PhD Summer School 2015: Towards a Sustainable Economy

27 Jul 2015

Register now before 1 July 2015 for this year’s two-week Climate-KIC PhD Summer School and learn about contemporary sustainability in the field of agriculture/forestry and bioeconomy!

Agriculture/Forestry and bioeconomy are two central areas when it comes to future guaranteeing future food security and directly contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation. During this two-week intensive programme, we will provide you with the tools to become a succesful innovator in these fields, therefore help you to position you in this ecosystem. Particular cases will help you to link your theorethical knowledge with real-life challenges. We invite you to come up with creative solutions for the issues of our times!

Aim of the Summer school

Our Summer School in Copenhagen offers a learning-by-experiencing approach to tackle these issues. Providing a broad range of in-depth theoretical knowledge, hands-on cases to apply the learning, inter-disciplinary thinking and cooperation, you will be able to boost your skills through the summer in Denmark. Unlocking the climate change mitigation and adaptation potential and economic potential requires connecting different sectors and value chains- from energy to food. In addition to technical skills, successful innovation in this area requires a holistic view on these interconnections, as well as solid stakeholder and innovation management skills. Connecting the dots is what our Summer School will aim for! 


Based in the city of Copenhagen, you will attend lectures, workshops and discussions; meet and discuss with world renowned experts, visit companies working with bioeconomy and agriculture/forestry that provide you with real-life challenges, and enjoy leisure activities showcasing the sights of Copenhagen.

Besides exploring the city of Copenhagen, excursions will be made to leading stakeholders in the area of bioeconomy and agriculture/forestry. Site visits to Novozymes, the Symbiosis Center in Kalundborg and Danish Crown/ the Agro Business Park in Aarhus provide you with insights into the work of leading stakeholders in the area of bioeconomy.

Our Summer School in Copenhagen offers an opportunity to get away from the regular work environment, meet people from other cultures and disciplines, enlarge your knowledge on agriculture/forestry and bioeconomy, join in international networking opportunities, enjoy the summer in Copenhagen and have a great time!


In case of any questions concerning this PhD Summer school, feel free to contact Line Gry Knudsen via line@climate-kic-nordic.org


Hosting companies

In our Summer School, you will work on real-life challenges from three hosting companies to apply your knowledge. You will have exclusive access to three international corporations and work a full day with each of them and their challenges related to the bioeconomy – a valuable networking opportunity for your individual career development.as it will get you in touch with potential future collaborators.

  • Novozymes: A major player in industrial biotech with a focus on enzymes. Together with Novozymes’ BioEnergy R&D division you will be working with investigating biomass supply as a basis for further developing Novozymes’ bioenergy/biofuel sector using 1st and 2nd generation technologies. This will involve questions concerning availability of feedstocks in different areas as well as the market dynamics underlying the bioenergy and biofuel sectors.
  • Danish Crown / the Agro Business Park: Together with Danish Crown, one of the biggest slaughterhouse and meat processing companies in the world with production in 10 countries in Europe and the US, you will explore the challenge around supplying the necessary protein-rich feed for animal production. Considering the rising competition for protein-feed due to increasing production e.g. in Asia, this challenge addresses the question of how to produce double the amount of the present level of porcine and bovine meat in Europe in 2025 compared to today without the need for importing feed protein to Europe? In particular it will explore key technologies that need to be developed based on European expertise and competences and national as well as European political framework conditions that must be adapted to enable this growth.
  • Symbiosis Center: The Symbiosis Center helps corporate partners in designing resource collaboration between companies for mutual economic and environmental benefit. Together with a task force from the center you will evaluate and design an integration case for a corporation entering the symbiosis cluster. In addition to the anticipated benefits from such integration you will learn how to adapt to risks related to the resulting interdependence between companies relying on governance structures, operational design and quality control measures.

Learning objectives

  • Equiping you with the knowledge of transformative, socio-technical innovation using a systems approach.
  • Enabling you to link your individual research projects to low carbon innovation activities in the area of agriculture/forestry and bioeconomy.
  • To provide practice oriented tools that candidates will enrich your individual projects.
  • To exchange ideas between candidates and experts and to develop new project ideas for low carbon innovation.

Programme outline

Week 1: Generation skills, knowledge and tools

During the first week we will embed the current economy in a climate and overall sustainability context introducing general concepts like the planetary boundaries, the global calculator and life cycle assessments, climate smart agricultural production techniques, biomass processing and bio refining, economic principles and market dynamics, stakeholder management and change management, business strategy, and entrepreneurship.

Week 2: Solving real-life challenges

The second week will give you the opportunity to bring the tools facilitating innovation to life! Apply your knowledge and skills to three corporate challenges: You will have exclusive access to 3 international corporations and work for a full day with each of them and their challenges related to the bioeconomy, an opportunity that will get you in touch with potential future collaborators or a valuable network for your individual career development.

Download the information pack (PDF) for a full overview of the programme.

Who can participate?

Participation in a PhD Summer school is part of Climate-KIC PhD programme. All Climate-KIC PhD students should take part in a thematic Summer school in their second or third year.

Furthermore, we are happy to welcome PhD candidates pursuing their PhD outside of Climate-KIC and who are interested in climate change topics. Post-graduates with outstanding skills and motivation to participate are also invited to apply. Main language is English, participants therefore should have a sufficient language skills.

How to apply?

Apply today!

Applications for this summer school are now being received until the application deadline of 1 July 2015. Please provide a copy of your passport as an attachment to your application.

Any applications submitted after the deadline will be marked late and will be considered only after the review of applications received on or before 1 July. Letters of acceptance will be sent out in two weeks after the application deadline.

Short interviews might be conducted with the applicants to test their English skills and their motivation.

Please visit the website, for more information.


As the PhD Summer School is an integral part of Climate-KIC’s PhD programme, costs are fully covered for Climate-KIC labelled students.

  • 500,- EUR for PhDs from partner universities and EU citizens
  • 2.000,- EUR for non-EU passport holders

The costs of the programme include accommodation (in double rooms), breakfast and lunch, approx. five dinners per week, as well as local transportation. Participants need to cover the travel costs to/from Bologna themselves.

After the confirmation of acceptance, invoices will be sent out to participants. Course fees need to be paid three weeks before the start of the programme.



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