EU

€600 million to support research and innovation on agroecology and animal health and welfare

The European Commission, EU Member States and Associated Countries have joined forces to fund two major Research and Innovation partnerships in key areas of agricultural production. They will work over the next seven years on agroecology and on animal health and welfare, essential issues for sustainable farming and food systems.

Posted on Mar 01 ,00:05

€600 million to support research and innovation on agroecology and animal health and welfare

The European Partnership on Agroecology and the European Partnership on Animal Health and Welfare are being launched under the umbrella of the EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon Europe, following a co-creation process of several years with close involvement of the European Commission. These Partnerships will bring together funding organisations, research institutes, laboratories, universities, industrial partners and other key stakeholders from EU Member States and countries associated to Horizon Europe to advance research and generate ready-to-use innovations. These will include decision support systems, methods and tools to monitor and measure the effect of farming practices in the long term, products and services like candidate vaccines, and capacity building.

The EU budget will cover up to 50% of the costs of these two partnerships, estimated to reach a total of €600 million, while the other half will be covered by the partnerships’ consortium members. This underlines the EU's commitment to produce concrete solutions for the sustainability challenges in the agricultural sector and the capacity to mobilise partners in EU Member States and countries associated to Horizon Europe. This also create synergies and foster economies of scale.

The European Partnerships are instruments to align the EU and participating countries research programmes. Both partnerships have developed strategic research and innovation agendas on agroecology and on animal health and welfare, that will be implemented through work programmes with concrete actions.

Research and innovation to foster agroecology takes centre stage

The agroecology partnership is committed to accompany farmers and all other actors of the agri-food chain in the transition towards sustainable farming and food systems. Aligned with the European Green Deal, the partnership will support farmers with knowledge and tools that will for instance help them plan and implement the farming practices needed in their specific contexts to minimise the use of external inputs, increase diversification, and maximise the provision of ecosystem services from the farming activity.

The partnership is set to establish and support a network of living labs and research infrastructures and will play a pivotal role in accelerating the adoption of agroecology across Europe. It will promote knowledge exchange among countries and regions, support science-policy dialogue and deliver ready-to-adopt practices for farmers.

Animal Health and Welfare research contributes to food security, environmental protection and public health

The animal health and welfare partnership is dedicated to establishing a research and innovation ecosystem, developing novel methodologies and products for preventing, detecting and responding to animal infectious diseases, such as tools to support assessment of disease risks; products such as diagnostics, candidate vaccines. It will contribute to improve animal welfare, for instance by investigating options for more welfare-friendly production systems, or by fostering tools to help farmers to monitor welfare of their animals. In this way, it will further support a sustainable livestock production sector.

The partnership will protect public health by fighting transmissible animal diseases that pose risks to human health and food safety, by providing solutions to reduce the use of antimicrobials or by offering alternatives. Taking into account One Health approaches, it will also foster efficient research and innovation coordination on animal health, public health and environmental aspects to address complex challenges posed by transmissible animal diseases.

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