A pan-European research project led by University of Limerick has received €4.98 million in funding from the European Commission.
Associate Professor John Garvey from the Department of Accounting and Finance in the Kemmy Business School will lead the BIOFIN consortium comprising 14 partners across 10 EU countries, and which has been funded by Horizon Europe.
BIOFIN (Biodiversity Restoration Using Large-Scale Finance) is a three-year project and will use a systems approach to identify the barriers to mobilising mainstream finance to protect and restore biodiversity.
It will create a unifying framework and technology that creates improved conditions for nature-positive investments and will develop new tools and knowledge to help redirect financial resources from destructive economic activity (such as the continued use of fossil fuels) towards nature-positive investment.
The current financial system values certainty of rules and regulations coupled with efficiency for outcome transparency and low monitoring costs.
However, activities that protect and restore biodiversity such as nature-based solutions, are frequently unique, involving multiple actors working on a small or local scale that result in positive but complex outcomes.
This research will look at changing the system to establishing a categorisation of nature-based solutions (NBS) alongside a menu of good governance structures and a library of stakeholder engagement.
This will draw on expertise and best practice in natural capital and economics to streamline decision making and accelerate transaction completion by standardising the investment process and creating the enabling conditions for large-scale finance.
To accelerate nature-positive business models, a data analytics and underwriting engine will be established to advance conventional project appraisal and risk assessment and account for and model expected outcomes.
Associate Professor John Garvey said: “We will assess and validate our approach across diverse real-life case studies or learning sites. Our findings and approach will initiate a twin green and digital transition that resolves the current transaction complexity and create the conditions to enable large-scale investment that are required if the EU is to achieve its biodiversity goals.
“Our outcomes will identify remaining gaps in the Taxonomy and support policy forming through evidence-based recommendations and we will co-design, develop and establish pathways for skills and knowledge accelerators for the European financial services industry.”
Welcoming the announcement Professor Finbarr Murphy, Executive Dean, Kemmy Business School said: “BIOFIN is the first successful KBS-led large-scale consortium under this specific European Commission Funding mechanism and a major milestone for the school.
“This research will act as a catalyst of nature-positive investments and the proposed work will significantly contribute to resolving biodiversity challenges. It is no wonder that the submission received the maximum score for impact from the European Commission.
“With Professor Garvey as principal investigator of BIOFIN, I have no doubt that the consortium will produce highly impactful research and societal benefits.”
The study, ‘How Polarization Extends to New Topics: An Agent-Based Model Derived from Experimental Data’, by Dino Carpentras, Adrian Lüders, Paul Maher, Caoimhe O’Reilly and Mike Quayle, has just been published in the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulations. Read the full article here: https://www.jasss.org/26/3/2.html.