• University of York
  • BioYorkshire logo
New

Bioeconomy: How Renewable Resources Can Help the Future of Our Planet

Explore the sustainable technologies, strategies, and careers helping the world transition to a biobased economy.

646 enrolled on this course

Bioeconomy: How Renewable Resources Can Help the Future of Our Planet

Investigate how you can utilise renewable resources

With a predicted global population of nine billion people in 2050, a well-documented climate crisis, and a global food waste problem, the world needs to change.

On this course, you’ll look at the ways you can make the most of renewable, biological resources, including what you might think of as ‘waste’, and how the world can move away from a fossil-based economy to a bioeconomy.

Understand the basics of a bioeconomy and why it’s important

You’ll start this course by gaining an understanding of what a bioeconomy is and which sectors it includes.

With the climate crisis being of constant concern, you’ll assess why the move away from non-renewable resources is so important and identify the skills required to transition to a bio-based economy. This will also include the skills needed to pursue a career in the bioeconomy and the many career paths available.

Discover how natural resources can help transition away from fossil fuels

On this course, you’ll delve into natural resources, such as plants and microbes, and how they can be used to produce high-value chemicals for the personal care, food, drink, and pharma sectors.

You’ll also look at how food and agricultural waste can be used to make new products. This will cover the agricultural technologies that are helping sustainability, as well as methods like anaerobic digestion, which turns waste materials into renewable resources.

Learn from the experts at BioYorkshire

Supporting York and North Yorkshire’s ambitions to become one of the first in the UK to be carbon negative, BioYorkshire is uniquely positioned to help you understand the current state of the bioeconomy, where there are opportunities for innovation, and the emerging technologies within the sustainability industry.

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds Fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas have been providing electricity, heat and transportation for us for the last 200 years. We also rely on them to make chemicals, plastics and many other materials. But this reliance has led to climate change and a host of other problems, such as plastic pollution. How can we make the things we need from the resources that won’t run out in a way that is better for the planet and create a sustainable environment for future generations? This is what the bioeconomy is all about. We can use living things, such as plants, animals and microbes

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds to make not just food and feed, but also: energy, chemicals and materials.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 seconds We can get more value from agri-tech and food wastes: for example, turning waste straw into biofuel or converting waste bread into antibiotics

Skip to 1 minute and 5 seconds We can use microbes to manage our waste: for example, using anaerobic digestion to produce biogas and biofertiliser. We can use plants and microbes to produce high value chemicals such as safer alternatives to toxic solvents and natural sources of flavours and fragrances. With the help of bioeconomy innovations such as these, we have plans to make York and North Yorkshire the nation’s first carbon negative region, transformed by profitable and sustainable technologies. Join us to learn all about the bioeconomy, the ideas and innovations that will shape the careers of the future and discuss the barriers that we need to be overcome in a transition from a fossil-based to a bio-based world.

What topics will you cover?

  • What do we mean by the ‘bioeconomy’ and why is transitioning towards a bioeconomy important?
  • Value from agricultural waste - how agricultural technologies are helping sustainability and agricultural residues can be used as a resource.
  • Anaerobic digestion - turning waste materials into renewable energy and nutrient-rich fertiliser.
  • Unavoidable food waste - how we can use it to make new products.
  • High value chemicals from plants and microbes - solutions for the personal care, food, drink and pharma sectors.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore what the bioeconomy is and which sectors it includes.
  • Debate why the move away from a fossil-fuel economy is important.
  • Identify some of the skills needed to pursue a career in the bioeconomy and some of the bioeconomy career paths available.
  • Explain how natural resources such as plants and microbes can be used to produce high value chemicals.
  • Assess how waste can be used as a resource to produce energy and products.

Who is the course for?

This course has been designed for anyone looking to learn about a more sustainable economy and solutions to climate change.

This will be of particular interest to students thinking about future study or a career in sustainability or the bioeconomy.

Who will you learn with?

Communications Manager for the BioVale Innovation Cluster, the Biorenewables Development Centre and the EU-funded Agrimax project - promoting the bioeconomy.

BioVale Cluster Operations Manager at the University of York/Project Manager at BioYorkshire. I help develop the circular bioeconomy through networking events, entrepreneurship support and outreach

Who developed the course?

University of York

The University of York combines the pursuit of academic excellence with a culture of inclusion, which encourages everyone – from a variety of backgrounds – to achieve their best.

BioYorkshire

As the world faces up to its challenges, one solution is to shift away from fossil fuels in favour of a greener economy which uses renewable, biological resources.

Growing a dynamic green economy across York and North Yorkshire, BioYorkshire brings together scientific expertise to develop sustainable solutions for some of the UK’s most pressing environmental challenges and deliver green economic growth.

Join this course

Start this course for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.

Free

$0

Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 5 weeks

Upgrade

$49

Upgrade this course and you will get:

  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • Access to this course’s tests as well as a print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible

Unlimited

$279.99 for one year

Buy Unlimited and you will get:

  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year

Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Learner reviews

Learner reviews cannot be loaded due to your cookie settings. Please and refresh the page to view this content.

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...