European institutions have taken steps to bring research closer to practice and close the innovation gap through the Horizon 2020 Programme: the European Framework programme for research and innovation. Research activities must answer more effectively the needs of the farmers, foresters, up and downstream industry, advisors, rural people and businesses and consumers. The European Commission has started a strategic programming exercise which will lead to the adoption of the Horizon 2020 work programme 2016-2017 in July 2015 and wished to consult stakeholders at a very early stage.
The aim of the workshop was to prepare the ground for the priorities of the Horizon 2020 work programme for 2016/2017 with regards to societal challenge 2 "Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry". Its results were combined with other inputs to feed into European Commission's proposal for strategic priorities regarding agriculture, forestry, food and the bio-economy.
The workshop concentrated on the Horizon 2020 challenges that are of highest relevance to the Common Agricultural Policy:
- Sustainable agriculture and forestry (2.1);
- Sustainable and competitive agri-food sector for a safe and healthy diet (2.2);
- 'Sustainable and competitive bio-based industries and supporting the development of the European bio-economy' (2.4).
More specifically, the objective was to collect the contributions of participants working together on identifying research and innovation needs related to practical problems faced on the ground, and identifying priority areas for future research activities to be funded under Horizon 2020.
The conference brought together around 80 people representing a variety of organisations involved in the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural productivity and sustainability (EIP-AGRI):
- Farmers and foresters;
- Representatives of upstream and downstream industry (food and non-food);
- Consumers and animal welfare organisations;
- European or international rural development organisations;
- Environmental organisations;
- Representatives of advisory services;
- Researchers and academics;
- European Commission services.
- Guidance for participants
- Extracts of the Horizon 2020 specific programme regarding societal challenge 2
- Setting priorities for European research funding: the strategic programming process , Elisabetta Balzi, European Commission DG Research and technological development, Deputy Head of unit F1 'Strategy' for Bioeconomy
- The Horizon 2020 specific programme: scope and challenges for agriculture, forestry, food and the bioeconomy , Annette Schneegans, European Commission, DG Agriculture and Rural development, Unit research and innovation
- Article: "Which strategic priorities for agronomic and forestry research for 2016-2017"
- Final workshop report