Newsletter 21, May 2015 by the EIP-AGRI Service Point
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EIP-AGRI in Rural Development Programmes

How European regions will support farmers' innovative projects

The EIP-AGRI is likely to be programmed in the majority of Rural Development Programmes. Although only 23 programmes have been approved at this moment, it seems that 89 out of 112 programmes across Europe will support Operational Groups. Find out more about the EIP budget and number of programmed Operational Groups here.

1 million € up for grabs for new satellite navigation applications for agriculture

Calling all entrepreneurs, SMEs, start-ups and researchers, the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC) is looking for ground-breaking business ideas, services, or products addressing the topic of precision agriculture. This competition rewards innovative applications using satellite navigation with the potential to improve production, efficiency, profitability and to reduce environmental impact. The competition is open to everyone and is open until 30 June 2015. Find out more.

Inspirational ideas

A new market for fruit & veg waste

The demand for ‘perfect’ fruit and vegetables from major distributors results in the waste of about 30% of what is produced by farmers in the EU according to a report by the FAO. Fruta Feia, a cooperative in Lisbon, Portugal, has come up with a concept to turn this food waste into a business opportunity. Fruta Feia has been working with farmers and consumers and have created a new market for ‘ugly’ fruit and vegetables. Read more.

Pig farms in Flanders improve their performance by sharing data and results

There are significant differences in profitability between pig farms in Flanders, Belgium. To improve this, ‘knowledge cooperatives’ and the ‘Pigs Academy’ were set up to allow farmers to compare their results and to discuss their individual approaches and compare the results and costs. Participating farmer Filip Bonte stated: “Only by sharing our farm data can we improve our farm management. Together we get smarter and we can go further.” Find out what they are doing here.

Order your copy of the new Agrinnovation magazine

In June 2015, the European Commission's Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development will publish the second issue of Agrinnovation, a magazine that gives an overview of issues related to the EIP-AGRI. This issue covers inspirational stories on innovation, opportunities under the rural development policy and Horizon 2020, practical ideas on how to connect to other farmers, researchers, advisers, agribusiness, and much more. If you would like to receive a printed copy, you can let us know by sending us your postal address using this form.

How to feed the planet? Have your say

A public consultation on the role of research in global food and nutrition security is now open until September. The world exhibition has just started in Milan. EXPO Milan 2015 will run from now until 30 October 2015. Its theme 'Feeding the planet – energy for life' places food and farming at the core of the policy debate for 6 months. More information on EU activities and programme of events on the EU at EXPO website.

Towards a long-term vision for European agricultural research and innovation by 2020 and beyond:

More information on the event which the European Commission will hold in Milan on 19 June (announced in the previous newsletter) is now available here.

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 soil, animal hygiene and bioenergy.

You can check the EU calendar here.

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

Hennovation- animal welfare innovation

The Hennovation project will demonstrate the potential of animal welfare innovation led by producers and industry practices (on farm, during transport and at the abattoir). It will establish innovation networks that proactively search for and utilise new ideas to make their business more efficient and sustainable. The networks will initially tackle two particular issues of concern in the production chain: injurious pecking and the transport and use of end-of-lay hens. The networks will be led by producers or transporters and hen processors interacting with veterinary surgeons, farm advisers and scientific researchers, consumers and those certifying egg production. Read more here.

Down on the farm, cows graze while robots milk

An EU-funded project aims to help dairy farmers cut costs and boost production. Its new technology lets farmers combine pasture feeding with automated milking systems – for more efficient production and happier cows. Find out more.

Find more success stories on the Horizon 2020 website.           

PLATFORM2: the European hub for research in bioeconomy

The PLATFORM2 project will create a searchable database of bioeconomy ERA-NET joint calls and it will be a hub for discussions on emerging cooperation needs, opportunities and tools. It aims to create links and synergies, strengthen mutual learning and increase coordination among research-related initiatives in the bioeconomy sector. Find out more here.

New EIP-AGRI Focus Group experts

The experts for the new EIP-AGRI Focus Groups on ‘New entrants into farming’ and ‘Water & agriculture’ have been selected. Find out more on the Focus Groups websites:

New entrants into farming
Water & agriculture

Join and share for a green dairy industry!

The dairy sector in Europe is facing big challenges. GreenDairyNet is a new web platform for the sustainable development of the dairy industry. Whether you are a dairy producer, a food researcher, a technology provider or a member of an association or cluster, you can use the platform to share and reflect on concrete scientific and technological developments and business experiences with others from the whole dairy chain. Read more.

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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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