A string of pearls

across the peat lands of Europe

HISTORY OF PEAT VALLEY

PEAT VALLEY IN EIGHT QUESTIONS

1

What is Peat Valley?

PEAT is an acronym referring to: Peat regions in Economic and Agricultural Transition. VALLEY refers to the development of an international network of cooperating regional networks within Peat Regions from the UK to the Baltic. Each regional network will comprise three types of partners which together make up a ‘Golden Triangle’: Governmental bodies, knowledge institutions and entrepreneurs. Within Peat Valley each region will develop its own Golden Triangle. By organizing joint projects the partners within Peat Valley want to share and create knowledge. They can identify common areas where they can share and contribute to the transition of these regions.

 

Peat is the icon of this transregional network. Across the regions participating in Peat Valley the presence of peat and the harvesting of it have been a major factor in their current landscape, flora and fauna, agribusiness, employment and land use, and for their history through the ages.

The participants in PEAT VALLEY all work in or with organisations in wetland regions where peat exists or once existed. The partners in PEAT VALLEY share common problems, tasks, projects and products. This means that throughout Europe, schools, knowledge and research institutions, entrepreneurs and governments that live, work and recreate in these areas, encounter similar challenges, opportunities and problems. It provides an immediate connection between the regions. Combining the strength, knowledge and experience from these institutions trans-regionally when looking at shared problems or opportunities, gives rise to the exciting chance to find innovative approaches and solutions. It is a unique chance to learn from each other, innovate, share knowledge and work together in finding solutions for the same problems that occur in all the countries within this partnership.

2

Why peat as central issue?

3

Why is this international cooperation necessary?

Peatlands are often peripheral and share identical problems, tasks and products. Themes such as water management, soil fertility, the use of biobased energy, nature preservation and nature development, peat excavation and socio-economic problems are identified as characteristic for Peat regions. Solutions one region might have found already, may be valuable for the others as well. Out of the themes mentioned, the partners in PEAT VALLEY want to exchange and share knowledge, develop shared transregional projects, start innovation processes and innovative projects and exchange and develop new knowledge.

Internationalisation in education and research means establishing and maintaining contacts with foreign schools and institutions in order to promote both the exchange of knowledge as the exchange of students and teachers. That is why the knowledge institutions, as key players in this network, are all member of several international networks. But the PEAT VALLEY network has greater ambitions than simply organising a partnership between educational institutes. This new network seeks to create a European trans-national association of like-minded regions; in this case PEAT Regions. Regions with commpn products, projects and problems; comparable landscapes and soils. PEAT VALLEY connects the participating knowledge institutes and research institutions (mostly agricultural VET-school and research institutions) with involved and relevant partners such as entrepreneurs, authorities, scientific institutions in several regions. Together they form a network. This network is the basis for knowledge exchange and enables it to bring students, entrepreneurs, teachers and researchers together cooperating in transregional projects. The primary reason for so doing is to promote better education and research, Life Long Learning and attractive competitive regions for (young) people to live and to work.

4

Why are education and research institutions developing this network?

5

Why are these ‘Golden Triangles’ so important?

The participating schools and research institutions in PEAT VALLEY want to develop a deeper relationship with others involved in their own regions and in their regional tasks and economies. It is important that a sustainable partnership is created. This is an alliance with entrepreneurs and government

bodies as a part of their educational concept. PEAT VALLEY intends to develop a regional, long term, sustainable process between governmental bodies, entrepreneurs, knowledge institutes, research and the corporate sector. All parties need to learn from each other, and both physical conditions and a clear mind-set have to be achieved for this process to succeed. Students and teachers have to match their knowledge and questions to meet the needs of the other partners, and vice versa. This not simply a one-off project, but creates and ongoing learning process. The relationship between the partners is the ‘Golden Triangle’

Educational institutes that participate in this golden triangle collaboration within the “green” agriculture domain will have increased opportunity to participate in exchange programs for students/teachers, share and create new and innovative curricula and knowledge with each other, give students/staff the opportunity to participate in relevant research projects and remain up to date. The image of the educational institutes will develop a reputation as an innovative and excellent partner; a centre for innovative craftsmanship (VET) or a centre of expertise (Bachelor). Participating in an international network is a unique selling point and will secure and improve the inflow of students. Schools will be able to offer curricula that contain authentic projects in ´the real working world´, preparing students in a focussed and relevant way for the (international) labour market. Cooperation with (International) agri-business will result in up-to-date education, relevant work place internships, research studies and professional development for teachers

6

What is the benefit for the education and research institutions?

7

What is the benefit for the entrepreneurs and the region?

The underpinning purpose of the partnership is the transregionl knowledge agenda of the PEAT VALLEY partners based on the needs and opportunities presented in each area. Developing a transregional biobased strategy focused on the innovation capacity of the relevant international peat-regions creates opportunities. It leads to Business to Business development. Innovations in the bio-based arena can be transferred across the regions of each country and the students who will be educated regarding this topic. This can only be achieved by facilitating and strengthening networks and relationships between Government, entrepreneurs and knowledge institutions (our Golden Triangle). Process and product innovation is the result of this collaboration and leads to such added value for all parties involved that economic gain occurs.

- A trans-national and trans-regional network of partners drawn from PEAT regions across Northern Europe. Partners consist of representatives of knowledge institutes, government, research, AgriBusiness and the citizens from this peat-region (The trans regional Golden Triangle);

 

- Regional SWOTs of problems, possibilities, challenges and

chances, questions and innovations regarding bio-based

themes from all the partners;

 

- Regional strategies which create opportunities to move on to larger projects in bio-base and agri-business, which directly contribute to the curricula of vocational education students (the trans regional strategy).

8

What results will the PEAT VALLEY network deliver?

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