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Science at the service of Europe

Food, agriculture, and fisheries and biotechnologies

Sustainable food and fisheries solutions

The Europe 2020 Strategy aims to address key societal challenges, such as climate change, resource efficiency, lifelong health, and the sustainable use of land and sea.

EU funding in 2011
€ 274.23 million

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To address these challenges research in food, agriculture, fisheries and biotechnology is needed. In 2011, the Food, Agriculture and Fisheries and Biotechnology thematic topics dealt with challenges such as the greening of industry through biobased substitution of fossil fuel processes and food security and safety for Europe and beyond. Other topic examples included disease prevention through healthy diets and the provision of sustainable, competitive and safe aquatic products.

The strong innovation focus of the 2011 calls for proposals encouraged high SME participation. This increased SME funding. On the policy front, DG RTD prepared a bioeconomy strategy (issued as a communication in 2012). The strategy and its action plan aim to pave the way for a more innovative, resource efficient and competitive society that reconciles food security with the sustainable use of renewable resources for industrial purposes.

In order to reduce the fragmentation of research efforts in Europe, the Council of the EU approved the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) "Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans". The previously launched JPI on "Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change" established a work plan leading to research mapping and a future research strategy. Furthermore, the mandate for the EU-US Task Force on Biotechnology Research was renewed for the fourth time for an indefinite period. Lastly, collaboration with China on crop research, fibre crops and animal health gained new momentum.