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PlantHUB Training

PlantHUB training picture

PlantHUB provided a PhD training programme at the interface of plant production and responsible innovation by placing promising research into the context of commercial exploitation. The non-academic partners offered formal and informal learning activities in R&D processes, industrial plant breeding and associated facilities and quality management.

All PlantHUB PhD students were matriculated at ETH Zurich, UZH or UBASEL and enrolled in the three-year structured doctoral programme “PhD Programme in Plant Sciences”.

Network-wide training courses

Stakeholder Engagement

In this course, students learned how to build and work with a multi-stakeholder group.
Learning objectives:

  • Gain basic understanding of Stakeholder Engagement and multi-stakeholder processes
  • Get an overview of possible issues within natural sciences where stakeholder engagement could play a role
  • Learn to identify and analyse stakeholders
  • Understand the different possibilities and forms of involvement the government uses to engage stakeholders
  • Know different levels of involvement and how to plan them; understand their strengths and weaknesses
  • Know criteria and methods for evaluating stakeholder engagement processes

Lecturers: Dr. Minu Hemmati, Berlin, and Dr. Luisa Last, PSC

Innovation Management

The course introduced tools and skills for the management of innovation processes. Learning objectives:

  • Gain an understanding of different processes and strategies used in innovation management (Design-driven Innovation, Open. Closed Innovation, …)
  • Apply creative methods to reflect, collaborate and present research work (Visual Thinking, Lego Serious Play),
  • Understand the role trends can play to inspire new ideas and opportunities,
  • Build their own business cases (Business Model Canvas), and
  • Reflect on the potential implications innovation management has for their research project.

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Andreas Peter, University for Applied Science St.Gallen.


The course introduced practical tools to create and set up innovative products and businesses.
Learning objectives:

  • Foster entrepreneurial mindset
  • Understand the process of commercial exploitation of research results
  • Create idea and identify opportunities internally and externally for enterprises Develop motivation to take forward enterprising ideas
  • Is aware of supporting institutions providing targeted training and coaching to startups

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Lukas Schmid, Head of the Institute for Innovation, Design and Engineering (IDEE-FHS), University for Applied Science St.Gallen.

Making the most out of my research – Patents and other things I cannot afford to ignore

This course introduced basic knowledge on IP protection, patent law, challenges related to IP in an academic environment and in a spin-off company, ethical considerations.
Learning objectives:

  • Gain a sufficient understanding of copyright, IPR, licensing as they apply to own research;
  • Has a sufficient understanding on the role of patents and IPR for the transfer of knowledge in our society

Lecturer: Prof. Heinz Müller, Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property.

How can you make Open Data work in your own research projects?

During this capacity building workshop, students were introduced to the concept of Open Data, Fair Data Principles and Standards, alongside the Open Data Repositories at EU, UZH and ETHZ. Moreover, they familiarise with a list of key considerations for putting together an Open Data Strategy for their research results. This includes putting together a data management plan, data ecosystem mapping and consultancy for creating data ecosystems for agricultural programmes, building and working with data sharing agreements, data inventories and data trusts.

The course included theoretical input, workshops, consultancy, group and cases study work for data from agriculture, plant breeding and isotope analysis.

Learning objectives:

  • Foster entrepreneural mind-set;
  • Increase awareness of the value of open data and the processes that need to be in place for an effective data management plan;
  • Challenge participants to think about future opportunities for open data in the area of plant breeding and production;
  • Applied their knowledge to understand and explain where and how the use of data creates value.

Lecturers: Violeta Mezeklieva, Data Trainer, Open Data Institute, London UK and

                 Stefanie Strebel, Data Services & Open Access, University of Zurich

Summer School

During the PlantHUB Summer School the PhD students implemented the responsible research and innovation framework (RRI) of the European Union in exemplary research fields of plant sciences, including plant breeding, smart farming, digitalization in agriculture or genome editing (CRISPR/Cas-method). During Case study work they reflected on a science-in-society research process that includes the following dimensions: Anticipating a wide range of possible futures with the public and stakeholders. Become reflective about involved values and interests. Opening the research process to all actors, providing them with meaningful information, including different perspectives and expertise across a diversity of communities. And, be responding and adapting research to societal needs and views. They also had the opportunity to reflect on their own research projects.

Summer School 2018: Responsible Research and Innovation in Plant Science, flyer (PDF, 1 MB)

Publication: Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in Plant Sciences. Proceedings of the PlantHUB Summer School 2018



Weiterführende Informationen


Network-wide training activities

All PlantHUB network-wide training activities have been summarized in the PlantHUB deliverable D35, published in December 2019 by the PlantHUB programme office.


PlantHUB Annual Meetings

The three PlantHUB Annual Meetings have been summarized in the PlantHUB deliverable D33, published in December 2019 by the PlantHUB programme office.


PlantHUB Company site visit

The PlantHUB company site visit to the Carlsberg Research Laboratory have been summarized in the PlantHUB deliverable D36, published in February 2020 by the PlantHUB programme office.

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Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in Plant Sciences

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