EUROPEAN HUB ON NEW CHALLENGES IN THE FIELD OF ESSENTIAL OILS (EOHUB). A PROPOSAL FOR UNIVERSITY-INDUSTRY COOPERATION
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 11-13 November, 2019
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:Plants produce secondary metabolites, such as essential oils (EOs). They are employed in food & beverage, cosmetics & toiletries, aromatherapy, home and health care, and others. Most of the exotic EOs are produced from rare crops and plants, which are either difficult to harvest. Restrictions on harvesting and cultivation of such trees & plants will probably add to the raw material scarcity. EOHUB will bring together technological companies, HEIs and research organizations in order to provide a training and support path for young scientists toward entrepreneurship, innovation and conservation in the field of EOs. It will merge scientific knowledge on EOs, practical examples and case studies of successful companies providing services within EOs, business models/case studies of business that trade and value natural products, connecting bio-applications of EOs, involving research centres and companies. The main challenges will be the growing demand, new markets, new bio-applications, biodiversity preservation and bio-economy integration.
The project responds to changing needs of the modern economy, anticipating new careers in line with the global challenges and issues of climate change, ecosystem services and biodiversity degradation. EOHUB will contribute to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, through stimulating entrepreneurship and innovation in the field of EOs, fitting within the EU 2020 strategy. It will provide a strong partnership between higher education institutions, their research departments, and business, making the knowledge triangle work in a relative new sector with increasing opportunities for research, innovation and economic growth. EOHUB aims to increase the capacity of higher education institutions and business to integrate research results and innovative practice into the educational offer, and to exploit the potential for marketable process, methods and services in the field of BAEOs.
On the other hand, business partners are looking for interacting with research institutions as they need new methodological and scientific inputs to run their services. All companies involved in the project can be defined as Knowledge Intensive Business Services, as they all provide consultancy services with a high level of knowledge. They need continuous knowledge-intensive labour forces with a high entrepreneur and innovative behaviour. EOHUB will create a supporting EU hub linked with associations of economic sectors (forest owner ́s associations, Associations for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, European Herb Growers Association, International Society for Horticultural Sciences, International Trade Association, etc.), and with association of research institutions strictly linked with the project topic to increase the EU governance and to ensure funding after the project time-life. EOHUB fits with the objectives of the participating high education institutions, because it helps to enrich teaching, improve learning experiences, support personalised learning, facilitate access through distance learning, and virtual mobility, and create new opportunities for research.
Keywords: Essential oils, education, HEI, training, entrepreneurship, e-learning, stakeholders, EU 2020.