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SUstainable and Resilient agriculture for food and non-food systems

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - FACCE SURPLUS (SUstainable and Resilient agriculture for food and non-food systems)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2018-03-01 do 2020-02-29

The objective of FACCE SURPLUS was to strengthen the European Research Area in support of different integrated food and non-food biomass production and transformation systems, especially by organising, implementing and cofunding with the EU a joint call for transnational research projects on the topic of sustainable and resilient agriculture. As this topic falls within the scope of the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) of the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE–JPI), this ERA-NET Cofund represents a substantial contribution to the delivery of the FACCE–JPI SRA. It also contributed to the overall EU objective of building the European Research Area through enhanced cooperation, coordination and alignment of national research programmes. The ERA-NET started on 01.03.2015 and launched a joint call for transnational research projects, co-funded by the EU. 14 projects were selected for funding via a peer-review with an overall funding amount of approximately 14.5mio € for the period 2016-2019. FACCE SURPLUS focused the second call on the promising topic of small-scale biorefinery concepts. This call launched in 2017 generated 8 additional transnational research projects with an overall funding amount of approximately 6.5mio € which started in 2018 and should run until 2021. Based on those two calls, the FACCE SURPLUS partners decided to launch a final call in 2019, aimed at further developing the research already conducted in FACCE SURPLUS. In November 2019, 6 research projects were recommended for funding, representing a approximate amount of 5 mio € for the duration 2020-2023. In addition to organising calls, FACCE SURPLUS has been supporting the funded research projects in particular in terms of communication, valorisation, monitoring and impact assessment, networking. FACCE SURPLUS, as one of the first ERA-NETs cofund launched under Horizon2020, successfully managed to implement this instrument designed by the EC to support public-public partnerships. Thereby, the consortium partners demonstrated their capacity to tackle the challenge of implementing an innovative funding instrument of the EU. The ERA-NET FACCE SURPLUS terminated on 29.02.2020. Overall, FACCE SURPLUS mobilized approximately 25 million euros of public funding from the EU and the Member States for the research in the sector. Launching such joint calls on a regular basis, together with the mentioned accompanying activities, created a momentum which will sustain after the end of the ERA-NET, e.g. under the umbrella of FACCE-JPI. The FACCE SURPLUS consortium partners consider the progress made by FACCE SURPLUS in the research area through the joint efforts as essential. During the duration of FACCE SURPLUS, the consortium partners have built mutual understanding, trust and common processes. This is a substantial step towards joint programming.
During the duration of the ERA-NET, FACCE SURPLUS implemented 3 joint calls for transnational research projects. While the projects from the 2nd call are at their mid-term at the moment of writing this report, therefore not having yet outstanding results to present, and the research projects from the 3rd call are currently starting, the projects from the 1st FACCE SURPLUS call, cofunded by the EU, ran from 2016 to 2019. Those 14 research projects were commonly kicked off in September 2016 at the Aarhus University in Foulum (DK), where they could use the opportunity to meet other scientists involved, as well as invited stakeholders from the industry, farmers’ representatives… A common mid-term meeting in November 2017 in Paris (FR) offered them the opportunity of continuing the networking and of discussing together of valorization strategies. The projects had their end-term meeting together in Düsseldorf (DE) in November 2018, where they could present their main results and their approaches for exploitation and dissemination. A first positive outcome of this process has been observed in the 3rd call, where, several consortia were applying for funding in order to continue the research driven in the projects from the first call. In several cases, consortia consisted of a mix of former consortia, which might be a consequence of the networking efforts under FACCE SURPLUS. Moreover, the opportunity offered to the researchers under FACCE SURPLUS to participate to important events, such as the European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (EUBCE), to present posters, lectures on their projects also resulted in building networks with other researchers, but also stakeholders, from Europe and beyond, which will result in cooperation much beyond the duration and framework of FACCE SURPLUS. It must be highlighted that the research driven in the 14 research projects from the 1st call generated an important effort in terms of dissemination as the figures communicated in their end-term reports show. Various ways of addressing stakeholders, for the monitoring of projects, but also more particularly the exploitation and dissemination of project results, have been used under the umbrella of FACCE SURPLUS: workshop, interviews, on-farm demonstrations, publications (peer-reviewed but also more “popular”), policy briefs, decision-making tools, models, conferences… Obviously the nature and structure of the dissemination activity depends on the type of stakeholder to address, as the communication must be adapted to the target audience.
As an activity running under the umbrella of FACCE-JPI, FACCE SURPLUS was dedicated to addressing a societal challenge and therefore had the objective from the beginning to reach a socio-economic impact. FACCE SURPLUS contributed strongly to the aim of the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change, FACCE-JPI, to tackle the Grand Challenge of ensuring global food security while respecting the imperatives of sustainable development. FACCE SURPLUS, in providing the means for joint calls, is one of the actions of the JPI aimed at aligning research programming among its members over the long term to increase the efficiency of research funding, cover gaps, avoid duplications and provide high-level innovative research in Europe. FACCE-SURLUS projects made substantial efforts to seek contact with the non-academic world to inform, consult and discuss their results with those actors that might use and/or create the structures that make it possible to use the research results obtained. Most reported stakeholder contacts took place nationally and/or regionally thus ensuring that the results are relevant and adapted to the needs the respective stakeholder groups. It must be nevertheless noticed that the real impact of FACCE SURPLUS can hardly be assessed at the moment the present report is written. While outputs and outcomes can be identified on a short- or mid-term basis, the impact of an activity has longer-term implications, therefore it is expected that such assets might be identifiable only long time after the ERA-NET has terminated. As an example, the creation of start-up and jobs can be an impact of research projects demonstrating the feasibility of a biomass conversion which is not visible by the end of the project. It is expected that FACCE-JPI, and potential follow-up activities to FACCE SURPLUS, e.g. in the frame of Horizon Europe, will monitor such progress.
Aarhus University in Foulum (DK), place of the Kick-off meeting
Kick-off meeting in Foulum - Sept. 2016
Webpage on funded project
Mid-term meeting in Paris - Nov. 2017
Stand of FACCE SURPLUS at the EUBCE2018
End-term meeting in Düsseldorf - Nov. 2018
Stand of FACCE SURPLUS at the EUBCE2019
Stand of FACCE SURPLUS at the EUBCE2017