Newsletter 10, June 2014 by the EIP-AGRI Service Point
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Duchy Originals Future Farming Programme

Innovation with farmers in the driver’s seat

Field labs in the ‘Duchy Originals Future Farming Programme’

The Duchy Originals Future Farming Programme in the UK provides innovation support services that bring farmers and researchers together in ‘field labs’. Working in these groups means that each person can benefit from and contribute to the other participants’ knowledge and experience. It helps farmers across the UK reduce their inputs and improve productivity in a healthy and sustainable way. The programme puts farmers in the driver’s seat of field-based practical innovation. Read more.

New call for experts will be announced in early July

EIP-AGRI is setting up three new Focus Groups on the following themes: 
  • Optimising crop production profitability through ecological focus areas
  • Alternative/innovative supply chains
  • Integrated Pest Management practices for soil disease suppression
We are looking for farmers, advisors, researchers and other experts who wish to take part in 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? From the beginning of July until 9 September you will be able to apply on our website (where you can also find out more information on all EIP-AGRI Focus Groups). You can also find out about the calls as soon as they are published by following us on twitter @EIPAGRI_SP.


Read all about EIP-AGRI’s first year in its magazine ‘AGRINNOVATION’

The first edition of 'Agrinnovation', DG AGRI's yearly magazine on EIP-AGRI, is now out. You can read about what the EIP-AGRI network and Service Point have been doing since the EIP-AGRI was launched in April 2013. The magazine brings you up to date with what the EIP-AGRI Focus Groups have been working on so far, you can hear about some existing examples of innovative agricultural projects in several European countries, learn about the EIP on Water, see the main points from the AKIS orientation paper on linking innovation and research and much more.

Read more about the magazine here, or download a digital copy here.

OECD introduces ‘experimental innovation policy’

New report published by the OECD in collaboration with The World Bank

A new report Making Innovation Policy Work published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) suggests ways to improve the quality, cooperation and creativity of innovation policy (which aims at inclusive and sustainable growth). It suggests moving away from “top-down government interventions” and ensuring that it is more efficient in terms of the public expenditures supporting it.
This document introduces the concept of 'experimental innovation policy' where monitoring and feedback are included from the policy design stage through to its implementation, involving a variety of groups in its development, adapting and improving it along the way. The report highlights the importance of sharing knowledge on a global scale, it states: “If we discover an innovative approach that works in one place, we must adapt it and scale it up in other places”. “International openness” and the contribution of private and non-governmental groups to this process can also, according to the report, avoid some of the failures linked to the traditional top-down approach to innovation policy where barriers to innovation are often overlooked. Three specific areas of policy are considered in detail in the report: policies for bottom-of-the-pyramid innovation, high-growth entrepreneurship and green innovation.
EIP-AGRI’s approach, particularly to the setting-up of Operational Groups, corresponds to this way of dealing with innovation policy. Please see our fact sheet on Operational Groups.
Read Making Innovation Policy Work published by the OECD online here, or purchase the PDF file or the Book+PDF. The OECD is an international organisation which promotes policies which have a positive impact on economic and social well-being.


Final EIP-AGRI workshop on establishing Operational Groups took place in Paris in May

On 21-22 May stakeholders from Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg and Romania participated in the workshop ‘Establishing Operational Groups under Rural Development Programmes’. The workshop was hosted by the French Ministry of Agriculture, Agrifood and Forestry (MAAF). The presentations, inspiring case studies and background information on the workshop can be found here.
This workshop was the last in a series of five workshops aiming to stimulate the setting-up of Operational Groups in all Member States. The EIP-AGRI Service Point is now preparing an online tool based on the information and questions collected at these workshops. This tool is designed to be used by the organisations in all Member States that are willing to actively support the implementation of the EIP-AGRI, in particular by setting up Operational Groups.

National Rural Networks contributing to EIP-AGRI

“Fostering innovation is a new objective of rural networking for 2014-2020” says a new paper released by the ENRD this month. The NRNs’ position at Member State level means that they can contribute greatly to EIP-AGRI.
The main role of the NRNs is to support the implementation of rural development policy at national level, which is currently of particularly high importance with the Rural Development programming for 2014-2020. They can therefore play an important part in raising awareness about the EIP-AGRI: facilitating the exchange of information across regional borders or collecting examples of projects and good practices from the field are just some of the tasks they may have. NRNs will get access to varied information via the EIP-AGRI Network for example about innovative projects and activities from other countries, and the results of EIP-AGRI Focus Groups, workshops and seminars etc. It is essential that the flow of information between these networks is continuously stimulated. 
This subject was recently discussed at a Peer-to-Peer Training Workshop named “Networking for Innovation in the 2014-2020 RDPs”. This event was organised by the Network Support Unit (NSU) from the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD), hosted by the Flemish Rural Network and was held in Ghent (Belgium) on 18-19 March. Read the document “Tips for planning the Role of NRNs and their activities in implementing the EIP-AGRI” here, and the rest of the documents from the workshop 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 organic farming, plant biology and healthier societies.
Download the 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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