The spotlight was on young bieconomy leaders on the first day of the PerForm conference held in Bordeaux,France, between the 14th and 15th of November. Students and young researchers had the unique opportunity to present their results and ask challenging questions to a panel of bioeconomy experts. The discussions between students, experts and researchers made for a highly interesting and engaging event.
The last conference organized by the PerForm network titled “Bioeconomy and European Forests” succeeded in bringing together different bioeconomy actors from across Europe such as researchers from the PerForm network, representatives from the European Commission and the European Forest Institute, local stakeholders from the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, as well as students and young researchers from European forestry programs.
The first day of the conference brought current and future bioeconomy experts together. Students and young scholars conducting their research on one of the three major PerForm topics (forestry-stakeholder perceptions-, student perceptions- and consumer perceptions- of the bioeconomy) had the unique opportunity to give short presentations in front of a panel of bioeconomy experts.
The presentations were followed by a series of questions that the students had prepared for the panelists before hand. An engaging discussion followed, where participants debated the role of forests and forestry in national and EU bioeconomy policies, different communication strategies for bioeconomy, as well as opportunities for future jobs for the next generation of bioeconomy experts.
On the second day of the conference, PerForm researchers presented the latest progress of each work package. Network partners have succeed in collecting data in all nine European countries, resulting in interesting cross-country comparison studies. The results of their research will be published in an upcoming special issue in the journal Ambio- A Journal of the Human Environment. The network partners also discussed the final preparations for the upcoming Massive Open Online Course “Society and Bioeconomy” that is expected to be launched in spring next year.