Foto: Universität Hohenheim/Corinna Schmid
  • FREE
  • 30 h 00 min
  • English
  • Interdisciplinaire
  • avec option de mise à niveau du certificat
  • Self-paced

What is the course about?

Welcome to the MOOC "Concepts of Sustainable Bioeconomy", developed by the University of Hohenheim. This course belongs to the strategic partnership ABBEE (Accelerating the transition towards the Bio-Based Economy via Education) and is one of four courses offered by leading European universities in the field of Bioeconomy.
|> ABBEE trailer video

MOOC "Concepts of Sustainable Bioeconomy"

Bioeconomy or biobased economy is a relatively new concept that builds on the visions of a sustainable societal transformation. This course will describe bioeconomy and its underlying concepts from a meta-level. It focuses on explaining the potential contribution of bioeconomy to sustainability, the role of innovation, governance and multi-stakeholder collaboration as well as the importance of life-cycle tools to guide decision-making. For this, the concepts of biobased value chain and web is used as a framework that combines biophysical, social, technological and economic elements. Special attention will be givensystems thinking and inter- and transdisciplinarity as principles of bioeconomy.
|> Course trailer video

Why is this course important for you?

The relevance of the bioeconomy and the underlying notions need to be explained in a comprehensive manner. Only then, the biobased economy professionals of the future will be able to adopt holistic approaches that foster systems thinking. The intention of this course is, among others, to provide fundamental and applied concepts related with the bioeconomy to prospective professionals working in manifold bioeconomy areas.The course offers a space for reflection on the role of professionals in the bioeconomy. It serves as a baseline to enrich the bioeconomy dialogue integrating different perspectives and dimensions. Given the plurality of bioeconomy perspectives, it is important to acknowledge that there is no one-fits-all definition, and each interpretation is dependent on specific contexts. On this background the course will explain different bioeconomy perspectives and the role of biobased resources as well as biological knowledge for shaping a sustainable bioeconomy.

What will you learn?

After the completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Recognize and understand diverse perspectives, conceptual underpinnings and principles of the bioeconomy and its potential to contribute to sustainability.

  • Explain the concept of biobased value chain, main characteristics and the multiple sectors that are part of the bioeconomy using examples of renewable resources, conversion technologies and material as well as energetic products.

  • Describe different holistic and multi-dimensional methods to measure the sustainability in the bioeconomy.

  • Realize the potential of converging technologies such as digitalization for the biological transformation of industry sectors.

  • Understand elements of bioeconomy strategies, identify the plurality of stakeholders and acknowledge the importance of innovation and inter- and transdisciplinary approaches to support the transition towards a sustainable bioeconomy.

    Who is this course intended for?

    As an open online course, it will become available for Master-level students as well as practitioners, facilitating knowledge transfer and reaching a large learning community. In addition, the course can be adopted by other HEIs (Higher Educations Institutions) and integrated in their curriculum which makes the impact even higher. This course targets the following groups: 
    • Students at Master's level from different degree programs (e.g. students with a background in Natural Sciences and Engineering, Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, Business-Economics, Social Sciences)
    • Future employers of Bioeconomy students
    • Interdisciplinary professionals in the Bioeconomy sector including industry
    • Futures students of M.Sc. programs related or dedicated to bioeconomy
    • Persons interested in lifelong learning (LLL) and sustainability


    This course integrates 5 main sections and 12 chapters in which various experts from different fields explain at theoretical and practical level the underpinnings of bioeconomy. The course concludes with a short wrap-up section to invite participants to continue the learning journey.


    • Prof. Dr. Iris Lewandowski University of Hohenheim
    • Prof. Dr. Regina Birner University of Hohenheim
    • Prof. Dr. Andrea Knierim University of Hohenheim
    • Prof. Dr. Oliver Schwarz Fraunhofer IPA
    • Prof. Dr. Claudia Bieling — University of Hohenheim
    • Prof. Dr. Davide Viaggi — University of Bologna
    • Prof. Dr. Markus Vogt — Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
    • Prof. Dr. Michael Schramm University of Hohenheim
    • Prof. Dr. Andrea Kruse University of Hohenheim
    • Prof. Dr. Rudolf Hausmann University of Hohenheim
    • Prof. Dr. Hans Griepentrog University of Hohenheim
    • Prof. Dr. Andreas Fischer — HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland
    • Prof. Dr. Bernd Hitzmann University of Hohenheim
    • Prof. Dr. Anderas Pyka University of Hohenheim
    • Prof. Dr. Andreas Kuckertz University of Hohenheim
    • Prof. Dr. Markus Frank — Nürtingen-Geislingen University 
    • Dr. Lotte Asveld — TU Delft
    • Dr. Michael Schlaile University of Hohenheim
    • Dr. Moritz von Cossel University of Hohenheim
    • Dr. Andreas Kiesel University of Hohenheim
    • Dr. Bastian Winkler University of Hohenheim
    • Dr. Laura Mack University of Hohenheim
    • Dr. Susanne Zibek — Fraunhofer IGB
    • Dr. Jan Lask University of Hohenheim
    • Dr. Alberto Bezama — Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research
    • Dr. Thomas Daum University of Hohenheim
    • Dr. Sophie Urmetzer University of Hohenheim
    • Dr. Kristina Bogner University of Hohenheim
    • M.Sc Lina Mayorga Duarte University of Hohenheim
    • M.Sc Ricardo Vargas Carpintero University of Hohenheim
    • M.Sc Sebastian Weickert University of Hohenheim
    • M.Sc Nirvana Marting Vidaurre University of Hohenheim
    • M.A Michael Keller — HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland

    Learning materials

    • Short videos
    • Lecture slides
    • Extra reading materials such as peer-reviewed papers or electronic books, videos, external websites
    • Student journey for self-reflection
    • Questions for self-assessment, assignments and forum discussions

    Participation and certificates

    You can enroll and complete this course for FREE. You can obtain a Certificate of Participation at any time after completing the course. This means watching all the videos, responding all quiz questions and completing the assignments. The Certificate of Participation costs €29.

    Course instructors