Regional living labs for agroecology

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Tue 20, October 2020
11:30 - 13:00 CET
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The workshop will assemble a mixed audience of regional and local authorities, scientists, sectoral stakeholders, civil society representatives and EU policymakers to discuss how to scale up agroecology through synergies in the implementation of EU funds in 2021-2027, with a specific focus on Horizon Europe, the ERDF and the EAFRD.

The workshop will be opened by a welcoming address from Guillaume Cros (CoR) and Roberto Scalacci (ERIAFF). Kerstin Rosenow from the European Commission will then introduce participants to initiatives planned under Horizon Europe, such as the candidate European R&I partnership on agroecology living labs, in which regions could be potential partners, and under the agricultural European Innovation Partnership (EIP-AGRI).

Examples from North Brabant (NL), Brittany (FR) and Central Macedonia (EL), three regions actively involved in supporting this type of initiative through their smart specialisation strategies, regional policies or rural development plans, will inspire other regions to explore similar initiatives:

  • Enhancing economic, environmental and social performance of grassfed dairy through collaborative projects in Brittany - Marion Guilcher, Agricultural policy officer at the agriculture service, Conseil régional de Bretagne, France.
  • Transforming agriculture through agroecology  and living lab approaches: Greek use cases
    Vicky Krystallidou, Strategic programme management office, American Farm School, Central Macedonia, Greece.
  • AgroProeftuin de Peel – Circular agriculture enhancing soil life and biodiversity in North-Brabant
    Simon Maas, Project manager S3FOOD & PROTEIN, AgriFood Capital, Netherlands

This will trigger a participatory dialogue in the second part of the workshop on regions' motivations to take part in the initiatives planned at the EU level and on enabling conditions to favour this participation and good synergies in the use of EU funds and programmes.

Fabio Boscaleri, ERIAFF coordinator, Tuscany Region, Italy.
Susana Gaona Saez, Research programme officer, European Commission, Belgium.
Angela Pia QUITADAMO, Conference organiser, European Commission - DG REGIO, Belgium.
Alexia ROUBY, Research programme officer, European Commission, Belgium.
Guillaume Cros, Member of the NAT section - Rapporteur on agroecology, Committee of the Regions, Belgium.
Marion Guilcher, Agricultural policy officer at the agriculture service, Conseil régional de Bretagne, France.
Vicky Krystallidou, Deputy director general, American Farm School, Greece.
Simon Maas, Project manager S3FOOD & PROTEIN, AgriFood Capital, Netherlands.
Kerstin Rosenow, Head of Unit Research and innovation, European Commission, Belgium.
Roberto Scalacci, Director for agriculture and rural development, Tuscany region, Italy.
Green Europe
European Commission, European Committee of the Regions, Tuscany Region
English (EN), Français (FR), Italiano (IT)

Session summary

The session opened a conversation with regions on their role in scaling-up agroecology through a more synergistic use of EU funds and on their motivation to take part in forthcoming EU R&I activities.

Guillaume Cros (CoR) and Roberto Scalacci (ERIAFF) highlighted the potential of agroecology in delivering environmental and social benefits, the role that regions can play in enhancing it and the importance of cooperation. Stressing the role of agroecology in delivering the EU Green Deal, Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies, Kerstin Rosenow (EC) presented the partnership on agroecology living labs that the European Commission has proposed under Horizon Europe.

The regional examples showed interesting initiatives that combine the key ingredients for agroecology living labs: place-based cooperative approaches seeking impact at regional levels, science-supported co-development of practices with farmers, combination of hard and social sciences and smart use of various funding sources.

Take away message

Regions are willing to engage in research and innovation to scale-up agroecology: 90% of participants are willing to explore future cooperation opportunities in this field.

Motivations include contributing to enhanced resilience and greater environmental and social performance of food & farming regionally. Enabling conditions include a real role for regions in the implementation of future funding streams (including the CAP) and simple and flexible enough frameworks for participation and cooperation.

I reiterate the importance of increasing our knowledge on agroecological practices to help farmers in this necessary transition. Supporting a network of living labs and ensuring knowledge exchange on agroecological approaches via European platforms, such as EIP-AGRI, is essential to accelerate the agroecological transition (Guillaume Cros).

We see a role for regions in facilitating the creation of those spaces where co-creation among all relevant actors can take place (living labs), and in embedding them in the local innovation ecosystem (Kerstin Rosenow).

Agroecology is a broad concept that needs to be translated and adapted to the wide diversity of agricultural and rural contexts in Europe. (Roberto Scalacci)

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  • Posted by: Ivana TRKULJA
    On: 20/10/2020 - 12:47pm

    Question for the plenary

    Greetings to all participants from ERA-NET CORE Organic network - funding research in organic food and farming. It is very interesting to hear the discussion and focus on how to involve regions in the Agroecology Partnership (Horizon Europe). My question is related to how do we define the initiatives that qualify as 'agroecology initiatives'? How agricultural producers know they they are using the agroecological methods?
  • Posted by: Renata Gomez Castillo
    On: 20/10/2020 - 11:45am

    Interpretation not working

    Hi - When watching the session via webstreaming interpretation to English does not work. Only it is possible to follow the language used at the floor. Please help. Thanks,
  • Posted by: Renata Gomez Castillo
    On: 20/10/2020 - 11:35am

    PASSWORD for Interactio Platform

    Hi, I'm following the session via Webstraming, but I'm having trouble to access the INTERACTIO platform because aside from introducing my email address the Interactio platform is requesting a password I do not received with the registration email. Please help, Thanks,
  • Posted by: Nicole THORPE
    On: 01/10/2020 - 13:06pm

    Waiting list request

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    On: 01/10/2020 - 12:42pm

    Please add me to the waiting list if possible.

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