European Commission kicks-off discussion on a long-term strategy for agriculture research and innovation

Thursday, 18 June, 2015
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.

The European Commission invited 90 experts to assemble for a web-streamed workshop this Friday 19th June from 11:00 to 17:00 in the EU Pavilion at EXPO Milan. The objectives of the workshop are to initiate a discussion on how to elaborate a long-term strategy for European agriculture research and innovation and to contribute to EXPO discussions on the theme 'Feeding the planet' by providing views on agricultural research and innovation priorities.

The European Commission has put forward initial ideas in a background paper. Jerzy Plewa, Director-General of European Commission Directorate-General for Agriculture and rural development will open the workshop and present these first ideas as well as the timeline of the process which will lead to a larger conference in Brussels on 26-28 January 2016.

The background paper is structured around five core priorities and a cross-cutting issues section.

Five priorities

Participants are invited to discuss whether this structure is relevant and useful and whether the most important issues receive adequate attention, overall and within each of the five priorities.

Five "discussants" of international reputation will provide their views on each of the five priorities. Prior to their interventions, Erik Mathijs, Chair of the 4th Standing Committee for Agricultural Research foresight exercise, will set the scene and present the challenges to factor in a long-term agriculture research strategy. A panel assembling representatives of farmers, civil society, universities, research institutes and innovation support services will finally be invited to debate on how to build a long-term strategy for agriculture research and innovation.

Participants come from research institutes and universities, government bodies, European technological platforms, farming sector and related industries and civil society from 23 European countries, USA and Ghana. The Global Forum for Agricultural Research (GFAR), the Forum for Agricultural research in Africa (FARA) and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will attend along with several international agricultural research institutes participating in the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Ann Tutwiler, Director General of Bioversity international will moderate the workshop.

How to lean more and join the event: