Education for an Emerging Biofuels Sector

labcoatsStrategy 8 in North Carolina’s Strategic Plan for Biofuels Leadership recognizes the need for a plan for education to support the development of this new sector.

The biofuels value chain connects sectors of the economy in new ways to science, technology, industry and the workforce. A broad range of highly-specialized subject matter is necessary for this new sector, both as science and research as well as in the practical implementation of that knowledge in fields and factories.  Support for education will needed to address this new knowledge economy to ensure North Carolina has the intellectual, academic and technical training to meet its needs. 

Additionally, the new social media tools need to be harnessed to share useful information so that drivers, citizens and consumers are able to make educated choices about the fuels they use in their daily driving, where they come from, and the impact petroleum dependence has on the North Carolina economy.

To make North Carolina a biofuels leader, educational offerings and institutions will need to be integrated and connected to the workplace – whether in the field, forest, laboratory, greenhouse, manufacturing arena, distribution infrastructure, or retail space.

The Biofuels Center has some initial goals about how it can be a resource to the state in education for the biofuels sector.  They are:

  • To help catalyze education and training for the biofuels sector
  • To interest young students in biofuels-related science and research
  • To support biofuels-related science, research and development
  • To help create a well-trained workforce
  • To educate the public about the strategic, economic and environmental need for biofuels as a replacement to imported petroleum