Institutional news 26 October 2023
Agrinatura’s position in the EU-AU Innovation Agenda’s goals
The AU-EU Innovation Agenda is an initiative supported by Horizon Europe as an integral part of the Global Gateway Investment Package aimed at fostering innovation and research in the overall cooperation between the two regions. The Agenda seeks to address common challenges, promote sustainable development, and strengthen partnerships in key sectors such as agriculture, health, education, digitalization, and climate change.
One of the key objectives of the AU-EU Innovation Agenda is to promote research collaboration and knowledge exchange between African and European institutions by strengthening people, communities, and institutions. It encourages joint research projects, technology transfer, and the sharing of best practices to address common challenges and promote sustainable development.
The activities of Agrinatura, as a leading alliance of European universities and research institutes in the field of agricultural research and education, by design are supporting and implementing the objectives of the Innovation Agenda.
Agrinatura is a consortium of 35 European universities and research institutes dedicated to promoting agricultural research and education for sustainable development. Founded in 1988, Agrinatura acts as a platform for collaboration, knowledge exchange, and capacity building in the field of agriculture, food security, and rural development aimed to strengthen collaboration and capacity-building among its members to address global challenges. The alliance aims to contribute to global efforts towards sustainable and inclusive agricultural systems, leveraging the collective expertise of its members to address pressing challenges in Africa and beyond.
Over time, Agrinatura has collaborated with the services of the European Commission (in particular DG RTD and DG INTPA) on various research fronts. Their goals include promoting sustainable agricultural practices, conducting R&I projects to develop climate-smart technologies and practices, and assisting farmers in adapting to changing climatic conditions. They also aim to strengthen agricultural value chains through R&I and the development of methodologies. Additionally, Agrinatura places emphasis on knowledge sharing, capacity building, and collaboration among researchers, farmers, policymakers, stakeholders, and African partners such as RUFORUM, FARA, and others. The ultimate objective is to support innovation and find practical solutions to make agri-food systems more sustainable, resilient, and productive.
One of Agrinatura’s strengths lies in its ability to bridge the gap between different EU programs and funding mechanisms.
Agrinatura and individual Agrinatura members actively participate in various EU projects related to agriculture, rural development, and sustainability funded by all relevant DGs. These projects and programmes such as ProIntensAfrica, LEAP-Agri, VCA4D, DeSIRA-LIFT, LEAP4FNSSA, SASI-S/PI, etc., involve multiple partners from different countries, aiming to promote knowledge exchange, research collaboration, and innovation in the agricultural sector. Agrinatura projects cover a wide range of topics such as crop production, livestock management, agroecology, climate change adaptation, and food systems transformation pathways.
At both the EU and AU levels, Agrinatura takes on a vital role as a provider of expertise, and evidence-based knowledge, specializing in capacity development and serving as a bridge between science and policy. In EU projects, Agrinatura’s coordination role revolves around facilitating effective communication and collaboration among project partners. Their primary focus is on ensuring that the project’s objectives are successfully achieved, and they actively promote the widespread dissemination of project results. To foster knowledge sharing and the adoption of best practices, Agrinatura organizes workshops, conferences, and training programs that aim to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and expertise among project stakeholders. Furthermore, Agrinatura actively contributes to policy discussions and acts as an advocate for sustainable agricultural practices and policies at the EU level. Their involvement helps drive the development and implementation of policies that support a more sustainable agricultural sector.
Agrinatura, with its vast network of member institutions and longstanding commitment to sustainable agricultural development, is uniquely positioned to contribute to this EU-AU Innovation Agenda. By working together, we can unlock the full potential of science, technology, and innovation to address shared challenges and create a prosperous future for both continents.
Partners in Europe and Africa have to work together beyond existent alliances and networks. Agrinatura, as the leading alliance of European universities and research institutes in the field of agricultural research and education, is ready to work with initiatives and actions created in the context of the EU-AU Innovation Agenda to achieve common goals. Agrinatura stands ready to play a significant role in fostering cooperation, facilitating complementarities, and maximizing the impact of EU and AU instruments and initiatives. Through our collective efforts and collaboration with actors on both continents, we are confident that we can contribute effectively to the realization of the EU-AU Innovation Agenda’s goals and create a positive impact on agricultural development, food security, and sustainable growth in Europe and Africa.
Agrinatura is a network of 35 European life-science universities and research organisations with a common interest in supporting agricultural development in a sustainable manner in order to improve people’s lives. Agrinatura seeks to nurture scientific excellence through joint research, educational and training programs, and projects that contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. More information is found at https://agrinatura-eu.eu/