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Science at the service of Europe

Food, agriculture, and fisheries and biotechnologies

Towards sustainable food and agriculture in Europe

This activity helps build a sustainable and competitive bio-based economy in Europe. It makes major contributions to the Europe 2020 Flagship Initiatives "Innovation Union" and "Resource Efficient Europe".

EU funding in 2012
€ 321.65 million

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The Commission adopted a Communication on a Bioeconomy for Europe in February, which provides a strategic framework and action plan for the sector.

On the basis of the 2012 Work Programme, the proposals selected for funding focused on innovative solutions, close-to-the-market activities and on private-sector participation, in particular SMEs. In addition, a series of events were held, including the first 'Bioeconomy Stakeholders' Conference' (26-28 March, Copenhagen) and the conferences 'Partnering for the Bioeconomy in European Regions' (12 October, Brussels) and 'New skills for a European Bioeconomy' (20-21 November, Brussels).

The three Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs), which were established in this sector, have all made progress. The Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change JPI and the Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life JPI adopted their Strategic Research Agendas (SRAs). The Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans JPI set up a management structure which, with Commission support, will develop their SRAs.

In the framework of the Bioeconomy Communication, a legislative proposal was drawn up for a new Public-Private Partnership (PPP) on bio-based industries. The objective of this PPP will be to promote research and innovation in the conversion of biomass into industrial products, fuel or energy without creating shortages in food or feed supply while respecting the environment.

This activity generates a significant number of intellectual property rights (47% of the finished projects). Furthermore, the EU's financial contribution to industrial and SME participants for research in this area has significantly increased (16.1% and 14.7% respectively in 2012, up from 11.1% and 9.9% in 2011).