Applications are now open for the master on Bio-resource Value Chain Management (BVM) at the University of Twente, and the master Biorefinery Engineering (BRE) at the Graz University of Technology.
In autumn 2017 two master programmes on Bio-resource Value Chain Management (BVM) at the University of Twente (the Netherlands) and Biorefinery Engineering (BRE) at the Graz University of Technology will be implemented. Both the Dutch and Austrian universities are already accepting applications from local and international students interested in specialising as bio-resource value chain manager and biorefinery engineer.
As national and European policies are shifting away from fossil resources towards more sustainable alternatives offered by bio-resources, Europe needs more professionals who are able to understand and innovate bio-based economies. This gap between current and future workforce in the bio-energy sector has been identified by the European SET-Plan Education Roadmap. The BioEnergyTrain project (BET), which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, stepped in and created the two-year master’s degree programmes BVM and BRE.
What makes BVM and BRE unique compared to other master programmes is the involvement of the industry in developing both curricula. The modules and the courses of Bio-resource Value Chain Management and BioRefinery Engineering have been built by 15 partners coordinated by eseia. The network of tertiary education institutions, research centres, professional associations, and industry stakeholders from 6 EU countries identified the needs and knowledge gaps encompassing the whole value chain of bioenergy and biobased products. The result is the launch of two master programmes that ensure the competitiveness of students on the labour market. Both programmes have an extensive exposure to industry through interdisciplinary student camps, technical site visits, Summer Schools, joint master theses and projects. Therefore, interactions between industry and students will allow graduates an easy transition from university to a stable professional career in the European biobased industry.
The multidisciplinary approach of BRE allows students to develop skills from biology, chemical and process engineering, mechanical and electrical engineering, business and economics. After two years they will know to identify and develop new bioenergy and biobased materials technologies. In the multidisciplinary BVM programme bioresources, conversion technologies, economics and business development are considered as interrelated topics of bio-resource value chain development and optimisation. At the end of their studies, graduates from BVM will be able to analyse, develop, manage and innovate existing and new bio-resource value chains in the European regional context.
Application to become part of this new generation of bio-economy entrepreneurs will close in the coming months on different dates for local and international students. Deadlines for the BVM programme at UTwente are set on May 1st for international students who require visa, while European students have until July 1st. Dutch students can postpone their decision until August 15th. Deadline for BRE applicants at Graz University of Technology is April 30th 2017.