Why CASTLE?

By 2020 the increasing demand for biomass as a feedstock for fuel, fibre and food will have measurable economic, environmental and social effects. The forest-based sector is responding to the competition for biomass with innovative products, such as renewable chemicals produced in biorefineries. The agricultural sector is also reinforcing innovations based on fast growing biomass crops. Such innovations may bear completely new bio-based production systems, the long-term impact of which on environment, economic viability and social cohesion is difficult to foresee. Policy makers, business and civil society organisations urge to safeguard the sustainability of new production systems. Hence, sustainability assessment methods that quantify environmental, economic and social impacts are needed for the bio-based economy.

However, so far academic training insufficiently reflects the relevance of sustainability impact assessment in business and policy making. “Careers in Sustainability Excellence” (CASTLE) closes this gap as it combines scientific innovative problem-oriented research and practical training of young academics on methods used for sustainability impact assessments in the bio-energy and forest-based sector in Europe. CASTLE educates sustainability experts for the broader bio-based economy.

The scientific program of CASTLE refines and improves state-of-the art sustainability assessment methods and applies them to current sustainability challenges in industry and policy making. With its training program CASTLE imparts a wide range of methods and skills. It covers, among other topics, assessments of direct environmental, economic and social sustainability impacts like GHG-emissions, carbon footprint, structures beneficial for biological diversity, water consumption and pollution, land use, value added.

The CASTLE project has recruited 14 full time Early Stage Researchers. The positions are located at 9 partner institutes in 5 different countries and ESRs are representing 11 different nationalities. The ESRs are hired under up to 36 months employment contracts . The ESRs have an opportunity to understand the demands of sustainability from the point of view of both science and the business world.

FUNDING:

CASTLE project has recived research funding from the European Union's programme called Marie Curie Actions. Marie Curie Fellowships are European research grants available to researchers regardless of their nationality and field of research. In addition to generous fellowships, researchers have the possibility to gain experience abroad and in the private sector, and to complete their training with competences or disciplines useful for their careers. Marie Curie Initial Training Networks offer early-stage researchers the opportunity to improve their research skills, join established research teams and enhance their career prospects.

Read more about the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions from here!