With the BioEnergyTrain (BET) project ending in April next year, Consortium members are now working to ensure the survival of the educational materials developed, as well as the cooperation mechanisms developed between industry and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
As discussed at the second BET Review Meeting, held in Brussels on 26 April 2018, and later confirmed in Lisbon on 13 July 2018, both the Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) and the University of Twente (UTwente) will continue to respectively offer the Biorefinery Engineering (BRE) and Bioresource Value-Chain Management (BVM) masters after the conclusion of the BET project. In the past months, both Universities dedicated time and resources to increase the number of enrolments for 2018/2019, and will continue the student acquisition strategy via social media, in cooperation with their respective professional units. TU GRAZ is currently engaging in marketing campaign in South East Europe and Austria´s neighbouring countries. In the Netherlands, UTwente has sparkled the interest of 120 students for the SET Master, of which BVM is a specialization, but it is still unclear how many will apply for 2018/2019. Finally, as discussed during the BET meeting in Dublin, on 11 April 2018, both master degree programme will be presented at international student fairs by a recruitment team made up of one academic, one marketing assistant and one student.
While working on bridging the distance between the education provided by Universities and the skills needed by the industry and regional actors, the BET Consortium is also developing an exit strategy to ensure cooperation between all the actors involved, beyond the life of the project. For this reason, in Dublin this year, the Consortium agreed on the creation of Outreach Models that can be implemented by different types of stakeholders across all the BET project regions. By the end of summer, the “Regional Know-How Outreach” Report will be presented, illustrating potential partners and their interest, alongside the type of cooperation and engagement suggested. In the meantime, eseia, BET´s coordinator, developed the “BET Buying-In Strategy”, defining the path for the transfer of cooperative educational formats and training materials to a large number of HEIs and businesses.