Skip to main content

Connecting advisers to boost interactive innovation in agriculture and forestry

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - i2connect (Connecting advisers to boost interactive innovation in agriculture and forestry)

Reporting period: 2019-11-01 to 2021-04-30

i2connect “Connecting advisors to boost interactive innovation in agriculture and forestry” is an EU funded project that brings together 24 European partners from 16 countries, including advisory organizations, European networks (EUFRAS, FIBL EU, IALB & SEASN), research institutes, universities and public organizations. It is coordinated by the French Chambers of Agriculture (APCA).

The agriculture and forestry sectors are facing major challenges, especially climate change, and need to evolve towards more sustainable and resilient systems. In this context, i2connect aims to empower advisors and their organizations to engage farmers & foresters in interactive innovation processes. To reach this overall goal, i2connect will:
1) strengthen the competences of advisors to support interactive innovation by identifying & sharing best practices, developing tools & methods, training, peer to peer learning & networking;
2) leverage existing networks of advisors and successful experiences in other contexts to create a broader network and a culture of interactive innovation;
3) enhance the role of advisors in interactive innovation processes at different scales: creating an enabling environment within advisory services, better connecting and embedding advisory services within the AKIS, better understanding of the AKIS at country level and identifying providers of advisory services across Europe.
WP1 Bases & approaches for joint action & analysis
02/2020: Conceptual grounds report published in the website
01/2021: 1st version of the AKIS inventory
04/2021: 28 AKIS country reports available in the website
03-06/2020: Definition of the Advisory Services (AS) database features
01/2021: Pilot Database released & tested
10/2020: Validation workshop regarding the Repository of required competencies of an innovation advisor
06/2020: Identification of 10 topical insights in innovation networks, services & activities
10/2020: Selection of 9 additional insights
02/2021: 10 more insights selected
08-09/2020: Revised template & support document on reflective capitalization process
11/2020: Conceptual understanding established among partners & feedback collected during 2nd General Assembly
02-04/2021: Explanatory video to support reflective practice & online reflection tool

WP2 Identify best practices from a range of practical cases
T2.1: Online questionnaires replaced workshops
01/2020: 1st round questionnaire
02/2020: 2nd round questionnaire
03/2020: Guide to selection of practical case selection methodology
05-07/2020: Collected potential practical cases for study & selected successful practical cases for field review
07/2020: 10 practical cases selected to participate in the 1st field peer review round assigning to each of them a practical case
09/2020: Workshop to discuss the peer review methodology to identify & report best practices for individual cases
11/2020: Complete draft of field peer review methodology which includes the question framework & steps of the peer review process
Task 2.6 reviewed frameworks from other projects (FAIRshare, SKIN, and agroBRIDGES) where good practices can be adapted to project needs
03-04/2021: Discussion & agreement (T2.6 partners) about a working definition of i2connect good practices (GPs)
04/2020: Virtual workshop using an interactive workspace where partners categorized 20 potential good practices & described these in practice template

WP3 Didactical strategies to strengthen advisors capacity to support interactive innovation
05/2020: Creative Content Group (CCG) launched online to agree on common understanding on advisers competencies & skills
02/2021: 1st Workshop of the CCG “Certification of the i2connect trainers: What for and How”
02/2021: 2nd Workshop of the CCG “How to use the peer review tools for decision makers to provide an enabling environment”
03/2021: 3rd Workshop “Needs assessment for Advisory service managers’ excellence classes”
04/2021: Advanced structure of a toolbox for i2connect advisors tested by TTT (training the trainers) participants
08-09/2020: Survey addressed to a pool of advisers managers in 13 countries
Various workshops & training were organized:
02/2021: Gathered insights from the 2nd workshop of the CCG to feed the peer review tools aimed at improving interactive innovation processes
08/2020 : TTT met to elaborate the TTT training programme & contents
08-09/2020: 1st TTT in Landshut (15 participants)
03/2021: TTT trainer's workshop to prepare programme of webinars & TTTs

WP4 Activate & facilitate the innovation network
10/2020: Training of advisors in Landshut, Germany (14 participants).
03/2021: Course organized to train advisors in Lyon (9 participants). A planning carried out to facilitate the creation create of trainers' pairs for each training required for each training in collaboration between different organizations.

WP5 Communication & dissemination
02/2021: Updated Communication & dissemination plan presenting the Project’s communication & dissemination strategy. A project visual identity, consisting of a logo & signature, created at the beginning of 2020
04/2020: Project website launched It stores the updated AKIS inventory, provides access to the i2connect AS Database & the Training platform.
Task 5.3 develops & ensures the project visibility in the social media
11/2019: i2connect social media accounts created (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter)
01/2020: Social media strategy set up focusing on target groups, content strategy, social media monitoring & calendar
Task 5.4: Developed a series of materials, project brochures, poster, presentation, a badge & flyer for the AS database. A series of project newsletters drafted.
Task 5.5: Produced multimedia material
04/2020: Presentation video of i2connect on YouTube with subtitles in 12 languages & shorter version for Twitter
11/2020: Slideshow presented to project partners at the 2nd GA meeting to illustrate how practical cases could be visualized
09/2020: Joint meeting organized with EIP-AGRI Service point to present i2connect objectives

WP6 Project management
12/2020 - 01/2021: Call to project partners to propose candidates for the International Advisory Board and selection by the Project Management Board
06/2021: Official launch of the IAB (names published in the website)
Since i2connect is a CSA, its impacts will be mainly measured in terms of concrete actions implemented & number of stakeholders benefiting from project activities.
The following list presents the expected results of i2connect:
-Identify 100 interesting practical cases across Europe (40 cases analyzed in-depth)
-Organize & carry out 8 cross visits to study good practices, involving 80 farm & forestry advisors
-Carry out an AKIS inventory in 30 countries (AKIS national reports)
-Set up an Advisory Service Database, ie. a directory of organizations & advisors that provide knowledge services to actors in agriculture, forestry & related fields
-Train 50 trainers & 30 facilitators
-Train 600 advisors in 40 training sessions
-Train at least 80 teachers and students in 3 summer schools
-Train 80 managers in 4 excellence classes
-Organize 4 regional workshops & 2 conferences on interactive innovation to bring together AKIS stakeholders & decision makers
-Disseminate regular information on project activities & insights (attain 80% of Europe’s 40,000 advisors).