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Animal nutritional requirements and nutritional value of feed under different production management conditions
Horizon Europe - Cluster 6 - Destination 2: Fair, Healthy and Environmentally-friendly Food Systems from Primary Production to Consumption
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
A successful proposal will support the objective of the farm to fork strategy to transition to a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly European agriculture, and contribute to strengthen the resilience and sustainability of specific farming sectors and preserve biodiversity. It is expected to contribute to limit the reliance of the European agricultural sector to imported feed materials.
Feed resources are important components of livestock production systems, and their efficient use is the primary determinant of animal performance and productivity. The availability and use of local feedstuffs, including new and underused sources, including alternative protein sources, is a challenge in many livestock farming systems and it has several implications in terms of farm economics, product quality and safety, animal health and welfare. Furthermore, there is the need to design more precise and resilient feeding systems while ensuring requirements of biodiversity protection and restoration.
The aim is to optimise the use of local feedstuffs, shorten supply chains and rely more on local resources. It is important to investigate content, availability and digestibility of nutrients in locally available feedstuffs in different pedo-climatic regions and livestock systems, without compromising feed safety and efficiency.
The following elements should be incorporated:
- Determine and adjust net energy-based nutritional requirements (macro and micronutrients) for local breeds and different management conditions, addressing both conventional and organic livestock farming;
- Assess on-farm practices and equipment to use feedstuffs more efficiently (post-harvest technologies, crops mixture, foraging strategies, rangeland management);
- Take advantage of between and within breed genetic diversity to optimize the use (acceptance and feed efficiency) of local feedstuffs;
- Evaluate the impacts of processing technologies on the efficiency of local feedstuffs
- Improved knowledge on the effects of functional additives (enzymes, gut flora stabilisers, natural plants, vitamins, etc.) on farm-scale animal performance, health and welfare;
- Assess and minimize the risk of anti-nutritional factors or contaminants such as biotoxins in feedstuffs,
- Analyse and monitor the performance of the animal production systems and the quality of animal-based products under novel feeding strategies;
- Determine better indicators of animal nutritional requirements and the nutritional value of locally produced feedstuffs
- Assess the economic sustainability and environmental impact of identified resilient feeding systems and related structural changes (at local level)
If necessary, proposals should include a dedicated task, appropriate resources and a plan on how they will collaborate with other projects funded under other topics and ensure synergy with relevant activities carried out under other initiatives in Horizon Europe.
Due to the scope of this topic, international cooperation is strongly encouraged, in particular with China. This topic is within the scope of the Administrative Arrangement between the European Commission and the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China on a Co-funding Mechanism for the period 2021-2024 to support collaborative research projects under the Food, Agriculture and Biotechnologies (FAB) and the Climate Change and Biodiversity (CCB) flagship initiatives.
Actions will contribute to implementing the EU-China Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology (FAB) flagship initiative, which aims to ensure sustainability of agri-food systems, catering for the needs of a growing population, the reduction of food and agricultural losses and waste, and the provision of safe and healthy foodstuffs. Interaction with other actions developed under the EU-China Climate Change and Biodiversity (CCB) Research Flagship and the Flagship on Food, Agriculture and Biotechnologies (FAB) is encouraged if relevant.
The proposed project will enhance the use of locally produced and more climate-friendly solutions for animal feed without compromising animal performance and productivity. It will focus on existing or alternative source of nutrients using value chain approaches to maximize feed production and feed use efficiency, supporting the local environment and farm circularity.
Activities under this topic will contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:
- Guidelines for processes and policies for improved resource-efficient production, use, and diversification of safe feedstuffs;
- Optimised use of feedstuffs, new plants, forage species and associations at local level;
- Uptake by farmers of practices to diversify sources of feedstuffs and use of natural resources on rangeland, where appropriate;
- (Alternative) Feed production/supply strategies that facilitate self-sufficiency and ensure safety of feed; closed nutrient cycle at local level and diminished environmental and climate footprint;
- Improved systems for facilitating the planning and calculation of the rations/diets of feed adjusted to specific livestock and individual/group animal requirements, and for mitigating the risk of anti-nutritional factors or contaminants in feedstuffs.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan), Belarus (Беларусь), 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), New Zealand (Aotearoa), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
Education and training institution, International organization, 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:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
- third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries
Only legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes, as beneficiaries, three legal entities independent from each other and each established in a different country as follows:
- at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State; and
- at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
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.
- Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
- Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
- Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
- EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
- Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
- Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible.
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:
- Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
- Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.
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).
This call follows a two-stage approach.
This topic is part of the blind evaluation pilot under which first stage proposals will be evaluated blindly. Applicants submitting a proposal under the blind evaluation pilot (see General Annex F) must not disclose their organisation names, acronyms, logos, nor names of personnel in Part B of their first stage application (see General Annex E).
The limit for a first-stage application is 10 pages. The limit for a full application (Part B) is 45 pages.