The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) has initiated a project to form a Global Challenges University Alliance, and is planning to involve 25 of the world’s top "bio‐economy" universities at all continents.
Focus for the GCUA initiative is the agricultural research and educations issues in relation to the current Global Challenges. By 2050 the world's population will exceed nine billion, requiring agricultural, forest and fisheries systems to produce food, animal feed, fibres, energy and materials for another two billion people. The crucial issue is how to achieve this with very little new land to use, without causing unsustainable ecological consequences and during an on‐going climate change.
Translating knowledge into relevant action
Meeting these global challenges can only be done through obtaining greater scientific knowledge about the fundamental conditions for life – translating knowledge into relevant action – and through dedicated international co‐operation. The partner universities should be strong in agricultural sciences (including food, veterinary, landscape architecture and forest sciences), environmental sciences and/or the life sciences.
Building an Alliance
The Alliance build‐up will take place through thematic Global Challenges University Workshops, each with 4‐10 participating universities, and by organising corresponding thematic Global Challenges Summer Schools for MSc/PhD students. Both the research and education components will train the young “bioeconomy” leaders of the future and provide them with an active global network very early in their careers.