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European partnership on accelerating farming systems transition – agroecology living labs and research infrastructures
|Funding Program||Horizon Europe - Cluster 6 - Destination 2: Fair, Healthy and Environmentally-friendly Food Systems from Primary Production to Consumption|
|date - 2nd stage||Opening|
|Call budget||€ 150,000,000.00|
|Estimated EU contribution per project||€ 60,000,000.00|
|Link to the call||ec.europa.eu|
|Link to the submission||ec.europa.eu|
The partnership should coordinate research and innovation programmes on agroecology between the EU and its Member States and Associated Countries and trigger combined actions. It should mobilise key partners and stakeholders, including ministries, funding agencies, research performing organisations, regions, local authorities, research infrastructures, living laboratories, farmers, advisors, industry, consumers, etc.
The European partnership on ‘Accelerating farming systems transition: agroecology living labs and research infrastructures’ is one of the actions included in the farm to fork strategy, which calls for the promotion of agroecology as one of the sustainable farming approaches with capacity to help meet the European Green Deal objectives in relation to agri-food systems. Living laboratories are multi-stakeholder, real-life settings that place the user at the centre of innovation and operate as instruments for farmers, research organisations, companies, citizens, local and regional authorities, etc., for the co-creation of solutions following a multi-method approach. Agroecology living labs are characterised by very strong local embeddedness, multi-stakeholder involvement by a large diversity of origins, and knowledge intensiveness in the pursuit of and the innovations needed and produced. They can operate at different scales: typically farm, landscape or regional levels. Research infrastructures provide a wide range of services for research communities working in a long- term perspective.
The partnership’s co-created Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) should include calls for research projects and activities to boost place-based and multi-stakeholder co-creation of solutions. As such, it should boost fundamental research on agroecology through to applied research, and should give rise to ready-to-use solutions for scaling up in real-life environments. The partnership should cover issues pertaining to the transition to agroecology in all agricultural production systems, including but not limited to conventional agriculture, organic farming, agroforestry, permaculture, regenerative agriculture, urban farming, etc. Ultimately, the partnership should significantly contribute to filling existing knowledge gaps on agroecology, addressing geographical/territorial specificities in the EU and Associated Countries.
Delivering on the partnership’s ambitions requires the implementation of the following portfolio of activities to be achieved during the partnership’s lifetime:
The partnership is open to all EU Member States, as well as to Countries Associated to Horizon Europe. Partners are expected to provide financial and/or in-kind contribution, in line with the level of ambition of the proposed activities. The partnership should be open to include new partners over its lifetime. Its governance should allow for engaging a broad range of stakeholders, together with the full members of the partnership. Guidelines, standards and legislation in the field should be taken into consideration, to facilitate the marketing of the methods and products developed in the partnership.
To ensure that all work streams are coherent and complementary, and to leverage knowledge and innovation investment potential, the partnership is expected to foster close cooperation and synergies with the Horizon Mission ‘A Soil Deal for Europe’, with the existing European Partnership Biodiversa+, and with other relevant future partnerships, in particular Sustainable food systems, Agriculture of data, and Animal health and welfare.
Cooperation with the JRC may be envisaged, in particular for actions related to monitoring and measuring progress of agroecology transition, as well as for improving data valorisation. The JRC may provide expertise on EU-wide data and indicators to monitor agroecology transition.
The partnership should allocate resources to cooperate with existing projects, initiatives, platforms, science-policy interfaces, and/or institutional processes at EU level, and at other levels where relevant to the partnership’s goals.
Proposals should pool the necessary financial resources from the participating national (or regional) research programmes with a view to implementing joint calls for transnational proposals resulting in grants to third parties. The partnership will provide financial support to third parties as one of the means to achieve its objectives. To explore the full range of financing options available under Horizon Europe, the general annexes of the main Work Programme setting out the general conditions applicable to calls and topics for grants should be considered.
To achieve the international cooperation objectives, and given the global dimension of agroecology, collaboration with strategic third country partners with proven added value in the field of agroecology transition is strongly encouraged. In particular, the participation of legal entities from international countries and/or regions, including those not automatically eligible for funding, is encouraged in the joint calls and/or in other activities of the partnership. Cooperation with international organisations may be considered.
Applicants are expected to describe in detail how they would carry out this collaborative work in practice.
Efforts should be made to ensure that the data produced in the context of this topic is FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable).
This topic should involve the effective contribution of social sciences and humanities disciplines.
In order to enhance the societal impact of the activities, the approach should empower citizens to contribute to the co-design/co-creation/co-assessment of research and innovation agendas/contents/outcomes.
Cross-articulation with the other data spaces, and notably with the European Open Science Cloud should be foreseen, exploiting synergies and complementarities of the different approaches.
The Commission envisages to include new actions in future work programme(s) to continue providing support to the partnership for the duration of Horizon Europe.
The expected duration of the partnership is seven to ten years.
|Expected effects and impacts|
In line with the European Green Deal, this partnership will contribute to the objectives and targets of the new common agricultural policy (CAP), and of the EU farm to fork strategy for a transition to fair, healthy, environmentally-friendly and more resilient food systems from primary production to consumption, and in particular pursuing the ambition to boost agroecology. Moreover, the Commission Communication ‘Safeguarding food security and reinforcing the resilience of food systems’ highlights innovation through agroecology as one of the tools that can mitigate pressure on input costs without hurting production capacity, leading to long-term progress in productivity. Agroecology is a dynamic and holistic approach that contributes positively to healthier ecosystems and biodiversity, including in soils. Agroecology aims at supporting the transition of agri-food systems towards more sustainable practices by connecting science, practice and society and by triggering the adoption of a set of policies to promote sustainable agricultural practices. Given the potential of agroecology to deliver positive impacts for the transition towards environmental, climate, economic and social sustainability of Europe’s farming systems, the partnership will deliver solutions that will support the implementation of several other European Green Deal strategies and initiatives, notably: the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030; the action plan for the development of organic production; the EU zero pollution action plan; the 2030 climate target pact; the EU soil strategy for 2030, the sustainable carbon cycles, and the EU bioeconomy strategy. The partnership will constitute a unique instrument that will help connect agroecological research across Europe. Its expected outcomes will contribute to the impacts of various Destinations under Cluster 6 of Horizon Europe, notably Destination ‘Fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food systems from primary production to consumption’, as well as to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDGs 2, 3, 6, 12, 13 and 15.
|Regions / countries for funding||EU Member States, Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT)|
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
|eligible entities||EU Body, Education and training institution, International organization, 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)|
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
Applications may be submitted by one or more legal entities, provided that one of those legal entities is established in a Member Sate or an Associated Country.
Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.
A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) may participate as member of the consortium selected for funding.
Administration & Governance, Institutional Capacity & Cooperation,
Agriculture & Forestry, Fishery, Food, Soil quality,
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)|
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have two parts:
Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 70 pages.
Beneficiaries may provide financial support to third parties. The support to third parties can only be provided in the form of grants. As financial support provided by the participants to third parties is one of the primary activities of the action in order to be able to achieve its objectives, the € 60,000.00 threshold provided for in Article 204(a) of the Financial Regulation No 2018/1046 does not apply. The maximum amount to be granted to each third party is € 10,000,000.00 for the whole duration of Horizon Europe.
|Call documents|| HE-Work Programme 2023-2024, Cluster 6, Destination 2 (646kB)
|Contact||National Contact Points for Horizon Europe |
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