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Call key data

Fostering agroecology at farm and landscape levels

Funding Program

Horizon Europe



26.04.2024 14:00

Call budget

€ 30,000,000.00

Link to the call

Link to the submission

Call content

short description

The agroecology partnership, funded by Horizon Europe, provides cascade funding for proposals tat provide a clear added value to at least one of the general objectives and corresponding core themes of the AGROECOLOGY partnership under which framework this co-funded call is being conducted. It is strongly recommended that applicants consider the strategic research and innovation agenda (SRIA) underpinning AGROECOLOGY when developing the project idea.

Call objectives

This call for research and innovation projects addresses a transition to agroecology in the context of both conventional and organic farming systems. Organic farming explores practices and implements systems that are often sources of inspiration for agroecology. The implementation of agroecological principles in organic farming has the potential to increase the yields and the efficient use of inputs/resources (e.g., water).

The objective of this call is to fund research and innovation projects dedicated to studying and implementing agroecology at two geographic scales: the farm and its immediate surroundings, as specified under Theme 1, and the landscape or territorial level, as specified under Theme 2.

The "farm level" refers to practices and solutions that concern farms, their immediate surroundings and related entities, such as small processing and/or distribution enterprises and local consumers, but without taking into consideration the spatial interaction among the farming practices of the different farms. The "landscape level" concerns a whole territory or catchment area where solutions require actions beyond the farms and may include, for example, territorial planning and landscape management. This level makes it possible to integrate into the analysis the interactions between the different production systems (e.g., crops and livestock systems), the management of non-cultivated areas and interfaces, and the relationships between the different farming systems and the different sectors.

Proposals should be based on a multidisciplinary and integrated approach with a multi-actor perspective (i.e., gathering scientists of all relevant disciplines including social sciences and humanities, and other types of actors including farmers, extension services, upstream and downstream agriculture companies, consumers and civil society, local and regional authorities). Such an approach will facilitate the co-design, co-assessment and co-implementation of the innovations. The approach adopted may be based on existing living labs or bring together different actors following the living lab approach (as defined by ENoLL). Research and innovation questions should address actual needs and integrate the practical knowledge of end-users (who must be identified and described in the proposal as well as the way in which co-creation will be conducted). Actions should produce usable results, providing actionable knowledge and operational solutions for the users. Research infrastructures can be complementary to living labs and support, for example, data gathering and the testing of the proposed innovations and their implications.

Proposals must provide a European perspective by considering problems and challenges that are shared in at least three countries participating in the AGROECOLOGY partnership, and provide and test innovations related to those issues.

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Expected effects and impacts

  • Agroecological innovations based on co-creation between scientists, relevant stakeholders and end users at the farm and/or landscape level
  • Increased knowledge, knowledge transfer and capacity of farmers and agricultural advisers to implement agroecological practices
  • Methods and tools to implement a co-creation process in a living lab approach supporting enhanced agroecology at the farm and/or landscape level
  • Increased socio-economic and/or environmental potential of agroecological practices

Expected results

Proposals must address one of the two themes and at least three of the subthemes mentioned under the chosen theme. In the case of Theme 2, applicants must also explain why they have chosen particular subthemes over others contained in the list.

Both themes necessitate evaluation of the socio-economic impact (relevant to either the farm level or the landscape/territory level, according to the theme chosen) of the studied changes to practices. This includes the gender dimension and assessment of the drivers and trade-offs. It will also be necessary to identify potential barriers to the implementation of the new practices and production systems under consideration and to ensure their technical, social, economic and environmental sustainability (e.g., regulations and incentives, supply chain organisation, consumer awareness, etc.).

Furthermore, proposals shall already provide a strong strategy for stakeholder engagement in co-creation processes and for communication and dissemination of the project activities and results. This means, in particular, a multi-stakeholder or living lab approach is expected, which will serve to:

  • Identify the actual needs together with a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Involve end-users and stakeholders all along the project lifecycle.
  • Co-design and co-create with all project partners and stakeholders.
  • Connect fundamental research with applied research aiming to provide operational solutions and open innovation activities and to integrate the practical knowledge possessed by farmers and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Take into consideration local conditions, and consider ways to move from local solutions to solutions that can be applied at a regional level or at multiple locations across Europe.
  • Approaches seeking to identify, evaluate and integrate traditional knowledge in agroecological practices may be considered.
  • The incorporation of social sciences is strongly encouraged.

Theme 1: Enhancing agroecology at the farm level

The funded research and innovation projects are expected to use a transdisciplinary and integrated approach including several scientific disciplines and relevant stakeholders to address simultaneously at least three of the following subthemes that require changes to farming practices:

  • Manage soil and water to improve soil health and significantly reduce erosion, maintain and increase carbon storage, optimise nutrient cycles, reduce the use of contentious chemicals.
  • Promote crop diversification: diversify species and varieties at the field and farm level (including site-adapted varieties, crop rotations and intra-field diversification).
  • Develop agronomic practices serving to increase resilience, water conservation and to drastically reduce the use of chemical inputs (crop management sequences, cover crops and intercropping, crop rotations, soil cultivation).
  • Enhance complementarities between animal and crop production to close nutrient cycles and drastically decrease or eliminate the use of contentious agrochemicals.
  • Promote natural regulation of pests and diseases, use of biocontrol, and integration of biocontrol practices with cropping practices.
  • Enhance ecosystem services, biodiversity and beneficial biological interactions among different components in the farming system and the surrounding environment.

The projects are expected to identify, evaluate and integrate existing scientific and practical knowledge, including local and/or traditional knowledge, relating to the various components of cultivated ecosystems: soils, plants, animals and microorganisms, whether pathogenic or symbiotic, as well as interactions amongst plants, between plants and animals and between plants and other organisms (insects, fungi, microorganisms).

Projects focusing only on breeding will be considered out of scope but breeding could be mobilised as part of an integrated project to increase the resilience of plants and animals in the face of stress, and to develop varieties suitable for new cropping systems (including diversification of crops, minor species and companion plants). Testing of and incorporation of new breeds or varieties into practice may also be included as part of the projects.

Theme 2: Implementing agroecology at the landscape level

The landscape or territorial level is often the right level for enabling efficient transition to agroecology, due to the multiple interactions between farming systems, between farming systems and their natural environment and with other activities addressing biodiversity.

To promote the adoption in practice of agroecology at landscape or territorial level, research and innovation projects should address at least three of the necessary development stages (subthemes) which enable an integrated system approach. For some landscapes/territories selection and development activities are most important, while for others, the implementation phase is more relevant. Applicants should focus on at least three of the following subthemes and provide an explanation for why they have chosen particular subthemes over others:

  • Identify and select the best-suited agroecology practices adapted to the landscape level and connected to the agrifood value chain. The proposals should make explicit the rationale for selecting a particular landscape and its proposed boundaries and expanse.
  • Develop and assess from a multi-actor perspective different agroecology transition pathways, envisioning and planning the agroecosystem and the landscape/territory resulting from them.
  • Perform an integrated assessment of the socio-economic impacts of the proposed practices, considering the ecosystem services they provide and their associated social and ecological impacts, their potential benefits and trade-offs, economic viability, the potential for their upscaling, outscaling and social implications.
  • Develop and test methods and instruments favouring the integration of agroecological production in the agrifood systems of a given landscape/territory, building up appropriate business models and analysing their implications in the whole value chain.
  • Develop solutions to re-design agroecosystems at landscape/territory level, considering the ecosystem services and other benefits of a transition to agroecology at this geographic scale, enhancing biodiversity and making use of it, achieving ecological corridors, protecting water, integrating crop and livestock production to close nutrient cycles and energy flows, reducing the use of agrochemicals, decreasing pollution and enhancing the role of farming practices for the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change.
  • Design strategies supporting agroecology at the landscape level, integrating territorial planning, enhancing the coherence of agricultural and environmental policies and regulations in a given landscape/territory, and promoting new governance systems.
  • Propose and test incentives supporting a transition to agroecology at the landscape level, which may include but not be restricted to eco-schemes, payment for ecosystem services, adapted credit, taxes, public procurement or the implications of labelling.

The projects must as a minimum apply a multi-actor approach for co-creation and also include stakeholders who have an interest at the landscape level. This does not exclude the application of a living lab approach, if this is the preferred and more justified approach.

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Eligibility Criteria

Regions / countries for funding

Belgium (Belgique/België), Cyprus (Κύπρος ), Denmark (Danmark), Estonia (Eesti), Finland (Suomi/Finland), France, Germany (Deutschland), Hungary (Magyarország), Iceland (Ísland), Ireland (Éire/Ireland), Italy (Italia), Lithuania (Lietuva), Netherlands (Nederland), Norway (Norge), Portugal, Romania (România), Slovakia (Slovensko), Slovenia (Slovenija), Spain (España), Sweden (Sverige), Switzerland (Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera), Türkiye

eligible entities

Education and training institution, Natural Person, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)

Mandatory partnership


Project Partnership

  • Universities and other higher education institutions, public research institutions, profit and non-profit organisations, consumers/citizens, civil society representatives and private companies can apply, subject to the national/regional Funding Party regulations and eligibility criteria.
  • Research consortia should consist of a minimum of three partners requesting funding from at least three different countries and Funding Parties from this co-funded call.
  • Research consortia partners that are ineligible or otherwise unable to receive funding from any of the Funding Parties can also be part of research consortia if they bring in their own funding and submit an appropriate “financial commitment letter” (see Annex VIII). However, these applicants cannot be Coordinator, their contribution should not be essential for the project’s successful implementation and they will not count towards the minimum number of partners.
  • There is no maximum number of partners or countries. There is also no upper limit to the number of partners from the same country, unless stated otherwise in the national/regional Funding Party regulations.
  • The same person cannot act as a Coordinator for more than one proposal. Some Funding Parties do not allow the same person to participate in more than one proposal per call: please check the relevant national/regional funding regulations.
  • Table 1 on page 14 of the call document provides an overview of the different funding parties.

other eligibility criteria

The total project cost requested in a project proposal is not restricted; the costs must be appropriate to meet the project goals. Nonetheless, individual Funding Parties may have regulations and/or restrictions concerning the budget they can award within research projects that must be respected (for example, some funders may limit the maximum budget a single partner in a project can request to € 200,000). It is, therefore, essential that each project partner carefully reads their national/regional funding regulations (see Annex IX). If in doubt, applicants should consult their National or Regional Contact Points who can inform them of the relevant regulations.

Annex I provides an overview of funding regulations (including budget limit per project) per funder.

Additional information


Agriculture & Forestry, Fishery, Food, Soil quality, 
Air Quality, Biodiversity & Environment, Climate & Climate Change, Water quality & management, 
Disaster Prevention, Resilience, Risk Management

Relevance for EU Macro-Region

EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region

UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)

project duration

between 24 and 36 months

Additional Information

The Co-funded call is conducted as a two-step-procedure. As a first step, a pre proposal has to be submitted and following invitation, a full proposal can be submitted in a second step. Pre-Proposals and Proposals must be written in English.

Step 1: Pre-proposal:

  • The objective of a pre-proposal is to present the project idea and the consortium without providing much detail on the work plan. The detailed template for the pre-proposal with explanations is provided in Annex II and an example is also available within the document section of the submission platform:
  • Following submission, pre-proposals will be checked against the general and applicable national/regional eligibility criteria as defined in the respective Funder Regulations (see Annex IX). Pre-proposals that do not pass the general eligibility check will be rejected.
  • Only eligible pre-proposals will be evaluated.
  • Pre-proposals must be submitted by 26 April 2024 2 pm CEST via the online submission platform (see section 5.1 of the call document for pre proposal details).
  • The submission of a pre-proposal is compulsory. Applicants cannot submit a full proposal after the deadline has passed.
  • The information given in the pre-proposals is binding. No change to the objectives outlined in a proposal is allowed. A limited number of changes with respect to the administrative details may be allowed upon approval by the Call Office and the Funding Parties concerned. A list of permissible changes is provided in section 5.2.1 of the call document).

Step 1: Full proposal:

  • Full proposals must be submitted by 19 September 2024 2 pm CEST via the submission platform (see section 5.2 for proposal submission details).
  • Following the invitation to submit a full proposal, the Coordinator can submit a full proposal via the submission system: At this stage the consortium from the pre-proposal may, in exceptional cases, be changed; e.g., if one partner was deemed ineligible in the pre-proposal step. At this stage Coordinators may be invited to add partners from underrepresented countries/regions also funded as part of this call. Any proposed changes must first be communicated to the Call Office and the respective Funding Party; for more details see section 5.2.1. The new partner must meet all eligibility criteria to receive funding from its Funding Party.
  • The detailed template for full proposals with explanations is provided in Annex IV and an example is also available in the document section of the submission platform.


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