Speeding-up the agro-ecological transition requires a strengthening of research infrastructures and open innovation initiatives, such as living labs, with the potential to trigger large-scale change.
To meet increasing societal requirements as well as food insecurity challenges, agriculture must address the environmental and climate change issues relating to primary production.
Proposals shall develop the framework for a European network of agro-ecological living labs (LL) and research infrastructures (RI). Such a framework should make it possible to grasp long-term agro-ecological processes at landscape level and would accelerate the transition to sustainable farming practices by promoting place-based innovation in a co-creative environment.
- Proposals should analyse how existing funding sources (including Horizon 2020, rural and regional development funds) are mobilised to support agro-ecological research and innovation initiatives approaches.
- They should explore the interest of regional and national funders in supporting such activities in the long run and provide recommendations on the funding sources that could be combined and under which conditions (e.g. application requirements, monitoring and evaluation), looking for synergies and coherence.
- Proposals shall identify needs for training on LL/RI methods.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU up to EUR 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
This topic aims at mapping, analysing and providing recommendations to strengthen the European agro-ecological research and innovation ecosystem. In the short term, the project should:
- provide a structured framework for the development of an initiative that develops synergies in this area at European level;
- increase connections in the agro-ecological community and, if mature, prepare the community for the implementation of this initiative;
- prepare the funders and raise their capacity to mobilise complementary funding sources;
- improve the human and social capital as well as skills and methods for the development of living labs and research infrastructures in the field of agro-ecology;
- improve capacity to tailor policy interventions to specific situations based on stronger evidence.
In the medium/long term, the project should provide for research and innovation projects and initiatives to benefit from the work of the network in terms of engagement of the relevant actors as well as availability of long-term-series and landscape level data regarding agro-ecological processes.
22 January 2020 at 17:00 Brussels time