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Research and innovation

Water, nutrients and waste

Why does research and innovation on water, nutrients and waste matter?

Agriculture and forestry heavily depend on the availability and quality of natural resources such as land, nutrients or water.

At the same time primary production impacts directly and indirectly on the integrity of these resources and contributes to their depletion.

Natural resources are under further pressure from increased environmental variations linked to climate change, to which agriculture in particular is also contributing.

The European Commission communication Closing the loop – an EU action plan for the circular economy lays the foundations of an economy where the value of resources is maintained for as long as possible, and the waste generation is minimised.

In agriculture, this translates mainly to the recycling of nutrients, the reuse of treated wastewater, or enhancing the value of waste in the context of the bioeconomy.

Research and innovation has a key role to play in developing solutions that will help strike a proper balance between productivity and environmental goals in agriculture and forestry.

Funding opportunities

Horizon Europe

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

Horizon 2020

Calls for proposals related to water, nutrients and waste 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 water, nutrients and waste related calls may be found in this programme.

Projects and results

AgriResearch factsheet on water, nutrients and waste

The AgriResearch factsheet collects most of the research and innovation related to water, nutrients and waste 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.

Collaboration and jobs

EIP-AGRI activities on water, nutrients and waste

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.