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European Partnership on Agroecology - All-Ready

Funding: Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, European Union

Coordinator: French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment , Institut national de recherche pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement (INRAE), France

Time period: November 2020 - October 2023

Consortium partners: The ALL-Ready project will bring together a total of 13 partners from eight European countries and Canada.

www.all-ready-project.eu

Preparation of a European network of agro-ecological living laboratories and research infrastructures    

Today, our agricultural systems face multiple challenges, including climate change, loss of biodiversity, loss of natural resources, and the deterioration of soil and water quality. Both the international and EU communities consider agroecology a suitable alternative to address these challenges. Agroecology, defined by the FAO through ten principles, means a better understanding of ecosystems, and the use of this knowledge to design more sustainable farming practices and systems. Agroecology can be the basis for a farming system that is both more resilient and more closely linked to society, and that delivers sufficient quantities of safe, nutritious and affordable food, while respecting the planet’s borders and better rewarding farmers. 

One of the fundamental assumptions of the European Commission, which underpins the European Partnership on AgroEcology provisionally entitled “Accelerating farming systems transition: agroecology living labs and research infrastructures”, starting in 2023, is that open innovation arrangements (OIAs), in particular living laboratories (LLs) and research infrastructures (RIs), are tools which can make a significant contribution to boosting agro-ecology in Europe. Building on this, the main goal of the ALL-Ready project is to prepare the framework for a future European network of agro-ecological living laboratories (LLs) and research infrastructures (the so-called “AgroEcoLLNet”) that will enable the transition to agroecology across Europe. Through its results, the project will establish the preconditions and activities of the future network. In addition, it relies on participatory, real-life experimentation, and so itself embraces a living laboratory approach. 

ALL-Ready consists of three stages: 

  1. Preparatory phase: the vision and the mission of the future network will be defined, as well as the inclusion criteria for living laboratories and research infrastructures in the network.

  2. Second phase: prepares the various preconditions and activities of the future network (sustainability, including funding, governance, capacity building, data and knowledge management), which will be developed and tested in frame of a small-scale pilot network.

  3. Final phase: One of the ultimate results of the project will be a tested implementation plan for the future network launched in 2023 which will constitute the implementation framework within the Horizon Europe program.

The goals of All-ready are:

The main mission of the ALL-Ready project is to prepare and test a European network of agro-ecological living laboratories and research infrastructures that will enable the transition to agroecology across Europe. Its objectives are:

  • to define the mission, vision and characteristics of the future network (components, operations, , criteria, etc.)
  • to identify, map and evaluate existing components of the network, taking into account both success stories and barriers to agro-ecological transition.
  • to establish a small-scale, pilot network of agro-ecological living laboratories and research infrastructures from the partner  countries to test different tools and aspects of the future networkunder real-life settings.
  • to prepare an implementation plan that assesses the current capacities (including funding mechanisms and resources) for the implementation and operation of the future network and its activities at an EU level, and to make recommendations to ensure the medium and long-term sustainability of the network.
  • to launch a capacity-building program for the implementation phase of the network, which will support the establishment and maintenance of living laboratories and research infrastructures and promote agroecology in research.

ÖMKi is responsible for the establishment and operation of a pilot network of agro-ecological living laboratories and research infrastructures including partner countries. In this small test-bed, with the help of 6-8 members, we test the tools and activities developed during the project (sustainable funding, management and implementation, capacity building, etc.) and assess the needs and expectations of the network, in addition to fostering cooperation between various agroecology living laboratories and research infrastructures across Europe.
 

The pilot network is based on a living laboratory approach as it involves wide range of stakeholders in the experimentation process and operates under real-life conditions. 

One of the members of the test network will be the ÖMKi On-Farm Living Laboratory, which will channel the experiences of agro-ecological research carried out in Hungarian conditions and the agro-ecological research priorities of Hungary (as well as research priorities of the Central and Eastern European countries as well via the BIOEAST initiative) into the pilot network. 

ÖMKi will ensure that members of the pilot network meet regularly during the project in order to build strong cross-border links and prepare joint activities based on common agro-ecological research priorities and themes (e.g. sustainable soil management, plant diversification, sustainable food supply chains, etc.). The activities of the pilot network will be key sources of “agro-ecological success stories” that will provide an incentive to build a future network within the wider, European agro-ecological community.

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