Why does research and innovation on water, nutrients and waste matter?

Agriculture and forestry heavily depend on the availability and quality of natural resources such as land, nutrients or water.

At the same time primary production impacts directly and indirectly on the integrity of these resources and contributes to their depletion.

Natural resources are under further pressure from increased environmental variations linked to climate change, to which agriculture in particular is also contributing.

The European Commission communication Closing the loop – an EU action plan for the circular economy lays the foundations of an economy where the value of resources is maintained for as long as possible, and the waste generation is minimised.

In agriculture, this translates mainly to the recycling of nutrients, the reuse of treated wastewater, or enhancing the value of waste in the context of the bioeconomy.

Research and innovation has a key role to play in developing solutions that will help strike a proper balance between productivity and environmental goals in agriculture and forestry.

Funding opportunities

  • Horizon 2020

    Calls for proposals related to water, nutrients and waste 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 water, nutrients and waste 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.