Break the bubble of EU-projects
The new European programme for Research and Innovation is starting. All over Europe there are kick off events these weeks. Many of them are about raising the impact of European projects on climate change, sustainable production, health and inclusiveness: so called impact pathways, to stay in European lingo.
But how to make the step from big words in a European project proposal to true impact in the society? What is needed, is to break the bubble of EU-projects, to better collaborate with existing networks of entrepreneurs and build platforms of stakeholders which are regionally rooted.
How to increase the outreach and impact of EU-project on climate change, environment and sustainable agriculture was the discussion of the IMPACT-SC5 workshop, on Tuesday March 25th 2021.
Impact-SC5 made an impact assessment of European (Horizon 2020) projects in the societal challenges “Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials” and “Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, Maritime and Inland Water Research and the Bioeconomy”. The aim of the workshop was to discuss the preliminary findings of this assessment and set some recommendations to improve the impact in the future. Casper Zulim de Swarte, sr. advisor food transition, was invited as an expert on European projects in the area of food and agriculture to be part of this workshopI panel.
It is true that European projects tend to form their own bubble. In the same time, these European projects are inspiring and ambitious, they require an understanding of the European-way of working because often they form their own language. It is very easy and very tempting to get stuck in the European project bubble
The scientific impact of these projects is usually very high. But, because of this bubble, the impact on policy makers and businesses needs to be improved. In order to increase the impact most EU-project invite outsiders in: they invite policy makers and business to come to their workshops and conferences. What needs to happen is that the EU-project reach out, so they collaborate with existing networks and form bonds with all type of stakeholders to get their message across.
This means investing in stakeholder management, investing in relations and searching for a shared interest with your stakeholders to make a connection. This is exactly what we are doing at Schuttelaar & Partner with our European projects. The community we are building in Horizon 2020 projects is based on a real assessment of the ecosystem, their needs, and interests. All relevant stakeholders are involved from the beginning and they work together for a mutual goal. If you are looking for a real breaker in this EU world, check out the SmartAgriHubs project.