Industrial Ecology is an emerging interdisciplinary field combining natural, technical and social sciences in a systems view at scale levels from the global to the local. Its core concept is the analogy between processes in nature (biosphere) and processes in society (techno-sphere). Evolution has resulted in a highly efficient use of materials and energy in biosphere systems: waste from one process is a resource for another. In today's society, resources are exploited, producing unusable waste streams and release of pollutants to soil, water, and air, leading to complex sustainability problems. Society might take lessons from the biosphere to solve these problems.
The MIND programme (ERASMUS MUNDUS Master's programme in Industrial Ecology) is a new two-year programme with 120 ECTS, offering a unique Industrial Ecology education for up to 15 Third-country and up to 10 EU students per edition. Those maximal 25 students can study at two or three universities of the MIND consortium, representing seven universities.
The objective of the MIND programme is to train students
- to conduct industrial ecology analyses of such complex sustainability problems,
- to design industrial ecology solutions for these problems and
- to develop implementation strategies for those solutions identified.
Therefore, MIND is in the heart of the EU needs of the "Europe 2020 strategy", because due to the current sustainability problems and imminent EU and global transitions in energy systems, food systems etc. there is a great need for Industrial Ecology trained persons that have a grasp of the complexities of the field of sustainable development.
The MIND programme combines the expertise and experience of prominent groups in the area of Industrial Ecology research, within and outside the EU. MIND will be the first international master programme in Industrial Ecology worldwide.