With for materials and other bio-based products such

With the worldpopulation set to approach an estimated 9 billion by 2050, against a backgroundof finite natural resources, Europe needs renewable biological resources -notjust for securing healthy food and animal feedstuffs but also for materials andother bio-based products such as bio-fuels (E.

C., 2017, Innovating for SustainableGrowth: A Bioeconomy for Europe). FOOD 2030 sector of the EU Commission’sBioeconomy Research Directorate alerts about a new hunger crisis and the risein the number of hungry people around the world, due to climate change and conflict.The constant change of basic food prices and increasing anxiety about foodsecurity and food production sustainability have made global food crisisevident and call for thinking deeply on how to respond accounting for the interconnectednessof economic, social and environmental systems. (E.C. 2017, Food in Cities).

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Accordingto FOOD 2030 initiative, food crisis is expected to heavily affect Europe and sustainpersisting nutritional imbalances between North and South (E.C., 2017, .

BIOECONOMYINNOVATION CommBeBiz Magazine 2017 – 2018, FOOD 2030 – Transforming our foodsystems through science). At the same time, research indicates a decline ofdiet quality across Europe, which is expected to negatively affect citizens’health (European Commission, 2017, Innovating for Sustainable Growth: ABioeconomy for Europe). FOOD 2030 initiative considers urban gardening as aninitiative pillar for the development of sustainable food systems, were foodproduction and consumption are not seen as two separate processes anymore, butas an integrated and connected one. According to the European Commission “Both in theGlobal North and in the Global South, local authorities have started to promotelocal and organic food, fair trade products, food waste reduction, and urbanfood growing initiatives (Sonnino, 20163) as part of an increasing recognitionof the multifunctional potential of food in relation to health, transport,education, land use, employment generation, social inclusion and communitydevelopment”.u1 (E.

C. 2017, Food in Cities: study on innovation for a sustainable and healthyproduction, delivery, and consumption of food in cities)Although Europe initiatesin the domain of bio-economy recent data indicate that it has already lostadvantage in the field of plant biotechnology. In this context, the EuropeanCommission calls for investment in research, innovation and education in orderto maintain leadership in the area of bio-economy (E.

C., 2017, Innovating for SustainableGrowth: A Bioeconomy for Europe). European Commission considers education inthe domain of bio-economy as a cornerstone of Europe’s future, aiming at teachingand raising awareness about sustainability, circularity, and the limitations ofour planet in producing food, energy and materials. In this way, it is expectedthat children get interested in science and become environmental-aware /bioeconomy-aware citizens and, possibly, pursue bio-economy related jobs in thefuture (e.g.

be a farmer, work in food industry, work in a plastics company,work in bioenergy plant, advising on isolation of houses, be a scientistworking on plants, being a social scientist) (https://ec.europa.eu/research/bioeconomy/pdf/newsletter_bioeconomy_stakeholders_panel_nov2016.


A.TE projectaims at designing, developing, implementing and evaluating a primary school educationalprogram regarding bio-economy in the context of urban agriculture.  Particularly, the project opts to help elementaryschool children:·        Gain an understandingof bio-economy and how its principles apply in the field of agriculture.·        Gain knowledge aboutpossibilities of food production in towns.

·        Evaluate urban agriculturepractices as a means of establishing food security and producing healthybiological food.·        Experiment withinnovative agricultural techniques and get used in food production employingbio-economy principles. ·        Compare urban gardens aroundEurope and investigate how town context and climate affect urban agricultural practices.·        Develop scientific wayof thinking ·        Create positiveenvironmental and social change in their own lives, schools and communities.The project takesadvantage of innovative agricultural techniques, such as hydroponics andaquaponics to support both student’s economic literacy development and todevelop skills in understanding, adopting and designing technologies, productsand processes that increase efficiency of resources and sustain an equitablesociety. It follows commission’s declaration towards creating learning spaceswhich support social innovation in the bioeconomy domain for solving socialissues at large or at local scale through the promotion of innovativeapproaches and practices. According to Commission’s Communication  “Rethinking Education: Investing in skillsfor better socio-economic outcomes” , (2012, p.

1) “investment in education andtraining for skills development is essential to boost growth and competitiveness.Skills determine Europe’s capacity to increase productivity”.Given that “fighting high levels of unemployment -particularly among young people – is one of the most urgent tasks for European governments”(E.

C., 2017, ERASMUS+ Programme Guide) and that by 2025 130.000 jobs will becreated by bio-economy market, this project comes as a timely necessity in preparingchildren to meet immediate future challenges. It is also important that thisproject is carried out transnationally since many schools from around Europe areexpected to participate in project activities (Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Ireland,Italy) creating a much needed strong and effective Bioeconomy web of schoolspromoting the competitiveness of Europe in the education sector (see http://www.plantetp.

org). u1?????????????


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