Mendel University in Brno has become part of the BIOEAST international initiative, which brings together institutions from Central and Eastern Europe. Its goal is the support of environmental sustainability, new jobs, especially in rural regions, and the support of the circular bioeconomy. One of the main priorities is to support education that will lead to sustainability. Rector of the university Jan Mareš signed a memorandum of cooperation in December. The activity in the Czech Republic is supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
The institutions involved want to increase the sustainable production of biomass by 2030, and at the same time they want the states to be able to process biomass without waste on the principle of a circular economy. Another goal is to create viable rural areas that will be prepared for climate change. The initiative is based on the principles of the bioeconomy. “It is about connecting biological and social sciences with the aim of ensuring the principles of circular economy and environmental sustainability. Theoretically, bioeconomy falls within the social sciences, specifically, it is an explanation of economic relationships, events and processes using biological sciences. The outputs should be applied not only at the level of economic policy but especially in corporate practice,” explained Vice-rector for research, development and innovation Svatopluk Kapounek.
The main role of MENDELU will be the coordination of the cooperation of the international university network. “We will discuss the possibilities of joint study programs and research projects,” explained Kapounek. In addition to MENDELU, five other European universities are currently involved in the cooperation – the Hungarian University of Debrecen, the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, the Croatian University of Osijek, the Bulgarian Agriculture University Plovdiv and the Lithuanian Vytautas Magnus University.
The subject of the memorandum is the creation of a Network of bioeconomic universities in the BIOEAST macroregion (abbreviated as BIOEAST UniNet), which will cooperate on the development of interdisciplinary curricula, research and education in the field of bioeconomy. In Central and Eastern Europe, this is a unique project that is directly supported by the European Commission. A similar network already exists within the European Union, it brings together Western European universities and the main coordinator is the University of Bologna. The goal of the BIOEAST UniNet initiative is to develop cooperation between universities in Central and Eastern Europe.
The BIOEAST initiative wants to support the European Green Deal, which focuses on eliminating the consequences of climate change. It brings together the Ministries of Agriculture of Central and Eastern European countries. At the time of its establishment in 2014, its goal was to support the development of the bioeconomy and raise the standard of living of the participating states. The founding states of the Visegrad Four were gradually joined by EU members from among the Baltic states, the countries of the former Yugoslavia, as well as Romania and Bulgaria.
Source: Mendel University in Brno