Newsletter 19, March 2015 by the EIP-AGRI Service Point
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Experts sought for new EIP-AGRI Focus Groups: New entrants into farming and Water and agriculture

EIP-AGRI is setting up two new Focus Groups, of 20 experts each:
  • New entrants into farming: lessons to foster innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Water & agriculture: adaptive strategies at farm level   
We are looking for farmers, advisors, researchers and other experts who wish to join one of these Focus Groups to share knowledge, propose practical innovative solutions, identify opportunities and draw on experiences derived from related existing projects.
Do you feel you could contribute to one of these Focus Groups?
You can apply on the EIP-AGRI website until 13 April 2015 through this link.
If you would like to learn more about EIP-AGRI Focus Groups, you can read the new EIP-AGRI brochure on Focus Groups here.

16 inspiring ideas to improve soil organic matter content in Mediterranean regions

The EIP-AGRI Focus Group on Soil organic matter content in Mediterranean regions has now presented its recommendations for future research topics and ideas for Operational Groups in its final report. Focus Group expert Borbala Biro from Hungary explains: “We have identified 16 priorities on transferable innovative solutions for the purpose of improving soil organic matter content in a cost-effective way, while securing soil functionality and soil fertility in the specific context of Mediterranean regions.” Read more 

The multiplier tool-kit offers you infographics, standard texts and press articles to inform people about Operational Groups

If you would like to inform others on Operational Groups, the multiplier tool-kit may be very helpful: it allows you to copy-paste from the EIP-AGRI brochures on EIP-AGRI and on Operational Groups. Recently, some standard articles, an EIP-AGRI multiplier Facebook banner and a press article on Operational Groups were added. 


EIP-AGRI brochures in your own language?

If you provide us with translated texts of brochures or infographics, the Service Point will provide you with the digital files of the translated versions or infographics. Germany, Spain and Sweden have already used this option. Contact for more information.

Inspirational ideas

Healthy strawberries thanks to ‘flying doctors’

Honeybees and bumblebees can help protect strawberry crops and increase marketable yields in their new role as ‘flying doctors’. Dr Heikki Hokkanen, project coordinator of the EU project BICOPOLL explains: “Research in our project has proven that these little helpers can spread beneficial microbes, also known as biocontrol agents, which protect the plants against one of the most common diseases causing strawberry crop loss – grey mould.” Read more

German Innovation office EIP Agricultural in Schleswig-Holstein ready to support Operational Groups

The region Schleswig-Holstein’s Innovation Office EIP Agricultural started 1 July 2014. With their Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 approved, they are one of the first offices to open shop. Their tasks are ambitious. Carola Ketelhodt, head of the innovation office explains: “We will support the future Operational Groups with information, assistance and support during the planning, implementation and the execution of the project ideas.” Read more


Horizon 2020: From agricultural waste to green energy

The project KACELLE focuses on the possibility of using leftover (waste) straw from agriculture for fuel. By far the most heated debate surrounding biofuels is the use of food crops to produce fuel, as the practice increases the competition for land and drives up the price of food. KACELLE has proven that crops such as wheat and maize do not necessarily need to be used in the increasing demand for energy. Read more.
Find more success stories on the Horizon 2020 website.

The Assembly: coordinating two networks - ENRD and EIP-AGRI

In January 2015 the European Rural Networks’ Assembly was successfully launched as the main governance body of the ENRD and EIP-AGRI networks. The Assembly is an effective forum to debate the strategic framework for the activities of the network support units. The Assembly provides a platform to share stakeholders’ priorities and concerns covering all aspects of the Rural Development Policy 2014-2020, ranging from programming and evaluation to Community-Led Local Development, and Innovation. Read more

Subgroup on Innovation

The European Rural Networks’ Assembly will include several subgroups. The Subgroup on Innovation will pay specific attention to the EIP-AGRI network, working with the Service point on catalysing innovation to make EU agriculture and forestry more sustainable and more productive. The Subgroup met for the first time in Brussels on 10 March 2015. More information will be available soon.

EIP-AGRI Workshop: ‘Building new biomass supply chains for the bio-based economy’

On 27-28 May 2015, the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development and the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs will organise a workshop to connect primary production and industry for the development of new biomass supply chains for the bio-based economy. The event will take place in Alghero, Sardinia, Italy and it will involve relevant players from the whole biomass supply chain: from agricultural and forestry producers, to industry, including National Rural Networks (NRNs) and advisors,... The workshop will include plenary presentations, interactive work in breakout sessions and a field visit. Read more

Farmers and farm advisors asked to set future priorities for organic production

On 28-29 May 2015, the European Commission is organising a conference on ‘Organic production, Research and Innovation: setting priorities for the future’ in Milan. It will gather researchers, farmers, farm advisors and others involved to shed light on the research needs and priorities in this sector. Joao Onofre from the organic unit of the European Commission: ”We are looking for organic farmers and organic farm advisors who are interested in participating actively in the conference. They will add to setting priorities for research and innovation in the organic sector.” Read more

What else is happening in the world of agricultural innovation?

Over the next few months, a number of interesting events will be organised all over Europe on a variety of agricultural topics including horticulture, grasslands and dairy production.

You can check the EU calendar here.

Should you have information about interesting events in the coming months, please let us know:


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The EIP-AGRI Service Point is based in Brussels. You can reach us from Monday to Friday from 9:00 – 17:00. By phone +32 2 543 73 48 or email

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