Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, Maritime and Inland Water Research and the Bioeconomy

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A transition is needed towards an optimal and renewable use of biological resources and towards sustainable primary production and processing systems. These systems will need to produce more food, fibre and other bio-based products with minimised inputs, environmental impact and greenhouse gas emissions, and with enhanced ecosystem services, zero waste and adequate societal value.

Agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, together with the bio-based industries, are integral parts of the European economy and society. Relying on the use of limited natural resources, these sectors produce and process biological resources to satisfy the demand of consumers and a wide range of industries for food, feed, bio-energy and bio-based products. While they enhance Europe’s self-reliance and provide jobs and business opportunities essential for rural, coastal and marine areas, these sectors are also facing significant challenges which require solutions based on research and innovation.
 

Agriculture and forestry

Agriculture and forestry have always had and maintain an important role for EU’s society: they supply reliable, healthy and nutritious food as well as feed and non-food products for a wide range of industries, shape and take care of our landscapes, provide public goods, and keep the countryside alive by providing jobs. Research activities and policies will help to cope with the three main challenges these sectors are facing today: securing viable food production in face of a growing world food demand; ensuring sustainable management of natural resources and climate action; and finally to contribute to a balanced territorial development of the EU’s rural areas and their communities.
 

Agri-food sector for a safe and healthy diet

Ensuring food security goes beyond securing a sufficient supply. It also requires social and economic access to safe and nutritious food. Food consumption has an impact on human health and the environment. The challenge is how to meet consumers' needs and preferences while minimising the related impact on health and the environment. Research and innovation will address food and feed security and safety, the competitiveness of the European agri-food industry and the sustainability of food production, processing and consumption. It will cover the whole food chain and related services from primary production to consumption.
 

Aquatic living resources and marine research

Oceans and seas represent over 70% of the earth's surface, and living aquatic resources can provide a significant contribution to food, energy and bio-based products. The objective is to sustainably manage and exploit aquatic living resources to maximise benefits from Europe's oceans, seas and inland waters. This includes optimising the sustainable contribution of fisheries and aquaculture to food security, boosting innovation through blue biotechnologies and fostering cross-cutting marine and maritime research to harness the potential of Europe's oceans, seas and coasts for jobs and growth.
 

Bio-based industries

The transition from fossil-based European industries towards low carbon, resource efficient and sustainable ones is a major challenge. It entails the transformation of conventional industrial processes and products into environmentally friendly bio-based ones, the development of integrated bio-refineries and the opening of new markets for bio-based products. Research and innovation will provide the means to reduce the Union's dependency on fossil resources and contribute to meeting its energy and climate change policy targets for 2020.

Investments in research and innovation under this societal challenge will support Europe in contributing to food security, climate protection and sustainability. It will also enable Europe to take leadership in the concerned markets and will play a role in supporting the goals of the Common Agricultural Policy, the European Bioeconomy Strategy, and more broadly of the Europe 2020 strategy and its flagship initiatives 'Innovation Union' and 'Resource-efficient Europe'.

Newsroom

Events

From 27/06/2016 - 02:00 to 29/06/2016 - 02:00
Charlemagne building, Rue de la loi 170, Brussels,

SAVE THE DATE! The Brussels info-week on Horizon 2020 Societal challenge 2 calls for 2017 will take place on 27-29 June 2016. Learn about the calls and topics, update yourselves on relevant past research outcomes and meet partners in the brokerage event. Read more

Multimedia

28/03/2014 - 11:20

You may have heard of the bioeconomy and wondered what it is all about. Discover it now! Read more

News

29/04/2016 - 02:00

The European Union and Canada are strengthening their scientific collaboration in order to better understand and protect the Atlantic Ocean, and to sustainably use its resources. Read more

02/02/2016 - 12:40

The European Commission has opened a public consultation on a new research and innovation initiative for sustainable food production and improved water management in the Mediterranean area. PRIMA, the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area, will involve both EU and non-EU Mediterranean states. It will reinforce international cooperation in research and innovation to address the food and water-related challenges that are critical to the region's sustainable development. Read more

25/01/2016 - 01:00

Animal diseases can cause serious social, economic and environmental damage, impact on animal welfare and in some cases directly threaten human health. These diseases ignore borders. Working together to develop new control methods is essential. 14 organisations committed to jointly invest around EUR 1 billion so far in the next five years through a new international research consortium on animal health. Its launch will be celebrated on 27/01 in Brussels, Charlemagne Press corner at 13:15. Read more

Project stories

11/02/2016 - 15:53

The global fresh produce supply chain must take into account climate change in order to ensure food safety, warn EU-funded researchers. Read more

15/12/2015 - 15:51

When oil-seed plants and fish are processed, how can we use the parts not traditionally used in food? How about food ingredients, skincare and pesticides? EU-funded researchers have demonstrated sustainable ways to get the most out of produce. Companies are already building factories and machines to put the results to good use. Read more

29/10/2015 - 14:07

The times when all farmers needed was a fertile plot of land are long gone. Today, they need input from many sources to do their job. Agricultural knowledge and information systems (AKIS) provide farmers with knowledge on agricultural innovations; an EU-funded project took stock to better understand these systems. Read more

Publications

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