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SME Survey

A survey has been set up to get a better insight into the knowledge, information and data needs of the business community with regard to operationalising the concepts of ecosystem services and natural capital.

COMPLETE THE SURVEY »

  The SME Event: Businesses operationalising ecosystem services

WEDNESDAY 28 OCTOBER 2015, 09:00-17:30
SCOTLAND HOUSE, ROND POINT SCHUMAN 6, 1040 BRUSSELS

‘SMEs are the most important source for innovation’, said Kurt VandenBerghe, Director at the European Commission Directorate General for Research and Innovation when speaking at the OpenNESS SME event about investing in nature-based solutions. His keynote speech described in an excellent way the challenges posed by EU research funding and how small businesses play an essential role in shaping research of the future. Ecosystem services and natural capital are key elements that can drive such innovation and the event on 28 October in Brussels was set to demonstrate this point. It was also very welcome to hear Mr Vandenberghe say ‘There is no better place for DG RTD officials to be than at the OpenNESS event, as openness is the key mantra at the Directorate-General these days. The OpenNESS project does exactly what the Horizon 2020 funding programme aims to achieve: research in action!’

  Programme

After a presentation of the OpenNESS project by ECNC’s Ben Delbaere, Member of the European Parliament Sirpa Pietikäinen addressed the 30-odd participants through a video message on circular economy and the role of SMEs. Professor David Hill CBE, Chairman of The Environment Bank Ltd gave a keynote speech on opportunities for business to protect and value nature. Also he stressed that the private sector is essential to help save nature, warning that ‘If we ran a business like we’re treating biodiversity, the business would be bankrupt.’ Part of the solution to save nature therefore is to make nature economically more visible.

Countryscape’s Paul Mahony then introduced the progress in developing Oppla, an online platform in development together with the OPERAs project, and how SMEs can benefit from using the platform. This was followed by an interactive session during which participants identified potential clients, how they would reach them and how Oppla could help in this process. Guy Duke from EBL, chair of the meeting, then presented experiences from OpenNESS SMEs in working with and for ecosystem services and natural capital.

Download the full programme »

The outcome of the SME Event will feed into upcoming OpenNESS events for policy makers and the final conference in September 2016.

Take the survey  SURVEY: Analysis of the use of ES/NC knowledge by businesses

An SME survey has been set up to get a better insight into the knowledge, information and data needs of the business community with regard to operationalising the concepts of ecosystem services and natural capital. The results will help customize the outcomes of OpenNESS to support the business community, including through Oppla, a web-based platform that is currently under development.

  Speaker profiles

  Ben Delbaere Paul Mahony
  Guy Duke Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP
  Prof David Hill CBE Kurt Vandenberghe

  Powerpoint presentations

Keynotes

SME presentations