A community of practice (CoP) is a group of people who have an interest, passion, or concern in common and come together to learn more about it. As the name suggests, a CoP collaborates, communicates, and shares knowledge with one another as a community. Members have a shared identity that’s built around their common interests.

Although there is no official clear-cut definition of the term, there are 3 key elements distinguishing Communities of Practice:

  •     A common domain: the concern collectively identified and which the community is aiming to address;
  •     A community: the group of actors (i.e. citizens, civil society organizations, public authorities, businesses) who are actively engaged in the process;
  •     A practice: the action/measures that the community decides to develop/put in place in order to promote/improve/solve the identified concern.


In BioGov.net Communities of Practice are understood as regional co-creation labs teams bringing together the different stakeholder groups of the bioeconomy sector in a multi-stakeholder approach. Furthermore, they are also regional networks of stakeholders coming from across the entire value chain of the bioeconomy sector. Included are researchers, policymakers, groups representing civil society, actors involved in adult learning, retraining and skills development, bio-system representatives (industries, SMEs), active communities (national, cultural and natural heritage keepers, artists, designers, professionals’ associations), cultural and creative sectors but also citizen’s organisations and marginalized groups. BioGov.net’s purpose is to reach a balanced participation of stakeholders across all mentioned groups.

During the project lifespan, eight regional CoPs will be set up in the following European countries:  Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, and Slovakia.

Members of each CoP will be provided with given the opportunity to express their interests and perspectives and needs to shape the development of the BioGov.net training and educational framework in bioeconomy to better serve their needs.

More specifically, CoP Members will support the BioGov.net project by increasing awareness among and engagement of all actors related to bio-systems and their governance structures; providing input to the assessment of key elements for skills building in bioeconomy and capacity building for bio-systems; providing feedback on training concepts and methodological approaches; validating the training and mentoring guidelines and governance models for a larger uptake; and spurring social innovation in the current bioeconomy support system.

Finally, the CoPs will also act as a bridge between the local and the international perspectives of skill building and training needs for new models for industry and the economy.


Authors: Laura Fuchs-Steinhaus and Norbert Steinhaus, Bonn Science Shop