BOOSTEDU: Boosting Relevant and Applicable Continuing Education in the Food Sector

Scientific Coordinator: Davide Viaggi

Sector: Higher Education

Unibo structure involved: Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Department of Management, Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences

Unibo Team: Marialetizia Fioravanti, Francesco Capozzi, Riccardo Fini, Marco Dalla Rosa, Maria Angela Cané, Barbara Vetturini

Project Duration in months: 36
Start Date: 01/09/2017 
End Date: 31/08/2020

Budget: 321.155 euro
Unibo Budget: 46.670 euro

Coordinator:  Kobenhavns Universitet (DK)

  • Universität für Bodenkultur Wien (AU)
  • Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna (IT)
  • Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DK)
  • Universitat Politecnica de Valencia (ES)
  • Wageningen University (NL)

The European food sector faces a number of societal challenges. These on one hand cast doubts on long term international competitiveness, while on the other hand provide an opportunity for developing and strengthening the sector by transforming it into an integrated food system that provides sufficient, safe, affordable and nutritious food in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner. Furthermore, a growing need for innovative solutions and start-ups has shifted innovation and entrepreneurship (I&E) management from a mere business school agenda to career options and demanded competencies across

academic disciplines. A key to transition is continuing learning throughout the food system. A critical starting point is the food industry and meeting its needs for continuing education. Higher education institutions should provide continuing education to the food labour market and transfer knowledge needed to support and achieve the goals of this important sector. Furthermore, by addressing real life problems and co-creation of knowledge responding to a precise need from the practice, not only the food industry achieves knowledge transfer, but a closer, more creative and profitable cooperation with universities is achieved.

Therefore, the objective of BoostEdu is to establish a 3-staged online and blended learning platform for co-creating and implementing flexible continuing learning for -and with- food professionals across Europe, with a programme teaching Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) in the Food Sector as the first, concrete output. The three stages are a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), an e-learning course and an on-site course on the subject, respectively.

The partnership project is designed as a co-creation process, where food industry representatives will be engaged in the development of the curricula for the three stages of course activities, so as to enable a close fit to the needs of practice. Practically, the partnership project will begin with an in-depth survey analysis of the European industrial understanding of I&E in the food system and industrial expectations towards continuing education within this subject area. This provides a foundation for designing and conducting two rounds of co-creation workshops in each of five countries, where the draft curricula will be presented and qualified in a learner centred approach. The survey and the co-creation workshops will be vital input that will enable BoostEdu to develop curriculum for the 3-staged programme containing the MOOC, e-learning and an on-site courses on the subject. Finally, a best practices booklet on how to build a pan-European continuing education programme based on co-creation between companies and six European universities will be produced and disseminated broadly.

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union