BioEco is a Graduate School in Biotechnology for a building bio-based Economy created in 2020, with the support of the Programme Investissement d’Avenir 3. It brings together 5 higher education and research establishments of Toulouse University and 2 national research centers. It aims to contribute to the development of the bioeconomy by training new actors experts in biotechnology, processes and economy.

An institute of biotechnology, and much more, based in France

BioEco is more than an institute of biotechnology, with a diverse curriculum making it a leader in studies related to the circular economy. Through exceptional training courses, long-standing partnerships, and unparalleled teaching excellence, BioEco offers a truly unique opportunity to students and professionals seeking to further their expertise with regard to the scientific studies that underpin true sustainable development.

An Institute of Circular Economy Studies with a unique offering

Being an institute of circular economy has never seemed so vital within the fields of science, technology, and engineering than at this period in history.

Climate change is truly a global phenomenon. The destruction of ecosystems, and the rapidly increasing global temperature is impossible to ignore and is, for many, a source of pessimism and despair.

However, the solutions and technology to combat these shifts already exist. Limiting greenhouse gases, decarbonising the energy infrastructure – through the development of renewables – and revising existing socio-economic models to focus on sustainability can all slow the process of changed. Taken together, one can consider these to be core principals of the circular economic framework.

The challenge is significant. Success, and the restoration of a degree of equilibrium, requires genuine change-makers in the space who have the knowledge and skills to make an impact. This circular economy university exists to serve those looking to enter this crucial sector and to further develop the skillsets of those already operating within it. BioEco’s outlook is inherently forward-thinking, and this is reflected in the holistic curriculum offering that aptly meets the professional and academic requirements of those looking to progress in careers related to the circular economy.

Much more than purely a biotech institute, as well as promoting a broad range of courses, BioEco is closely linked to the Federal University of Toulouse. Rated as the leading university city in France, Toulouse has an extensive history of research and education – one that is globally recognised – making it at highly desirable destination for international students. Ensuring BioTech students not only receive the highest standards of education but also feel settled in Toulouse is central to BioTech’s ethos. Through access to the Toul’Box, students can take advantage of airport pickups, accommodation advice and support, as well as other services to make them feel at home in the city for the duration of their studies.

A partnership-led international Institute for Sustainable Development

It is through partnerships that BioEco can be considered a principal international institute for sustainable development in France. Strong, reciprocal, partnerships with some of the foremost regional institutes for sustainable development such as INSA Toulouse, Toulouse INP, Mines d’Albi, the Federal University of Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées, the Universities of Toulouse Paul Sabatier and Capitole, allows BioEco to operate as a sustainable development university.

Each partner institute for sustainable development actively participates in the delivery of BioEco’s curriculum, and ensures all students receive a thorough grounding in this field and can take advantage of the wealth of specialist teachers and course leaders based in this region. As we so often see, collaboration underpins success when it comes to the circular economy, and at BioEco this can be seen from the top down and throughout the entire organisation.

BioEco’s sustainability-focused curriculum integrates multiple disciplines, allowing students to grasp the true nature of the world they are seeking to enter. Naturally, biology, bio economics, ethics, bioprocesses, and biological engineering play a role, but also training in leadership and project management – allowing students to not only be academically successful, but also professionally. No single subject is taught in isolation, and it is this integrated approach that makes BioEco courses stand out.

For BioEco’s curriculum to be impactful, a high degree of academic excellence among the entirety of the teaching staff is vital. From speakers to researchers to support staff, BioEco seeks out top-tier talent to deliver our courses. The teaching is further enhanced by access to a range of internationally renowned research laboratories in which students are able to extensively hone the practical skills and techniques necessary for success in this field, with a significant number of course hours allocated for this purpose.

A biotechnology institute with a difference

BioEco is far more than just an independent biotechnology institute. Given the extensive academic partnerships and the international make-up of the staff and student body, it can be considered a premier European bioeconomy university.

Biotechnology is undoubtedly at the heart of BioEco’s academic core. This is in part due to the breadth of the course offering, facilitated by the opportunity to apply learnings to other disciplines such as sustainability, renewable engineering, and circular economy studies. It also comes down to partnerships with other biochemistry universities such as the National Institute of Applied Sciences of Toulouse, the National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse, the School of Mines of Albi, the University Toulouse 3 Paul Sabatier or the University Toulouse Capitole, and the Toulouse School of Economics. The extent of these partnerships allows students to gain far more than they might by attending an independent institute of biochemistry since they have access to, and receive training, from institutions that focus on different individual specialisms within the bio-education space.

Furthermore, BioEco work alongside National Center for Applied Sciences as well as the National Research Institute for Agriculture and Environment, which allows learners to work in close proximity to genuinely impactful research and be part of the development process of the innovations of tomorrow.

Indeed, many teachers at BioEco are actively engaged in research, whether that be at one or other biotechnology engineering university, or another academic research institution in the region. This gives students the opportunity to experience research firsthand, with an access to the projects that is normally impossible to attain. BioEco only work with leading specialists, for example, economic teaching is delivered by professors and experts from the Toulouse School of Economics.

As well as offering a highly regarded master’s degree in biotechnology, BioEcho hosts an international challenge – a multi-disciplinary challenge in line with sustainable development priorities – as well as summer schools, conferences and an e-learning series.

A BioEco course is a springboard into professional-facing roles in the circular economy – it goes beyond pure academic expertise. For example, certain BioEco courses allow students to set up a company, integrate a research laboratory, an R&D department, and work with professionals in the sector to deliver projects which promote a sustainable future through chemistry, ecology, or biotechnology.

All of this, when coupled with the desirability of Toulouse as a student city, and the care and attention offered to all new students, makes BioEco, the circular economy academy  a formidable centre of learning in France – indeed, it is a global force.

Some key figures

Doctoral school
Research labs