Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Agri-food projects in Central Europe bloom

Databases, networks and knowledge transfer mechanisms have helped many young EU countries embark on enterprising projects in the agri-food industry.
Agri-food projects in Central Europe bloom
Many countries in Central Europe, mainly Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia, have formidable scientific expertise in cultivating fruits and flowers. Their knowledge extends to biotechnology, environmental sustainability, plant protection, pollination, fruit processing and traditional beekeeping, yet due to funding shortages much of these sectors' full potential remains untapped.

The EU-funded project 'Stimulating participation of Central Europe agri-food sector in the FP6' (CEAF) fostered collaboration among research institutes in the region, focusing on food quality and safety. It specifically helped key players identify existing support and submit proposals to embark on EU-funded projects.

To achieve its goals the project drew on the expertise of older EU Member States, growing the European Research Area (ERA) and involving Central Europe throughout these sectors. It organised workshops in Europe's New Member States, and promoted exchange of best practices and knowledge transfer. CEAF also helped establish Networks of Excellence in food quality and safety, aiding companies in target Member States to define their strengths, weaknesses and needs.

Other initiatives spearheaded by the project include support for companies to join EU-funded projects as well as establishment of project consortia, partner searches and clarification of intellectual property rights (IPR) issues. CEAF also helped establish an online tool for registering ideas and for interested parties to submit their expression of interest to join projects.

Lastly, the project prepared a catalogue and database on CD featuring researchers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as potential partners in the agri-food industry. The database was enlarged to include many other countries such as France, Germany, Israel and the Ukraine to foster more EU partnerships involving Central Europe. This was an excellent step not only to encourage EU-funded projects in the field under the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) but also under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

Related information

Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top