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Research and innovation

Enhancing human capital and boosting innovation systems

Why does research and innovation on human capital and innovation systems matter?

The need to speed-up innovation has been repeatedly emphasised in recent years and is now a core element of the European Commission’s communication on the future of food and farming.

Agricultural activity has never taken place in a static context. Yet, in the last decades, this context has become more complex with more stringent environmental requirements, more open economic conditions and associated opportunities and risks.

Beyond the primary sector, innovation in rural areas can play an important role in stimulating green and socially inclusive economic growth, mitigating geographic isolation and avoiding economic and social marginalisation.

Successful rural innovation requires human and social capital, including skills that enable actors to perform or initiate activities and links, incentives, shared values and norms that underpin the capacity of actors to trust each other and cooperate.

Funding opportunities

Horizon Europe

Calls for proposals and funding information related to agriculture, forestry and rural areas.

Horizon 2020

Calls for proposals related to enhancing human capital and boosting innovation systems are spread across numerous schemes in Horizon 2020. This page lists them and explains how you can apply.

European agricultural fund for rural development

The rural development policy supports innovation through a range of interventions, including the European innovation partnership for agriculture (EIP-AGRI).

LIFE programme

Some human capital and innovation boost related calls may be found in this programme.

Projects and results

AgriResearch factsheet on human capital and innovation systems

This factsheet collects most of the research and innovation related to Enhancing human capital and boosting innovation systems under Horizon 2020 societal challenge 2.

EIP-AGRI agricultural innovation project database

The one-stop shop to EU-funded agricultural innovation projects.

Research project database (CORDIS) 

The Commission's primary portal for results of EU-funded research projects.

Project success stories

Stories of particularly successful EU-funded research projects

Collaboration and jobs

EIP-AGRI activies on human capital and innovation systems

The EIP-AGRI fosters innovation in agriculture and forestry connecting knowledge and practice.

Find project partners

Search and view profiles of all organisations that have received funding via the funding and tenders portal.


Researcher jobs in related fields.

Scientific publications, tools and databases

Scientific publications 

Scientific publications produced by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC).

Scientific research tools and databases 

The Commission's Joint Research Centre compiles databases and develops software and modelling tools.

EU Open Data Portal 

Single point of access to open data produced by the EU institutions. All data is free to use for commercial and non-commercial purposes.


You can access all scientific publications from Horizon 2020 via OpenAIRE.


Access to agriculture data from the Copernicus programme.