Connecting academic and commercial sectors for cooperation in bioeconomy
Elizabeth Hodson of the Universidad Javeriana credits ALCUE NET with contributing to make bioeconomy a trend research area in Colombia by enabling exchange between different stakeholder groups who have complementary knowledge which can be used for cooperation projects. Elisabeth Hodson is very active in the process of building up those networks, especially between the academic and the commercial sector.
Various ALCUE NET workshops, round tables and meetings connected representatives from different stakeholder groups such as researchers, entrepreneurs or political decision makers to identify common interests and to “put bioeconomy on the agenda”, not only in Columbia but in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in general. Hodson finds this process of building up trust and understanding between different stakeholder groupsnecessary to overcome the “different languages”. Based on the key areas for Bioeconomy in LAC, which were identified in the ALCUE-KBBE project, the networking activities now focus on the up-scaling of commercial capacities and the cooperation between academics and entrepreneurs in order to facilitate the development of bioeconomy products.
Another aspect that was highlighted by Ms. Hodson is the potential positive influence that the bi-regional collaboration, facilitated by the ALCUE NET project, has on the development of bioeconomy projects. Through a profound knowledge of successful bioeconomy products in the EU and the direct cooperation of stakeholders from Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean the repetition of errors once committed should be avoided through a trans-continental learning process. The events organized as part of ALCUE NET hereby have already served to create important ties between these groups and it is permanent and on-going work to strengthen and extend these.