Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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Agriculture & Forestry

Agriculture & Forestry
Economic growth and an ever rising world population put pressure on food demands and agricultural products. To feed nearly 9 billion people by 2050, a new vision is needed to ensure food supply, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity through agriculture.

Agriculture and forestry are integral parts of the European economy and society. They provide the basis for food, feed and non-food products to meet the demands of consumers and a wide range of industries. With about 70% of the EU land area covered by forests or in agricultural use, primary production activities have a huge impact on the integrity of rural areas in terms of preserving the natural capital, quality of life, and job creation.

Productivity in the agricultural and forestry sectors has seen a remarkable growth in the past decades, partly at the expense of the environment. A rising world population along with economic growth and changing consumption patterns are further increasing demand for primary products. This pressure on agricultural productivity is happening against the backdrop of dwindling natural resources and the effects of an increasingly variable climate.

Reconciling production with the sustainable management of land and other natural resources is considered as being the major challenge for current and future agriculture and forestry systems. Research and innovation are crucial to support the move towards more sustainable, "triple performing" types of primary production which embrace economic, social and environmental objectives.

To rise to the challenge, research and demonstration activities will encourage cooperation across basic and applied research disciplines, as well as between researchers, practitioners, businesses and other stakeholders. The resulting innovations should benefit a diverse primary production sector and ensure that high quality products and services continue to be delivered in sustainable ways.

The proposed research is organised around the following headings:

  • Increasing production efficiency and coping with climate change, while ensuring sustainability and resilience
  • Providing ecosystem services and public goods
  • Empowerment of rural areas, support to policies and rural innovation
  • Sustainable forestry

Search for funding opportunities related to agriculture and forestry in the Participant Portal.



From 24/11/2015 - 01:00 to 27/11/2015 - 01:00
Brussels, Belgium,

Participate in the Brussels info-week on 24-27 November and learn more about the new Horizon 2020 work programme 2016/2017 for Societal Challenge 2: Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, maritime and martime inland water research and bio-economy. Read more

24/11/2015 - 01:00
Brussels, Belgium,

The multi-actor approach is an innovative concept which was introduced in Horizon 2020 for the first time in 2014 for agriculture and forestry projects. The European Commission is now organising a workshop to share experience with the first multi-actor-project coordinators and inspire new applicants. Read more


07/11/2014 - 17:10

Plants are able to sense different parameters like the gravitational field, electrical fields or chemicals gradients. This huge amount of information could be made intelligible for surprising purposes. Read more

27/05/2014 - 17:51

This short video animation will guide you through the first steps you will need to take to apply to Horizon 2020. Read more

27/05/2014 - 17:32

Find out more about Horizon 2020 in this three minute animation clip which will give you a general overview of the programme specifics. Read more


25/09/2015 - 13:58

On 25 September, the Commission launched an online survey to gather opinions from stakeholders on the impact of the simplification measures introduced in Horizon 2020, and to ask for new ideas on future simplification. Read more

06/07/2015 - 17:58

By 1 December 2014 the first 100 calls had closed. What can we tell about the popularity of the programme, the success of SMEs, the degree to which the programme has attracted newcomers - both as participants and as expert evaluators - the proportion of women experts and the speed with which contracts have been signed? See this new page to find out more! Read more

18/06/2015 - 02:00

Challenges faced by farming systems today, such as climate change, food security, emerging diseases or rural transitions need a long-term strategy. The European Commission kicks-off the discussion on how this strategy could be elaborated at a workshop in Milan that can be followed on-line. Read more

Project stories

05/10/2015 - 02:00

Shrimp heads, crab carapaces, lobster shells — many billion tonnes of shellfish waste are generated globally per year. Very little of it is put to good use. This could be about to change, as EU-funded researchers have developed an innovative way to transform this briny refuse into plastic. Read more

18/09/2015 - 17:50

Legumes fix nitrogen in the soil, helping other plants to thrive. But do they get anything in return? Indeed they do, says EU-funded research, if they’re combined with suitable non-leguminous crops. Read more

18/09/2015 - 14:30

EU-funded researchers are looking to commercialise cutting-edge technology that converts toxic olive oil waste into heat and electricity, bringing environmental and economic benefits to some of the most underdeveloped regions of Europe. Read more


25/09/2015 - 17:40

Horizon 2020 is the EU’s biggest ever programme for research and innovation, and it has got off to an excellent start. This brochure presents information on the first 100 calls for proposals that closed by 1 December 2014. Read more

24/09/2015 - 20:03

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever. Almost €80 billion of funding is available over seven years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private and national public investment that this money will attract. This publication presents the full set of Key Performance and Cross-Cutting Issues Indicators for Horizon 2020, including those for the European Institute of Technology and EURATOM. Read more

01/04/2015 - 13:30

For three decades, the EU Framework Programmes have been funding breakthroughs across Europe. RTD’s Horizon Magazine looks at the people and events that have helped shape European research policy, taking you behind the scenes during the pivotal moments from the last 30 years of research funding. These articles have been brought together into a special Horizon supplement to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Framework Programmes. Read more

Press Release

05/02/2015 - 16:40

With the support of the European Research Council (ERC) "Proof of Concept" grants, 59 researchers in Europe will now get the chance to turn their inventions into viable products. Read more