- Meeting point
- Focus groups
The European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI) has been launched in 2012 to contribute to the European Union's strategy 'Europe 2020' for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. This strategy sets the strengthening of research and innovation as one of its five main objectives and supports a new interactive approach to innovation: European Innovation Partnerships.
Having an idea is one thing, turning it into an innovation action is another. Different types of available funding sources can help get an agricultural innovation project started, such as the European Rural Development policy or the EU's research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. The EIP-AGRI contributes to integrating different funding streams so that they contribute together to a same goal and duplicate results.
Rural Development will in particular support Operational Groups and Innovation Support Services within a country or region. Horizon 2020 will fund multi-actor projects and thematic networks involving partners from at least three EU countries. Other policies may offer additional opportunities.
The EIP-AGRI brings together innovation actors (farmers, advisers, researchers, businesses, NGOs and others) at EU level and within the rural development programmes (RDPs). Together they form an EU-wide EIP network. EIP Operational Groups can be funded under the RDPs, are project-based and tackle a certain (practical) problem or opportunity which may lead to an innovation. The Operational Group approach makes the best use of different types of knowledge (practical, scientific, technical, organisational, etc.) in an interactive way. An Operational Group is composed of those key actors that are in the best position to realise the project's goals, to share implementation experiences and to disseminate the outcomes broadly. The first Operational Groups are currently being set up in several EU countries and regions.
The Rural Networks' Assembly, which was launched in January 2015, coordinates two networks - the EIP-AGRI Network and the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD). The Assembly includes several subgroups, one of them being the permanent Subgroup on Innovation for agricultural productivity and sustainability. This Subgroup on Innovation will support the EIP-AGRI Network.
The EIP-AGRI website has exciting and interactive features. All visitors can voice their research needs, discover funding opportunities for innovation projects and look for partners to connect with.
Through the website's interactive functions, users can share innovative project ideas and practices, information about research and innovation projects, including projects' results, by filling in the available easy-to-use e-forms. Various EIP-AGRI-related publications are available for download on the website, providing visitors with information on a wide range of interesting topics.
Future functionalities will be developed for Operational Groups and European funds managing authorities once the programmes start. Through this collaborative effort, the EIP-AGRI website will become a one-stop-shop for agricultural innovation in Europe.
The EIP-AGRI network is run by the European Commission (DG Agriculture and Rural Development) with the help of the EIP-AGRI Service Point. The Service Point offers a wide range of tools and services which can help you further your ideas and projects. It also facilitates networking activities; enhancing communication, knowledge sharing and exchange through conferences, Focus Groups, workshops, seminars and publications.
The success of the EIP also depends on members of the EIP-AGRI Network helping to expand it, enrich it and make it work. We have therefore prepared a tool-kit which you can easily use to share information about the EIP-AGRI with your own network.
If you are participating in or hosting an event, or have good practices to share with the network, please let us know and we will add it to our rolling Agricultural Innovation Calendar and newsletter.