Academic Exchange Program

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Integral Valorization of Bio-Products (2008-2012)

Production of safe food and developing renewable bioresources for materials and energy are becoming areas of vital transatlantic interest in bio-based economies. There is increasing concern about the effect of these activities on the global environment, and there has been a significant growing effort to relieve these pressures by focusing on the total agri-production chain involved in the production of safe, quality food and the effective use of renewable co-products. A more efficient use of materials, waste minimization and especially integral valorization must be integrated into biosystem management and biomaterial use. Integral valorization must be the basic concept driving the design of new processes for food, biomaterials and bio-energy production to achieve sustainable development. This will necessitate the optimal utilization of all co-products and waste streams.

The objectives of the Integral Valorization of Bio-production program are:

  1. joint curriculum development
  2. graduate student mobility
  3. teaching staff mobility
  4. teaching material
  5. dissemination of major findings

A proposed graduate course will provide a novel interdisciplinary approach involving topics such as primary bioproduction, food technology and engineering, chemical and biochemical transformation of natural resources, quality and safety of food products, biomaterials and bio-energy. The mobility program will provide students the choice of courses or conducting a research project, or a combination of courses and research. The study period will be five months. Six students from the EU and six from the United States will participate in the mobility scheme each year. A common signed memorandum of understanding by all partners facilitates student and faculty mobility and guarantees tuition fee waivers at host institutions. Education and research findings will be disseminated through publications and presentations at scientific and education meetings and through courses taught.

This funded EU-US program is supported by the EACEA  (EU Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency) and the U.S. Department of Education FIPSE program. This builds on the success of the Renewable Resources and Clean Technology program and broadens the field of study to food as non-food agricultural materials and applications.

Student exchange is promoted between EU-US and US-EU universities (EU-EU or US-US not included).

EU students build a tailor-made program before departure, which is approved both by sending and host university. This is done according to the internal procedures of each participating university.

Incoming US students to Ghent University can consult current research topics if interested in an internship or thesis work and contact promoters for further information. From the UGent course catalogue students can download all information available regarding course offers.

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