Moreover, students deepened their knowledge in forestry related topics regarding forest planning, diversification of bio-based products, latest technologies, processes, and innovations. Attention was given to social aspects as well, such as, social responsibility of natural resources management, enables and barriers of forest bioeconomy in Chile and Finland, and value sharing by indigenous peoples.
Beyond knowledge sharing on bioeconomy, the second week of the course was to improve students’ skills on communication, creative thinking, and knowledge about other cultures as well as growing their bioeconomy networks. Student’s formed multidisciplinary groups to learn and solve bioeconomy related problems.
The course has set the foundations for a long-term collaboration between the seven universities that will search for mutual growth and creation of opportunities for both countries and globally in the bioeconomy sector. So please be alert to next steps, initiatives and opportunities that will come along with this new collaboration.

Written by Isabel Muñoz, University of Eastern Finland

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