The 2nd meeting of the High Level Steering Board (HLSB) of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) "Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability" has taken place in Brussels today (Thursday July 11).
In the presence of Commissioners Dacian Cioloș (Agriculture) and Maire Geoghegan-Quinn (Research), the meeting brought together a wide range of interested parties, from senior government officials to academics, from representatives of environmental NGOs to organisations representing all elements of the food production chain – seeds, inputs, farmers, and food industry.
Following some important preparatory work by a group of Sherpas, today’s meeting has been able to agree and adopt the Strategic Implementing Plan (SIP) for the agricultural EIP. In other words, all sides have agreed on the importance of addressing the fundamental challenge of improving our productivity in a sustainable way.
The SIP highlights the central role that innovation will play, and the importance of mobilising actors across the whole supply chain and in the scientific community to join efforts for developing innovative solutions and research results ready for application.
The SIP concludes that the EIP will only be a success if all stakeholders act together and share their ideas and experiences on innovation. Accordingly, emphasis must be given to facilitating knowledge exchange and a working flow of information at all geographical levels and in different working contexts.
Commissioner Cioloș stated: "I am particularly pleased that we have found consensus in the High Level Steering Board today. Given the range of views around the table, this highlights just how serious the challenge is, and the importance of pooling knowledge and resources in order to address the situation. For me, this is a great example of the European added value that the EU can provide, and we must now encourage all Member States and regions to put the European Innovation Partnership at the centre of their Rural Development programmes for 2014-2020. Similarly, we must encourage stakeholders to mobilise interest in the opportunities provided under the Horizon 2020 programme."