Why does research and innovation on genetic resources and breeding matter?

Genetic resources play a crucial role in agricultural and forest-based activities. They hold the key to diverse and healthy diets and to the adaptation of plants and animals to a changing and more variable climate.

This potential is not sufficiently used and current farming modes increasingly rely on a limited number of plant and animal species. Three major crops (rice, wheat and maize) provide more than 50% of the world’s plant-derived calories. Reversing this trend and increasing the resilience of farming and forestry is critical and of global concern, especially now in an era of accelerated climate change and an ever increasing population.

Research an innovation activities aim to halt the further loss of genetic diversity by tapping into the vast gene pool of plant and animals and making it available to breeders, farmers and ultimately consumers.

Breeding efforts are also being undertaken to broaden the genetic base of cultivated crops and create varieties that meet the variety of demands related to quality, resilience and sustainability.

Funding opportunities

  • Horizon 2020

    Calls for proposals related to genetic resources and breeding are spread across numerous schemes in Horizon 2020. This page lists them and explains how you can apply.

  • European agricultural fund for rural development

    The rural development policy supports innovation through a range of interventions, including the European innovation partnership for agriculture (EIP-AGRI).

  • LIFE programme

    Some genetic resources and breeding related calls may be found in this programme.

Collaboration and jobs

Projects and results

Scientific publications, tools and databases

  • Scientific publications 

    Scientific publications produced by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC).

  • Scientific research tools and databases

    The Commission's Joint Research Centre compiles databases and develops software and modelling tools.

  • EU Open Data Portal

    Single point of access to open data produced by the EU institutions. All data is free to use for commercial and non-commercial purposes.

  • OpenAIRE

    You can access all scientific publications from Horizon 2020 via OpenAIRE.

  • Copernicus

    Access to agriculture data from the Copernicus programme.