DEFINING PROBLEMS AND CHALLENGES IN THE FIELD OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES

C. Aviles1, A. Leonardi2, M.C. Gimenez1, D. Pettenella2, A. Rubio1, Y. Ambrosio1, J. Garcia Alfonso1, R. Laina1, M.P. Arraiza1, J.L. García1, L. Gómez1, M. López1

1Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
2Università di Padova (ITALY)
The majority of innovative businesses base their success on creating value through better use of intangible assets. Ecosystem Services constitute the most valuable intangible assets on earth and forests are the most precious Natural Capital in Europe. Most of well-known Forest and Environmental Policy and Economics (FEPE) university departments have developed several methodologies and tools connected with Marketing and Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (MEEB) and in general with nature-based economy. However, universities curricula lack of knowledge transfer initiatives that allow the real commercialization of new processes, methods and services for the development of market-based mechanism for ecosystem service conservation. Therefore, the project aims to make the knowledge triangle a reality in the field of MEEB, providing sustainable business opportunities and real benefits for the environment.

In the framework of ERAMUS+ Knowledge Alliances, ECOSTAR project will achieve its goals through the following main actions:
• Delivering a series of specialized entrepreneurship and innovation trainings targeted to MEEB through multidisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning
• Facilitate the co-creation of knowledge, through staff and learners mobility, an EU Business Plan Award, lobby and fundraising
• Create an EU wide research and enterprise alliance to make a knowledge triangle a reality in the field of MEEB

Results will have a strong EU-global dimension and transferability potential, capitalizing on existing wide university-business networks and ecosystems markets and tools, in US and worldwide.

Acknowledgement:
This work has been funded by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), through the project number 562358-EPP-1-2015-1-IT-EPPKA2-KA (ECOSTAR).