The University twofold mission of teaching and research has been slowly changing in Europe towards turning innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship into economic engine and social development. However, the two separate worlds - Industry and Academia require cooperative models, which are more responsive, more flexible, and optimal for advancing the social interest of commercializing technological innovations and encouraging entrepreneurship. As a result, there is a growing need for European universities to develop novel and rapid links between scientific innovation and technology transfer and serve a ‘third-mission’ of contributing to European economic development and securing Europe’s global competitiveness.

Entrepreneurship education is the first and arguably the most important step for embedding an innovative culture in Europe. Entrepreneurship is not only about natural traits, but it can be taught and teaching may contribute to shaping entrepreneurial attitudes and skills. At the university level, teaching entrepreneurship should be targeted not only at business but also at non-business students (agriculture sciences, engineering, biotechnology, etc). Students and researchers who take part in the business startup process will learn much more than those attending traditional classroom lectures. Therefore, BIOINNO will capture lessons learned from previous projects carried out by its Partners and will use mixed methods in teaching dynamic entrepreneurship (growth-oriented, innovative, knowledge-based), which are expected to be most effective.

Innovation is about entrepreneurial solutions to global changes. University research is critical to a knowledge-based society. It accounts for new commercial products and new innovation-based growth. BIOINNO is a Knowledge Alliance European project which brings together a knowledge and innovation community through partnership across Europe. It is an initiative to connect academia with business/industry. It guides students through innovative entrepreneurial learning and help the students by placing them in Corporate.

The European Union will achieve its highest economic performance during the difficult years ahead merely by fostering and promoting entrepreneurial activity in every sector of the economy and every state of the Union. The past two decades have witnessed the powerful emergence of entrepreneurial activity in the biotechnology sector. Therefore, this proposal focuses on teaching ‘biotechnology entrepreneurship’ with an emphasis in innovative biotechnology applications in agriculture, food supply, and bioenergy & bio-based products.

Biotechnologists play a vital role in building the 21st century biotechnology enterprises that will create solutions and jobs critical to solving the large, complex, and interdisciplinary problems faced by society.

Besides, biotechnologies are adding value to a host of products and services, producing in part what some have labelled the “bio-economy”. Therefore, in the long run, BIOINNO will make major socioeconomic contributions in Europe. Its multidisciplinary partnership will also focus on the synergistic interaction between green and white biotechnology that is expected to lead to substantial science and innovation progress in the transition from the present fossil-based economy to a bio-based economy in Europe. The bio-economy’s success is not, however, guaranteed: harnessing its potential will require coordinated policy action by higher education universities, industry and governments to reap the benefits of the biotechnology revolution. To make this happen - and to provide brand-new alternatives to traditional models in European education - a more entrepreneurial approach to education is sorely needed. BIOINNO will bring together thought leaders from industry, academia, and government to teach entrepreneurship. It will ensure that university students and staff will receive ample training in entrepreneurship that could greatly enhance their creative and innovative potential. Consequently, it will spread the spirit of enterprise by providing educational activities to inspire and build skills in the practice of entrepreneurship. 

BIOINNO’s multi-disciplinary approach will deliver to our students and staff the full picture of entrepreneurship. Carefully designed entrepreneurship programs and training sessions will also ensure an harmonized cross-national design. BIOINNO will help to establish far-reaching goals for increasing the role of entrepreneurship in bio-based energy and products in EU’s economy. The ultimate success will have at least three entrepreneurial components: (i) large businesses with mature industries will reinvent themselves and thrive. Besides, they will learn to become entrepreneurial; (ii) the blossom of new entrepreneurial companies in European countries; (iii) smaller firms will be founded across Europe, including many to be established by women, minorities, and immigrants. Together these small firms will make a formidable contribution to the European economy.

BIOINNO project proposal idea was born out of a desire to launch specific strategies to promote entrepreneurship education in biotechnology in Europe. Its key to success is the establishment of the consortium in which competent partners with diverse backgrounds will combine their complementary expertise to create novel entrepreneurship education models. The University of Tuscia with its Department for Innovation in Biological, Agro-food and Forest systems (DIBAF) scientists’ experience, it stresses the need for entrepreneurship education to create a Knowledge Alliance in the emerging scientific field, biotechnology. The importance of Entrepreneurship education in biotechnology was recently (16 January 2013) highlighted by a motion from the Italian Ministry of Education and Research and The National University Council as "a model of collaboration between university, industry and the business world. BIOINNO fits within the developmental strategies of all partners involved. Interestingly, by combining the expertise of DIBAF in Intellectual Property Rights and Technology Transfer in biotechnology, The CfEL expertise in entrepreneurship practical learning, Emerald Marketing expertise in cross-cultural communication, Plantijn Hogeschool expertise in adult education, vocational education and training, SPYGEN expertise in innovative biotechnological applications, BDA expertise in dissemination and exploitation, SPACE large networking capability, and ADAPT/InCrops enterprise hub will make this work. Besides, BIOINNO partners build specific experience within the EURENT "European House of Entrepreneurs" (LdV TOI) project that BIOINNO will capitalize on. In addition, CfEL will bring the experience made within the EU-funded project CAL4INO (Creative Activities for Innovation in Learning) for measuring creative learning activities.