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Towards a European research and innovation roadmap on soils and land management

Activities will create an effective framework for action which will allow pooling resources, coordinating efforts and developing a coherent portfolio of R&I activities (programme) in the wider area of soils and land management. This will include

  • mapping and assessing existing soil/land related European and international R&I activities and promoting their coordination
  • analysing the needs for R&I on soils/land management as expressed through stakeholder/citizen consultation and on-going research projects
  • identifying gaps, priority areas and types of action for intervention
  • proposing methodologies to monitor and review a portfolio of soil related R&I activities

The details of coordination activities will be defined during the grant preparation phase with the Commission.

Proposals fall under the concept of the ""multi-actor approach""[[See definition of the 'multi-actor approach' in the introduction to this Work Programme part.]], thus bring together main players such as from research, research funding, policy and land management and land. Transdisciplinary and integration of SSH and RRI are also encouraged. Activities will be implemented in close cooperation with EU Commission services. The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU up to EUR 1 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Land and soils perform a number of vital functions including the production of food and the provision of ecosystem services such as water purification, nutrient cycling, carbon storage and the support to biodiversity. Pressures on land and soils continue growing as a consequence of competing demands for the delivery of food, energy and biomaterials or the development of industries, infrastructures and urbanisation. Finally, soils are also at the center of climate mitigation efforts.

A new level of ambition is needed to tackle Research and Innovation (R&I), thereby generating the necessary knowledge, solutions to enhance the delivery of soil functions and develop capacities for a more sustainable land management across Europe and beyond.

Funded activities will increase European capacities (technical, organisational) for implementing a major R&I programme on soil/land management. This will result in

  • a roadmap for R&I on soils/land management developed following the concept of ""co-creation"" with a wide range of stakeholders
  • improved coordination with existing activities in Europe and globally, thereby raising visibility and effectiveness of R&I funding
  • identification of potential ""flagships"" for testing and demonstrating solutions on key strategic domains such as boosting organic carbon content of soils in agriculture and forestry