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About the Author: Innovarum

Content produced by the Innovarum Team with inputs from different team members.

The calendar for 2023 has started with several new opportunities to fund ideas that foster innovation in the agri-food sector and the bioeconomy. The European Commission offers different funding opportunities depending on the nature of your idea. Any organisation – public bodies, companies, associations, clusters, start-ups – can apply for funding for ideas that match the available calls.

Let’s see the most relevant ones in 2023!

HORIZON EUROPE -CLUSTER 6 and MISSIONS

After the first two years of implementation of the HORIZONTE EUROPE programme, the Roadmap for 2023 and 2024 has been published and includes the opportunities linked to the Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment cluster, Cluster 6.

The first round of calls has several deadlines for the submission of proposals, spread over March and April.

Check out the opportunities available in 2023 and 2024 for innovative ideas related to food, bioeconomy and agriculture.

In parallel, the new EU Missions programme also published funding opportunities to finance innovative actions that support the Missions’ priorities. EU Missions support the transformation of Europe into a greener, healthier, more inclusive and resilient continent.

The 5 EU Missions focus on:

  • Adaptation to climate change
  • Cancer
  • Restoring our oceans and waters by 2030
  • 100 Climate Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030
  • A soil pact for Europe

Most of the funding opportunities related to the promotion of the agri-food sector and the bioeconomy are included in the Mission for a Soil Pact for Europe. These are just some of the most interesting ones.

The deadline for submitting project proposals for these calls is 20 September 2023.

PRIMA Programme

PRIMA is a long-term European partnership aimed at promoting joint research and innovation approaches among Mediterranean countries to improve water availability, sustainable agriculture and food production in a region severely affected by climate change, urbanisation and population growth.

In order to achieve the objectives set by PRIMA, calls for funding are published each year in relation to water management, agricultural systems, agri-food value chains and food ecosystems.

The new call for funding opportunities was published on 25 January. The PRIMA partnership is implemented through three different funding schemes. The Section 1 scheme is managed directly by PRIMA and financed by EU funds. The Section 2 and 3 schemes are funded by national entities.

Section 1 opportunities are divided into 4 themes, within 4 different thematic areas. Each theme has €8.2 million available to be allocated to the selected projects.

The thematic areas are:

1 Thematic Area 1-Water management:

Topic 1.1.1-2023 (IA) Integrated adaptive wastewater management plans in the Mediterranean region.

2 Thematic Area 2-Agrarian Systems:

Topic 1.2.1-2023 (IA) Actions to restore and return degraded lands in the Mediterranean region into productive agroecosystems.

3 Thematic Area 3-Food value chain:

Topic 1.3.1-2023 (RIA) Increasing agri-food supply chain (cereal) resilience in the MENA region.

4 WEFE Nexus

Topic 1.4.1-2023 (IA) Accelerate adaptation and mitigation to climate change in the Mediterranean region by deploying WEFE nexus solutions.

The PRIMA submission scheme requires the submission of a pre-proposal to be submitted no later than 22 March 2023. In case your pre-proposal is selected, the full proposal must be submitted by 6 September 2023.

Environmental challenges in the framework of the EIC ACCELERATOR and TRANSITION programmes

The European Innovation Council has recently published the work programme for 2023, with well-known funding opportunities such as the EIC Accelerator, EIC Pathfinder or EIC Transition programmes. Although these funding opportunities are open, so any idea is welcome and there are no thematic restrictions in the call, there are some specific challenges that could be interesting for the agri-food sector.

EIC Transition Challenge: Environmental intelligence

EIC Transition proposals must be based on results (at least experimental proof of concept TRL 3, ideally laboratory-validated technology TRL 4) already achieved within an eligible project. EIC Transition is restricted to proposals based on results generated by the following eligible projects:

  • EIC Pathfinder projects and FET Flagships calls for proposals
  • European Research Council Proof of Concept projects.
  • European Defence Fund (EDF),
  • ONLY for Transition Challenges: all projects funded under Horizon 2020 or Horizon Europe.

The EIC Environmental Intelligence challenge expects, in the medium term, the commercial emergence of a new class of environmental technologies that radically improve or solve one or more of the following issues, i.e. reduce complexity, reduce energy consumption, use non-critical and non-toxic raw materials or ensure their full recycling/reuse.

There are two deadlines for submitting proposals to this specific challenge: 12 April 2023 and 27 September 2023.

EIC Accelerator Challenge: Novel technologies for resilient agriculture

Within the framework of the EIC Accelerator funding programme, the Challenge expects specific novel solutions for more resilient agriculture in the EU to be proposed.

The specific objectives of this Challenge are

  • Development and scaling up of interdisciplinary solutions for regenerative agriculture and soil health in the areas of
    • Sustainable fertilisation;
    • Crop protection according to the principles of integrated pest management, with a focus on mechanical, physical and biological measures;
    • Irrigation
    • Soil management, protection and restoration;
    • Crop and livestock management
  • Novel processes, materials, equipment, management practices and micro-organisms adapted to harsh environments, climate adaptation needs and resource scarcity, including crop diversification, mixed farming systems, inter-seasonal crops and technologies to increase crop adaptation to climate change.

There are three deadlines for submitting proposals to this specific challenge: 22 March 2023, 7 June 2023 and 4 October 2023.

LIFE PROGRAMME

The most famous funding programme for environmental and nature protection actions will also take place in 2023. The publication of the calls for proposals for 2023 is scheduled for April 2023 with a deadline in autumn 2023, as usual.

For the last call, the 4 main themes for the standard action project were:

  • Nature and Biodiversity
  • Circular economy and quality of life
  • Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
  • Transition to clean energy

More information will be published on the CINEA website in April 2023 and on the F&T portal.

This article has been prepared by Iñigo Rodilla, Innovarum´s Senior Project Manager.

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