There are mainly two EU instruments supporting specifically agriculture and forestry research and innovation: Horizon 2020 and Rural development policy. Many other EU policies addressing innovation and skills development in general can also contribute to agricultural research and innovation.
Horizon 2020 is the EU's framework programme for Research and Innovation for 2014-2020 (80 billion euros). It is structured in three main pillars:
- Excellent science
- Industrial leadership
- Societal challenges
All three pillars include opportunities for agricultural research and innovation, the main one being societal challenges.
These pillars use a variety of instruments. The main ones which offer opportunities for agriculture, food and forestry are:
- Research and innovation actions: multi-national projects for knowledge creation and innovation
- Coordination and support actions: multi-national networking projects
- SME instrument : mono-participant SME-led innovation projects
- Marie-Slodovska-Curie-Actions : Scholarships
- Fast-track to innovation : Pilots
Work programmes are designed for periods of two years. They describe the calls for projects and specify the expected activities, impacts, budget allocated and deadlines.
Rural development policy
Rural development policy is implemented through Rural development programmes. These are elaborated and managed by Member States or regions in compliance with the European Rural development regulation. Knowledge transfer and innovation is one of the 6 priorities of the Rural development policy 2014-2020. Managing authorities will be able to use 18 different measures to implement this priority. The European Commission has issued a guidance document on how to programme innovation and implement the European Innovation Partnership.
Read more about funding streams for agricultural innovation on EIP-AGRI webpage on Funding streams.
Read more about rural development programming on the 'Rural development Gateway 2014-2020'
Other EU policies supporting innovation
Developing innovation also requires improving skills, facilitating coordination or investing in infrastructures. Many EU policies are relevant to agriculture and forestry research and innovation for example:
For more information on how these policies can help, read the EIP-AGRI factsheet 'EU funding opportunities related to innovation in Agriculture, food and forestry'