For developing countries, agriculture is crucial for economic growth, through its role in food security, and in addressing global issues such as bio-energy, climate change, etc.. The Agricultural Research for Development (ARD) is responding to the need to feed growing populations and to drive economic growth in a sustainable manner. ERA-ARD was a European Research Area (ERA) programme established in 2005 to promote a strategic agenda for Agricultural Research for Development (ARD). The EU-funded project 'The agricultural research for development dimension of the European Research Area' (ERA-ARD II was established to continue the work of the first ERA-ARD project. The main aims were to improve coordination between national research programmes and promote European collaboration in ARD. ERA-ARD II work mapped relevant project and funding structures in participating countries, and analysed national coordination mechanisms in Europe. This information will allow for more efficient interactions between Member States. The project finalised the concept of an ARD Alliance — a model for regional cooperation for more effective research. ERA-ARD II implemented the model through a number of stakeholder workshops. Project members also developed several tools and methods for more effective collaborations. These were written up as Briefing Papers, which can be used by ARD Alliance groups to help them work more efficiently. Finally, project partners prepared the design of a web portal providing users with an overview of the landscape in Europe of agricultural research addressing global challenges and a guide to relevant initiatives, expertise and organisations. Thus, the project ensured that the outcomes and outputs of both ERA-ARD initiatives will remain accessible after the end of the project. Their work is being followed up through a Joint Strategic Working Group on Agricultural Research for Global Challenges, under the auspices of SCAR and EIARD – now called ARCH.
Agriculture, agriculture research, European Research Area, Agricultural Research for Development, national coordination, regional cooperation, global challenges