EBU Label - Bioeconomy qualification supplement

The EBU as an alliance of Europe's leading universities on bioeconomy-related topics offers a common qualification supplement that will be issued to master and PhD students of bioeconomy-relevant study programs of the EBU partner universities.

How does it work?

The EBU Label is a qualification supplement which proves that the student who is holding the Label has expert knowledge in their specific field of study and is able to contextualize this expertise within the bioeconomy. It certifies the holder to possess additional skills that have been identified as crucial in the transformation of society and economy into a sustainable way of living. The certificate will be issued to the student by the study services of BOKU at the end of their studies along with the final papers .

Why is it? What is it for?

The program has been called into life to work towards a mutual understanding of a sustainable bioeconomy in European higher education, and create Europe’s leading intellectual institution for tackling the enormous environmental, economic and societal challenges humanity is facing. The EBU Label will certify those who participate in working towards this goal as well as formally recognize the knowledge acquired and contributions made during their education.

Participants of the EBU Label program will obtain inter- and transdisciplinary skills based on a cross-sectorial mindset, sustainability competences including system thinking, strategic competence and normative competence. They will get to know international (digital) communication and collaboration skills, management and entrepreneurial skills along with assessment, decision making, regulation and policy skills. Further personal and interpersonal skills including critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, empowerment and reflection will not only serve as a distinction in the student's CV but also contribute substantially to their own professional and personal development.

Criteria for obtaining the Label

The EBU qualification supplement will be granted to students who fulfil the following criteria:

  • Enrolment in a bioeconomy-relevant master-program. At BOKU all master programs are bioeconomy-relevant

  • Willingness to obtain a T-shaped profile

  • Master thesis with an explicit link to bioeconomy

  • Actively participation in two of the following optional activities

    • Complete bioeconomy related MOOCs of the ABBEE-project

    • Participation in soft-skill trainings

    • Active participation in events, competitions or workshops regarding the bioeconomy

    • Being proactive in the bioeconomy

    • An exchange semester at one of the partner universities

About your T-shaped profile

If you imagine your competences aligned horizontally with each competence stretching farther vertically the more experienced you are, you are very likely to get a long horizontal bar of basic knowledge in many different aspects and a few vertical stretches where you are more advanced. The horizontal bar represents your interdisciplinary skills, your abillity to collaborate across different fields. They are not your specialty but you know enough about them. The biggest vertical stretch represents your disciplinary specialty. It is usually what you have studied in your bachelor's and are further deepening in your master's, but you could also have obtained extensive expertise in practice or through life experiences. If you have one such disciplinary expertise you have one very strong vertical bar; on top of that is a broad range of interdisciplinary knowledge. Combined your knowledge profile has the shape of a T.

About your master thesis

Your master thesis will concern itself with a topic relevant within the field of bioeconomy. As this type of scientific work is usually quite specific (i.e. research in a very particular field), your master thesis is expected to have a separate chapter that will discuss the results of your research within the context of the bioeconomy, highlighting the relevance of your thesis within a broader perspective. Ideally supervisor and co-supervisor should be academics from two different EBU partner universities. You are expected to search for and select your supervision according to the topic of interest.

About the optional activities

You can apply for the label having completed at least two of the following optional activities:

  • Complete bioeconomy related MOOCs of the ABBEE-project. The massive open online courses freely available from the ABBEE-project aim to "inspire and train a new generation of (bio-based economy) students and help accelerating the transition towards a bio-based economy via education of future professionals"(src). They provide interested students with essential knowledge about the biomass value chain. There will be questionnaires to assess the learning process.

  • Participation in soft-skill trainings, including digital skills, intercultural training and life long learning programs. BOKU offers a large variety of courses for soft-skill trainings that can be found as free elective courses at BOKU online or are already integral part of your curriculum. It is expected of you to deliver a self-assessment of your soft-skills to evaluate the completion of this activity.

  • Actively participating in events, competitions or workshops regarding the bioeconomy is a possibility to fulfill this criteria; if you present a poster, give a talk at an event or participate in a workshop related to bioeconomy, you may conclude with it this optional activity. The self-assessment you will hand in to complete this optional activity must state clearly how you played a formative role in the event, competition or workshop.

  • Being proactive in the bioeconomy is a closely related activity that takes the formative role of active participation to the next step of taking matters into your own hands. This can be achieved by organizing events yourself (better: be an integral part of a team), building a startup or similar action that actively develop the bioeconomy and / or its public perception.

  • Having been at an exchange semester at one of the partner universities can be credited as an optional activity for obtaining the EBU Label.

The completion of all optional activities will be evaluated by the staff of an EBU member based on the amount of work delivered and the factual connection to the bioeconomy of all activities as described in written reports. For further information see below "Getting the label".


Apply for the journey and administrative dealings

To apply for the journey, you need to send an email to bioeconomy(at)boku.ac.at. In this email, you need to please include

  • your certificate of enrolment (you can get it on your BOKU online page after login)

  • your CV. If you have not yet prepared one, use the Europass CV

  • a short statement of motivation which describes your interest in the Journey and the bioeconomy in no more than 400 words to prove the mandatory excellent English language skills. Additional points are given to those who include a description of their extra-curricular activities (might be anything from cultural engagement to voluntary work), and credibly describe their teamwork-experiences (can be related to your extracurricular activities). If you already know where you are headed in life with your knowledge about bioeconomy, feel welcome to include this perspective as well.

You will receive an acknowledgement of receipt for a successful submission of your application. The selection of the six students going on the Journey will be done by the end of February, you will then receive a respective notification by email.

After you have been accepted for participating in the Journey, please enrol in the BOKU course "951003 EBU Label Student Journey". This way, you will receive 4 ECTS as a free elective course for the successful completion of the Journey. Please note that there is no course at BOKU learn, but the EBU elearning platform will be available at https://ebu-learn.boku.ac.at/.

Going on the on-site meeting in Reims means that you are required to be present in Reims and actively participate in the group works from 12th to16th of June. Please plan your semester (especially group work and exams of other courses) accordingly. Expenses for accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as travelling from Vienna to Reims will be paid or compensated by the EBU Label program. So yes, basically this is a free trip to Reims where you will learn a lot about bioeconomy and get to know interesting people from all over Europe. Make sure to apply on time!


Getting the EBU Label

The fulfillment of the above explained criteria (master program, master thesis, T-shaped profile, optional activities) is a process that takes more than just a semester. Because of this the EBU Label is being thought of as a framework that accompanies you throughout your whole master program. If you think you may be applying for the Label by the end of your master's, please pre-register for the Label as soon as you have come to the conclusion. If you are already well within your master's, you should still pre-register at least 6 months before you plan to complete your studies. This is not only to provide you with a certain mindset of long-term planning and commitment, but also for administrative purposes; there are - of course - several forms for you to fill out and they may require additional work for you. Also the BOKU staff needs know the number of applicants we have to expect for processing and completion within a certain timeframe.

As of right now, pre-registration for the Label is being done manually by the lead project partner in Hohenheim. For pre-registration please send an email to Lina Mayorga-Duarte (lina.mayorgaduarte(at)uni-hohenheim.de) with the following subject "EBU label – student University of BOKU". As a confirmation of the pre-registration you will receive all the information necessary for the final application for the EBU Label.


Further information

For more information on the European Bioeconomy University Alliance, please visit our homepage https://european-bioeconomy-university.eu/

Details about the EBU Label you can find at the respective sub-page at https://european-bioeconomy-university.eu/education/ebu-label/

For more information about BOKU's participation in the EBU, please visit our own webpage.

And if you need any assistance, have questions yet unanswered by this website or need more information not to be found on any of the other sources, please contact the BOKU coordinator of the EBU Label Bernhard Kastner at the Centre for Bioeconomy.

* EBU student journey
Concept and dates
financial support?
application for the Journey
optional activities


* elearning-platform
login and basic information for everyone
label-pregistration and journey-application there soon


* pre-registration for Label
also: purpose of pre-registration - it is a process that accompanies you through your master

Applying for Label

* contact and further information
link zur label-homepage auf der ebu-hp
Kontakt Bernhard Kastner