Did you know that Essential Oils (EOs) have been used in many parts of the world for centuries? EOs are produced by plants and can be employed in food and beverage, cosmetics and toiletries, home and health care, and are also increasingly used in medication. Due to their health benefits, their demand is expected to rise rapidly.
The ‘European Hub on New Challenges in the Field of Essential Oils’ (EOHUB), supported by Erasmus+, encourages European specialisation in the EO sector. It does so by bringing together higher education institutions, research centres and technological companies to provide trainings and support for young scientists working towards entrepreneurship, innovation and conservation in the field of EOs.
To achieve their goals, EOHUB has developed a long-term collaboration scheme between relevant EO actors . The alliance further worked on identifying best practices from successful EO producers and transformers while building up a virtual learning environment to facilitate experimental learning and research. The partners successfully integrated innovative and entrepreneurial aspects into their activities, thereby boosting the labour market.
Main results of the project
- An interactive and practical e-Learning platform where you can find an expert course on essential oils and entrepreneurship;
- During the EOHUB summer school, selected students were able to meet and learn from EO experts and gain insight into the work of related companies;
- A strong long-term interaction scheme between enterprises and higher education institutions, facilitating the exchange among front-runners, researchers and businesses in the field of EOs.
Q&A with EOHUB project coordination team: Dr. José L. García, Clara Cordón, Martín Giménez
How did you come up with the idea for EOHUB?
EOHUB was the brainchild of our colleague Maria Paz Arraiza, an expert in essential oils and professor at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Her passion and enthusiasm were instrumental in preparing this proposal.
What was the most challenging moment during the implementation of EOHUB?
The biggest challenge for EOHUB was when our team leader, Maria Paz Arraiza, passed away while the project was already underway. Jose L. Garcia Rodriguez had to assume leadership of the project with the support of all project partners. Additionally, the pandemic posed a significant challenge as we had to adjust our way of working, replacing face-to-face meetings with online ones. However, we learned to overcome these challenges by strengthening ties and cooperation among all partners.
From your perspective, how is the project contributing to the beneficiaries' real-life and activities? Could you provide an example?
The result of our work in the EOHUB project is the EOHUB course, which is now in its second edition, coordinated by the University of Liege and Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, with the involvement of all EOHUB partners. This achievement is a source of pride for all of us who participated in the process.
And what was the most rewarding moment?
The completion of the project with the summer school. We had the opportunity to send students from different countries to Budapest as a award for their hard work during the EOHUB course. This was a really gratifying experience for the entire consortium.
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