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Research and innovation

Why does research and innovation on soils matter?

Research is crucial to better understand, monitor and measure the specific effects of agricultural and forestry activities on soils.

Additional knowledge is needed on the long-term processes of soil formation, on soil fertility, and how to improve the productive and ecosystem functions of soil by optimising its biological, chemical and physical properties.

Designing ways to increase soil carbon content, enhance soil biodiversity and reduce soil erosion is crucial for food security.

New avenues for soil and crop management are emerging from an increased understanding of the ‘soil-food web’, the complex interactions between plants and soils which support water and nutrient uptake by plants or increase resistance against pests and diseases.

Knowledge and tools developed through research and innovation can help to progress soil-enhancing production systems and advance the role of livestock in soil management. Research efforts serve to enhance the function of soils as carbon and nitrogen sinks, thereby supporting the role of agriculture and forestry in the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as combating desertification and land degradation.

Policy focus

Funding opportunities

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

Projects and results

Collaboration and jobs

Look for project partners and view profiles of all organisations that have received funding via the funding and tender opportunities portal

International cooperation in research and innovation contributes to respond to global challenges

Scientific publications, tools and databases

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


  • News article

The winners for the Mission Soil photo competition were announced during the European Mission Soil Week in Madrid (Spain). The competition inspired over 50 people to show us their love for soil in their beautiful photos with soil as the protagonist.

  • 1 min read