AGROECOLOGY Partnership kick-off meeting – February 28-29, 2024

Published on
March 8, 2024

Last week, about 100 participants attended the kick-off meeting of the AGROECOLOGY Partnership at Bluepoint Brussels. AGROECOLOGY is the Horizon Europe co-funded Partnership ‘Accelerating Farming Systems Transition: Agroecology Living Labs and Research Infrastructures’. The Partnership started on January 1, 2024 and will have a duration of up to 10 years, with an overall budget up to 300 M€ (50% EU and 50% co-funded by the consortium).

On February 28, Albert Wulff (BMEL, DE) and Kerstin Rosenow (DG AGRI) kicked off the meeting sharing the German perspectives on agroecology and European vision and expectations from AGROECOLOGY, respectively. Nicolas Tinois (JÜLICH, DE), coordinator of AGROECOLOGY, subsequently gave an overview of the Partnerships’ main objectives, methodologies and highlights of the 1st year such as the launch of calls to fund high-level transnational research projects, and the implementation of a series of supporting activities including communication, monitoring and capacity building. The 1st co-funded call ‘Fostering agroecology at farm and landscape levels’ opened on February 15, all details can be found here.

After a short break, a panel discussion among AGROECOLOGY work package representatives: Ivana Trkulja (AU, DK), Hendrik De Ruyck (ILVO, BE), Benjamin Sanchez Gimeno (AEI, ES), José Manuel Avila (LifeWatch ERIC), Torsten Rodel Berg (AU, DK) and Korinna Varga (ÖMKI, HU) was convened to offer insights and perspectives on key issues such as the challenges and opportunities in achieving impact, the uniqueness of the Partnership as instrument, and obstacles in collaborating efforts across diverse areas of expertise and stakeholder engagement. Mihai Pera from the EC (REA) will follow-up on the grant implementation and was invited to explain finance, reporting, ethics and dissemination issues. The day concluded with a walking dinner fostering networking among the participants.

On February 29, within a session opened by the SCAR secretariat, other European initiatives (FACCE-JPI, AgroServ, FutureFoodS Partnership, EU Missions-Soil Deal for Europe, Water4All Partnership) presented their networks and objectives to provide context for an interactive discussion moderated by Florence Jacquet (ANR, FR) aimed at exploring and developing synergies. To conclude, Nicolas Tinois, Daniela Piaz Barbosa Leal and Ulrike Ziegler (JÜLICH, DE) informed the participants about the management of the Partnership and opened the floor for discussion.

The kick-off meeting was organised back-to-back with a DG AGRI launch event of both the AGROECOLOGY Partnership and the Partnership on Animal Health and Welfare. The recording of this event that took place in the morning of February 28 can be viewed here.

We thank the participation of the consortium members, representatives of the EC and various other EU initiatives for their valuable contributions!

More information on the upcoming Partnership activities and communication channels will follow soon, stay tuned!