The event “Careers and opportunities in the bioeconomy sector” was successfully organised!

Within the framework of the Bioeconomy Changemakers Festival on the 14th of March, Q-PLAN INTERNATIONAL organised the satellite event “Careers and opportunities in the Bioeconomy sector”, with a focus on informing more than 40 young professionals, academics and students about bioeconomy-related careers. The event organization was a joint effort of the GenB, BioGov.net and ROBIN Horizon Europe projects, held at the premises of the Ok!Thess Accelerator in Thessaloniki.

The day was full of informative sessions and inspirational storytelling, aimed at providing students and young professional with practical information on how to start a career in bioeconomy, advance their skills and knowledge, as well as to pursue employment and entrepreneurial opportunities in Thessaloniki and Central Macedonia. Starting with an overview of the bioeconomy sector and its current state in Greece by Professor Konstantinos Vorgias (University of Athens), a presentation of alternative career pathways in bioeconomy followed (results of the BioGov.net study on job profiles). Moreover, educational opportunities and study programmes were presented by representatives of the International Hellenic University and Perrotis College (American Farm School), along with their benefits and requirements.

Successful professionals and entrepreneurs in the Greek bioeconomy sector shared their success stories along with career insights and challenges they faced along their journey. Diverse perspectives were presented to motivate young people to delve deeper in the bioeconomy, including cases from industry (Ledra Fertilisers), communication strategy and marketing (Clean Stories), urban innovation (InCommon – KaFsimo project) and rural innovation (Staramaki). Successful business cases in circular bioeconomy in Greece and abroad were presented, along with local infrastructure and programmes for youth entrepreneurship offered in the city of Thessaloniki (SKG Makers, Ok!Thess Accelerator, WALK AUTh Innovation Accelerator and Next Stage).

Finally, a regional policy workshop was hosted by the BioGov.net and ROBIN projects during which young people had the chance to discuss with the Region of Central Macedonia and local bioeconomy actors. Following the presentation of the Bioeconomy Strategy of the Central Macedonia Region, a solutions-oriented discussion took place to co-design policies, instruments, initiatives and measures that widen access and awareness of young people to bioeconomy, as well as to promote skills development in the sector.

The event itself proved to be a fun activity for the Q-PLAN team and the students, but also a much-needed instrument for the engagement of young people in the regional bioeconomy sector, with a potential to evolve into a full-fledged career day in the future.