The James Hutton Institute is a new interdisciplinary scientific research institute in Scotland. The institute brings together the Scottish Crop Research Institute and the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute. The new institute, named after Scottish geologist James Hutton, one of the leading figures of the Scottish Enlightenment, will combine existing Scottish expertise in agricultural research, soils and land use, and will make contributions to issues including food and energy security, biodiversity, and climate change. With more than 600 employees, the new institute will be among the largest research centres in the UK. Wikipedia.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-26-2014 | Award Amount: 4.95M | Year: 2015
Most adults who try to lose weight fail to maintain it. Obesity is a key economic and healthcare challenge for Europe. Effective interventions and commercial programmes for weight loss are widely available, but most people re-gain their lost weight. Currently few comprehensive solutions exist to help Europeans manage weight loss maintenance (WLM). Current research suggests the most promising evidence-based behaviour change techniques for WLM are self-monitoring, goal setting, action control, building self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation. Recent research also suggests that stress management and emotion regulation skills are key enablers of relapse prevention and weight-regain. Information technology offers attractive tools for teaching and supporting these techniques, some of which are currently delivered through resource-intensive face-to-face therapies. ICT-delivery includes networked-wireless tracking technologies, weighing-scales and activity sensors, online tools and smart-phone apps, multi-media resources and internet-based support. A broad choice of tools is most likely to be acceptable to users, who can pick and choose their own preferred technologies. The NoHoW project tests whether ICT-based delivery of the most promising evidence-based behavior change techniques is effective for WLM. We will carry out a large-scale international 3-centre trial of information technology tools that implement the most up-to-date behavioural science research. This trial will establish the effectiveness of these ICT tools in supporting WLM, linked to studies of European consumer needs and behaviour. Impact: The project will directly feed results into development of new products and services from the UKs largest commercial weight-loss provider, Slimming World providing immediate benefit to 500,000\ consumers. Commercialisation of project results will provide much needed WLM services that promote health education and long-term weight management programmes.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-05-2015 | Award Amount: 5.14M | Year: 2016
The main objective of GoodBerry is to provide the necessary knowledge and procedures to facilitate the development of highly productive and top quality berry fruits, even under multiple suboptimal growth conditions, at a competitive cost. The project is based on an integrative multi-actor approach, from cultivation techniques to molecular studies, aiming the development and validation of a range of tools to improve competitiveness of European berry production, and eventually the attraction and confidence of consumers. The selection of the model species can be considered as strategic since strawberry is the most important berry crop in Europe and the production of raspberry and blackcurrant are increasing strongly in recent years. The project will apply the most recent technical advances in: a) The identification of berry germplasm exhibiting advantageous balance of production vs nutritional quality throughout the EU, b) The search of innovative production systems to maintain high yield in a range of European-wide environments, c) The development of standardized and reliable analytical tools to evaluate berry production and fruit quality. As result, it is expected: a) the implementation of modern breeding strategies to accelerate the release of new berry cultivars; b) The adoption by EU-growers of high quality production systems to improve fruit quality. The proposal establishes as obligatory to disseminate and communicate the results to the scientific community, industry, the broad public and interested stakeholders user. The final impact will be to consolidate the emerging needs of high-quality berries, and to boost consumer and market confidence supported by an improved competitiveness of producers. It is a multidisciplinary, collaborative project based on complementary expertise and skills of internationally recognized berry research institutions, and highly involved key berry SMEs that will combine their effort to secure the robustness of the results.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-18-2015 | Award Amount: 4.96M | Year: 2016
SALSA will assess the role of small farms and small food businesses in delivering a sustainable and secure supply of affordable, nutritious and culturally adequate food. SALSA will identify the mechanisms which, at different scales, can strengthen the role of small farms in food systems and thereby support sustainable food and nutrition security (FNS). By considering a gradient of 30 reference regions in Europe and in Africa, we will obtain a differentiated understanding of the role of small farms and small food businesses in very differently structured food systems and situations. SALSA will elaborate and implement a transdisciplinary, multi-scale approach that builds on and connects relevant theoretical and analytical frameworks within a food systems approach, and that uses qualitative, consultative and quantitative methods. We will also test a new combination of data-based methods and tools (including satellite technologies) for rigorously assessing in quantitative terms the interrelationships between small farms, other small food businesses and FNS, paying particular attention to limiting and enabling factors. SALSA will use participatory methods, at regional level, and establish a more global Community of Practice and multi-stakeholder learning platform, based on FAOs TECA online communication and learning platform. The SALSA consortium, and the joint learning and close cooperation, have both been designed with the EU - Africa dialogue in mind. Responding to the call we will unravel the complex interrelationships between small farms, small food businesses and FNS, and unfold the role played by small farms in (a) the balance between the different dimensions of sustainability, (b) maintaining more diverse production systems, (c) supporting the urban/rural balance in terms of labour and (d) in facilitating territorial development in countries facing a strong rural population growth.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ISIB-03-2015 | Award Amount: 5.94M | Year: 2016
SIMRA seeks to advance understanding of social innovation (SI) and innovative governance in agriculture, forestry and rural development (RD), and how to boost them, particularly in marginalised rural areas across Europe, with a focus on the Mediterranean region (including non-EU) where there is limited evidence of outcomes and supporting conditions. These objectives will be achieved by: 1. Developing systematic frameworks: a) theoretical - for improved knowledge of the complexity of SIs and its dimensions, and its impact on unfolding territorial capital; b) operational - based on a trans-disciplinary coalition (researchers and practitioners) to advance understanding of preconditions and success factors (e.g. instruments, incentives etc.) for implementing/operationalizing SI. 2. Creating a categorisation of SIs which encompasses the specificities in terms of social priorities, relationships/collaborations etc. and serves as an instrument to explore reasons why regions with similar conditions display diverging paths and to turn diversity into strength. 3. Creating an integrated set of methods to evaluate SI and its impacts on economic, social, environmental, institutional and policy dimensions of territorial capital. 4. Co-constructed evaluation of SIs in case studies across the spatial variation of European rural areas, considering which components of territorial capital foster and, or mainstream RD. 5. Synthesis and dissemination of new or improved knowledge of SIs and novel governance mechanisms to promote social capital and institutional capacity building and inform effective options/solutions for shaping sustainable development trajectories. 6. Creating collaborative learning and networking opportunities and launching innovative actions at different/multiple scales, with continuous interactions among researchers, knowledge brokers and stakeholders to foster and mainstream SI, leaving a durable legacy.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: RUR-11-2016 | Award Amount: 2.19M | Year: 2017
The PLAID project (Peer-to-peer Learning: Accessing Innovation through Demonstration) will identify, compile and make publically accessible the topics, locations, best practices and innovative approaches to demonstration on commercial farms in the EU 28, Switzerland and Norway. PLAID will enable access to demonstration activities by creating a searchable georeferenced inventory and map covering all 30 countries; developing virtual (on-line) demonstration approaches with commercial farmers; assessing governance, commissioning, financing, topic selection, access (particularly gender), mediation techniques and impact in 24 longitudinal case studies; and comparing the impact of different governance models and financing mechanisms on learning processes and accessibility. PLAID will produce recommendations for governance and best practice in both real and virtual demonstration settings, using these to develop indicators and decision support tools for farmers, advisors, commercial companies, charities, educators, policy makers and researchers. PLAID is a multi-actor consortium, using a multi-stakeholder approach, where farmers, industry stakeholders and academics work together as to design, test and validate outputs. PLAID has been designed to achieve high impact, through generation of a substantial set of knowledge exchange activities and project outputs, which will be hosted long-term on PLAID stakeholder web-sites, You Tube and the EIP Agri Service Point. PLAID will initiate a community of practice, which together with the above activities and outputs will provide a solid foundation for RUR-12-2017: Networking European farms to boost thematic knowledge exchanges and close the innovation gap and provide substantive input to the EIP Agri database.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: SC5-17-2015 | Award Amount: 5.78M | Year: 2016
The GROW Observatory (GROW) will create a sustainable citizen platform and community to generate, share and utilise information on land, soil and water resource at a resolution hitherto not previously considered. The vision is to underpin smart and sustainable custodianship of land and soil, whilst meeting the demands of food production, and to answer a long-standing challenge for space science, namely the validation of soil moisture detection from satellites. GROW is highly innovative project leveraging and combining low cost consumer sensing technology, a simple soil test and a large user base of growers and plant enthusiasts to contribute individual soil and land data. It is designed to engage primarily individual growers and small-scale farmers across Europe, and to enable them to develop new wisdom and innovative practices through the collective power of shared and open data and knowledge. Citizens contributing data will gain access to the first single-source comprehensive crop and watering advice service for individual and small-scale growers incorporating scientific and crowdsourced information. Moreover, they will develop campaigns (coordinated sampling operations) around local needs and issues, to underpin smarter decision-making and implementation of policy objectives. GROW will actively identify and enable new and credible social and business innovation processes, creating potential new services, applications and markets. The outcome will be a central hub of open knowledge and data created and maintained by growers that will be of value to the citizens themselves as well as specialist communities in science, policy and industry. The GROW partnership will connect and scale to globally dispersed communities linked through digital and social platforms, and a wide range of additional citizen associations and NGOs in sustainable agriculture, gardening, food democracy and land management.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: WATER-2b-2015 | Award Amount: 7.46M | Year: 2016
MAGIC is a proposal coordinated by the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) in collaboration with partners which have a proven and track record in their respective fields of competence. Our objective is to open the path towards a new way of managing the Nexus in which researchers and decision makers work together in the search for development strategies that can contribute to the smart, sustainable and inclusive economic growth required by the EU 2020 Strategy, while maintaining a leading and informed participation in international discussions about global issues, like climate change or food security. In order to do so, MAGIC deploys a set of novel, cutting-edge and system-oriented approaches that originates from system ecology, bio-economics and Science and Technology Studies. Their combination allows MAGIC to highlights if a certain mix of EU policies results in undesirable or unforeseen outcomes. Climate, water, land energy, and food modeling are integrated into a socio- and bio-economics framework using an iterative and participatory method. Significant care is taken to embed these ideas and approaches within the advisory and decision making functions of the European Commission. Impacts are twofold. First, MAGIC contributes a methodological framework where the needs for advice of different DG in the design of development strategies for the EU are covered using a method that can embrace the complexity of the nexus, for a better understanding of the interactions it holds. Second, the project provides on the flight advice to the EC about the timeliness and soundness for the EU 2020 Strategy and the EU position in international agreements of EU policies -like the Water Framework Directive, the Common Agricultural Policy, or the Low-Carbon Economy Strategy- and targets of implementing technologies -such as fracking, desalination, biofuels and GMOs.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: REV-INEQUAL-07-2016 | Award Amount: 4.89M | Year: 2016
There is an increasing need for developing European Union Cohesion Policy in terms of greater sensitivity towards territorial specificities, more supportive of community-based development and the facilitation of greater civic participation. This also relates to the concern over decreasing identification with the European project among the population. Place-based development, endogenous regional development and territorial capital are some of the policy approaches that have been invoked to facilitate a reorientation of Cohesion Policy and territorial development policy. These need to be connected more specifically to notions of the local and localism. RELOCAL will target this objective by exploring in depth the two dimensions underlying the challenge described in the Call text. The project will be based on case studies of local contexts (e.g. cities and their regions) that exemplify development challenges in terms of spatial justice. Among the research questions that have been identified are the following: - How can spatial justice be conceptualised, operationalised, adapted? - How processes of territorial inequalities in different localities be understood and analysed? - How does the local relate to cohesion in an EU context? - What factors and filters are operating that enhance or limit the relation between the local and cohesion? What might bridge abstract notions of spatial justice and local practises on the one hand and CP on the other? - Is there a territorial trap in thinking locally, endogenously? Can enhanced autonomy contribute to spatial justice? How can processes of place-making be related to spatial justice? - What is the scope for alternative development, stabilisation, sustainability, solidarity models/scenarios?