European Research in Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Alain Fayolle and Kiril Todorov
Chapter 5: Probioprise: Engaging Entrepreneurs in Formulating Research and Innovation Policy at the European Level
David Watkins INTRODUCTION Probioprise1 is a project commissioned by the EU Directorate General for Research. Its goal is to identify a research programme which will assist entrepreneurs in simultaneously meeting two major planks of EU policy: the Lisbon Agenda, which seeks to make Europe globally more competitive by encouraging enterprising behaviour; and the Gothenburg Declaration, which aims to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity in Europe by 2010. Normally, such objectives would appear to be in potential conflict, since enterprise and environmental concerns are not seen as natural bed-fellows. In a counter-intuitive leap of faith, the focus of the project is to identify and work with smaller enterprises, and potential enterprises, which benefit from the sustainable exploitation of biodiversity as a key resource (probiodiversity enterprises, hence Probioprise). The focus is on such firms in protected areas (such as National Parks, Natura2000 locations and Ramsar sites). These sites tend to be located in some of the most rural areas of Europe and are often extremely peripheral in economic and social terms, as well as geographically. The research programme proposed will form one input to the development of EU’s Framework 7 and subsequent Framework programmes; it is itself supported under Framework 6 as part of the work programme of EU DG Research. The Commission makes special efforts to involve SMEs in the Framework. Probioprise is being undertaken by a consortium of European NGOs. Both Fauna and Flora International (FFI) and the European Bureau for Conservation and Development (EBCD) are environmental groups....
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