European Food Forum

10. European research and innovation for the Agri Food Sector beyond 2020

Hosted by MEPs Ademov, Kokkalis, Bogovič


December 9, 2020 - 10:00


December 9, 2020 - 12:30

The agri-food sector is confronted with escalating, multifaceted challenges that demand systemic solutions. Multidisciplinary science, research and innovation (R&I) are key drivers of the much needed transition to sustainable, healthy and inclusive food systems. A rich and comprehensive set of policies and instruments are in place to support this priority. Food 2030, The European Innovation Partnership “Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability” (EIP-AGRI), EIT Food, the European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIHs), and more, are some of the indispensable policies and initiatives to deliver hands-on systemic innovation, knowledge and advice by bringing together all stakeholders across the food-supply chain.  The core EC instruments to support R&I activities in the agri-food sector are the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), Horizon Europe, European Digital Programme, European Innovation Council and, more marginally, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and LIFE – the funding instrument for environmental and climate action. These instruments complement private R&I funding, supporting the entire innovation cycle with the objective of bringing solutions to the market.


The  two hour EFF event aims at understanding the toolbox that will be available under the different EU programmes to achieve the Farm to Fork objectives through R&I, displaying some good examples of on-farm innovation and successful food start-ups to underline the importance of cooperation between the agri-food stakeholders (farmers, food processors, food service providers, retailers, researchers, public administration, advisors, NGOs etc.) and the digital world (Blockchain, IoT, Satellite monitoring, etc.).


To frame the discussion, the EU Commission and Member States representatives will introduce the R&I activities for sustainable food system transformation under Horizon Europe, the CAP Strategic Plans and the national Smart Specialization Strategies covering the different aspects of the food value chain. The EFF will ask: Are EU farmers ready and well-equipped to change production methods towards green and digital farm transition? Is the available EU financing enough for processors and retailers to innovate for example in relation to: reformulating food products in line with guidelines for healthy, sustainable diets; ensuring high standards for animal health and welfare, reducing their environmental footprint and energy consumption by becoming more energy efficient; reducing packaging in line with the new Circular Economy Action Plan? How to reconcile between cutting-edge,  demand-driven research in the agri-food sector and ‘scale up’ of research data to support the development of data driven strategies ? What is the consumer’s take on issues, such as alternative sources of protein (plants, algae, insects), transparency and traceability across the food-supply chain, incl. labelling, sustainable packaging? Are EU consumers ready to pay more for high-quality food, resulting from R&I production methods? What is the potential of the ‘Smart Villages’ concept for improving quality of life in rural areas through green and digital transition?

Registration for EFF Members only.

The complete program: