What is the EIP-AGRI?
The European innovation partnership for agricultural productivity and sustainability or EIP-AGRI is a European initiative that promotes innovation to make the agriculture and forestry sectors fit for today’s global challenges.
Initiated in 2012, it coordinates – mainly since 2014 – the funding of projects, networking and knowledge exchange activities through the common agricultural policy (CAP) and the European research and innovation programme (Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe from 2021).
EIP-AGRI projects apply interactive innovation or the ‘multi-actor approach’. This means that farmers, farm advisors, scientists and other stakeholders collaborate throughout the project to develop innovative solutions to practical problems.
These solutions have a greater chance to be relevant and used as they are elaborated with and for farmers or practitioners.
The EU supports two types of multi-actor projects through the EIP-AGRI:
- local, regional or national innovation projects called 'operational groups';
- transnational research and innovation projects bringing together partners from all over Europe.
Among these transnational projects are a specific type called 'thematic networks'. These collate existing knowledge and translate it in understandable information and tools for practitioners in the field.
Local, regional and national projects are funded by the CAP rural development programmes through national or regional calls for applications. Transnational projects are funded under EU’s research and innovation programme via European calls for projects.
Networking activities facilitate the exchange of knowledge and the dissemination of innovation. Such activities are organised at European level by the European Commission with the support of the EIP-AGRI ‘service point’ and at national and regional levels by national EIP-AGRI organising bodies or rural networks.
Networking activities include:
- the European platform EIP-AGRI connects farm innovation actors: it aims to bring together information from all EIP-AGRI projects in Europe;
- workshops and seminars that bring together local and European projects working on a same subject;
- European expert groups called focus groups, also multi-actor, who discuss research and innovation needs on very practical subjects;
- publications that inform on innovation and funding opportunities.
These networking activities are funded under the CAP.
The EIP-AGRI after 2020
The European Commission proposes to continue and strengthen the EIP-AGRI by boosting innovation even further under the future common agricultural policy and by increasing funding for research and innovation dedicated to agriculture, food, bioeconomy and rural development under Horizon Europe.