Articles

Agroecological approaches for sustainable weed management | Deadlines: 23 February 2022, 6 September 2022

Deadline:  23 February 2022 and 6 September 2022 (2 stage)
Budget:  14.500.000 EUR
Countries:  France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia

Themes

  • Aquaculture

Objective

A successful proposal should support the farm to fork’s strategy objective of a transition to a fair, healthy and resilient European agriculture, notably its objective to promote agroecology, and the target to reduce the overall use and risk of chemical pesticides[1], by unfolding the potential of agroecology to provide alternative weeding strategies that reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides used as herbicides. This will support the transition to sustainable, safe, productive, climate-neutral and resilient farming systems that minimise the pressure on ecosystems while ensuring fair economic returns for farmers.

Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Evidence of optimal and innovative combinations of holistic alternative weeding techniques based on agroecological approaches in different European pedo-climatic conditions for a wide range of crops and farming systems, including conventional, organic and mixed farming;
  • Quantitative and qualitative evidence of the social, economic and environmental sustainability and performance, as well as trade-offs, of different alternative weeding strategies across Europe at farm, landscape and regional levels, and in the medium to long term;
  • Robust evidence of factors influencing farmers’ decision-making and improved knowledge co-creation and feedback among actors in the food value chain, resulting in ease of use, end-user acceptance and increased implementation of alternative and holistic weeding strategies based on an integrated use of agroecological approaches;
  • Improved, open access to data on current weed management practices and use of herbicides across several representative European agro-ecosystems.

Scope: 

Herbicides have become the foundation of weed management in EU farming systems. Given that herbicides can have harmful effects on the environment, non-target organisms, and animal and human health, reducing reliance on these products has become a policy objective. Sustainable and effective non-chemical alternatives to reduce or eliminate the use of herbicides are largely lacking for most crops and farming systems in the EU.

Weed-related challenges can be better addressed as a part of broad-based, holistic strategies such as agroecology[2] that, by relying on and maximising the use of ecological processes to support agricultural production, have the potential to advance ecosystem sustainability while ensuring profitability of the farming activity. Agroecology is a holistic approach that relies on and maximises the use of ecological processes to support agricultural production. By working more with nature and ecosystem services, agroecology has the potential to increase the circularity, diversification and autonomy of farms, and drive a full transformation of farming systems, from input substitution and beyond. In parallel, progressing towards digitalisation or the implementation of new digital technologies is one of the main ambitions facing EU agriculture.

The development and promotion of alternative weed management techniques and strategies that do not only rely on chemical herbicides are required. Moreover, factors such as soil and climatic conditions, as well as the type of crop and the farming system can largely determine the spatial and temporal development of major weeds and, therefore, the effectiveness and efficiency of these strategies. Agroecological or nature-based principles can provide systemic, sustainable, context-specific and socially acceptable alternatives to address these challenges.

Activities should advance knowledge, build capacities and deliver innovative systemic and holistic solutions to reduce and eventually eliminate the use of chemical pesticides used as herbicides, and will address the needs of a wide range of crops (arable and permanent) and farming systems, both conventional and organic. Proposals should cover all EU and Associated Countries biogeographical/pedo-climatic regions. Proposals must implement the ‘multi-actor approach’ and should build on and expand the achievements of relevant past and ongoing EU-funded research projects.

More information on the EC funding and tenders opportunities portal

Innovative food from marine and freshwater ecosystems | Deadline 23 February/ 6 September

Deadline:  23 February 2022 | 6 Sepember (2 stage)
Budget:  18.000.0000 EUR
Countries:  France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia

Themes

  • Aquaculture

Objective

In line with the European Green Deal objectives, the farm to fork strategy for a fair healthy and environmentally friendly food system, the EU bioeconomy strategy and blue growth strategy, the successful proposal will support environmentally friendly, inclusive, safe and healthy seafood production through innovation in the supply chain.

Projects results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Implementation of the ecosystem approach for sustainable management of marine or freshwater fisheries or in aquaculture development.
  • Wider and more diverse range of seafood (including from fresh waters) available to European consumers, and greater overall seafood consumption.
  • Tools to limit the waste and discarding of seafood during production, processing, transport and consumption, including the minimisation of the environmental impacts of fisheries and aquaculture through better gears or practices.
  • Verification of existing and development of new seafood processing methods that add nutritional and economic value and minimise the environmental impact.
  • Improved professional skills and competences of those working and being trained to work within the blue economy.

Scope:

Despite the vast diversity of biota in the European seas, rivers and lakes, consumers prefer only a few species for consumption. This is even more pronounced for aquaculture production where only a very limited number of fish and shellfish species are farmed. Moreover, some of the farmed species are higher predators and, despite improvements in feeds, fishing for feed is still a sad reality. Waste of seafood during production, processing, transport and consumption is massive; valorisation of fish and shellfish biomass is still far from achieving its full potential in the context of a circular economy.

Innovation under this topic should explore and test solutions for more sustainable fishing and/or aquaculture practices and diversify production through low trophic level fisheries and/or aquaculture. This could include animals (herbivorous, filter-feeders), algae (micro- and macro-), bacteria and fungi. Issues of biology, feeding, metabolism, disease, pathology, environmental sustainability, gear technology, processing, and marketing of products may be addressed.

Innovation should additionally focus on improving the environmental impact of fisheries and/or aquaculture, e.g. with more selective and less impacting fishing gear, low carbon fishing approaches, nutritious and safe feeds, recirculating aquaculture systems, integrated multitrophic aquaculture, disease control and sustainable solutions in fish and shellfish rearing. It may also identify captured species of high abundance and high nutritional value and reach out to consumers to promote their consumption.

Innovative processing, including digital and packaging solutions as well as formulation and/or fortification, may also be considered to minimise loss of fish and shellfish biomass, add nutritional and economic value to the chain (including by-products), enhance the shelf life of the products, and reduce food waste.

The projects that will be selected may also address issues of proximity between seafood production and consumption, e.g. by exploring possibilities to turn artisanal fisheries more environmentally friendly and economically viable. Innovative processing possibilities may also be explored.

A strong communication component and a genuine co-creation approach with stakeholders and end users, including from industry, consumers and NGOs, are key for a successful introduction, in the medium-term, of innovative and sustainably produced seafood in the EU and in Horizon Europe associated countries. Training and education activities should be included.

More information on the EC Funding and tender opportunities portal

Integrated and sustainable freshwater bioeconomy: combining aquaculture, biodiversity preservation, biotechnology and other uses | Deadline 23 February 2022

Deadline:  23 February 2022
Budget:  10.000.000 EUR
Countries:  France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia

Themes

  • Aquaculture

Objective

A successful proposal should support the farm to fork’s strategy objective of a transition to a fair, healthy and resilient European agriculture, notably its objective to promote agroecology, and the target to reduce the overall use and risk of chemical pesticides[1], by unfolding the potential of agroecology to provide alternative weeding strategies that reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides used as herbicides. This will support the transition to sustainable, safe, productive, climate-neutral and resilient farming systems that minimise the pressure on ecosystems while ensuring fair economic returns for farmers.

Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Evidence of optimal and innovative combinations of holistic alternative weeding techniques based on agroecological approaches in different European pedo-climatic conditions for a wide range of crops and farming systems, including conventional, organic and mixed farming;
  • Quantitative and qualitative evidence of the social, economic and environmental sustainability and performance, as well as trade-offs, of different alternative weeding strategies across Europe at farm, landscape and regional levels, and in the medium to long term;
  • Robust evidence of factors influencing farmers’ decision-making and improved knowledge co-creation and feedback among actors in the food value chain, resulting in ease of use, end-user acceptance and increased implementation of alternative and holistic weeding strategies based on an integrated use of agroecological approaches;
  • Improved, open access to data on current weed management practices and use of herbicides across several representative European agro-ecosystems.

Scope

Freshwater systems host an immense biodiversity and support a multitude of activities providing livelihoods to inland populations. Lakes, ponds and rivers require a transition to more sustainable and environment-friendly productive ecosystems through optimal water management and planning, mutually benefiting the different ecosystem services by developing economic activities in rural areas, maintaining the biodiversity, and increasing resilience to climate change and water crises.

Aquaculture, in particular integrated multi-trophic or recirculating aquaculture systems, can be key for the development of lakeside and riverside areas as it can be combined with other bio-based activities, such as farming, livestock and the use of hitherto unused naturally produced biomass. Addressing environmental concerns, such as the requirements of the Water Framework Directive and the Habitats Directive, are essential for sustainable growth of freshwater aquaculture. Preserving biodiversity, including health and biosecurity issues, is also key for potential biotechnological applications that should also be explored under this topic.

The Strategic Working Group on Fisheries and Aquaculture (SCAR-Fish) of the Standing Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR) highlighted in a recent study[1] several issues that urgently need to be explored by research and addressed by innovation, such as climate change-related issues and issues of profitability. Research in this topic should consider the priorities of the SCAR-Fish study.

Strong and active involvement of stakeholders and end-users, including industry and NGOs, in a co-creation approach, is key for the success of the projects that will be selected.

International co-operation with partners from non-associated third countries is strongly encouraged as a win-win scenario, while contributing to the European competitiveness and resilience.

 

More information on the EC funding and tender opportunities portal

Call: HORIZON-CL6-2022-FARM2FORK-01-05

Recovery of coastal and maritime tourism in the Western Mediterranean | Deadline: 12 January 2021

Deadline: 12 January 2021
Budget: 3.875.000 EUR
Countries: Algeria, France, Italy, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia

Themes

  • Tourism

Objective

In line with the priorities of the European Commission, this call topic aims to strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of the coastal and maritime tourism ecosystem in the Western Mediterranean, as part of a smart and resilient blue economy. This call topic aims at preserving the marine and coastal environment and marine cultural heritage, and contributing to the attractiveness of coastal areas as a unique asset for competitiveness in the Mediterranean.

The action particularly aims at:

  • Supporting tourism stakeholders to tap into the growing ecotourism niche tourism market.
  • Boosting innovation and digitalisation in the tourism sector, thus increasing its contribution to economic growth and jobs in the Mediterranean.
  • Improving the business environment for tourism SMEs, mobilising private-public investments, enhancing socio-economic and market intelligence, diversifying and increasing the visibility of the tourism offer and products.

Scope:

This call topic seeks to support projects that will develop a multidimensional and integrated approach to re-building coastal and maritime tourism (including cruise tourism) in the Western Mediterranean. Proposals will include non-EU countries participating in the initiative for the sustainable development of the blue economy in the Western Mediterranean (WestMED Initiative) to ensure a coordinated approach at sea basin level.

Call:

Flagship projects promoting a sustainable blue economy through regional maritime cooperation in the Atlantic, the Black Sea and the Western Mediterranean (EMFAF-2021-PIA-FLAGSHIP)

More information: Funding & Tenders portal

seagrass photo with call-title text

Meer Wissen call for proposals: strengthening the knowledge base for marine and coastal nature-based Solutions in selected African countries | Deadline: 31 december 2021

Deadline: 31 December 2021
Budget: 360.000 EUR
Countries: Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia

Themes

  • Governance, ICZM, MSP, data and monitoring (O3)

Objective

Marine Nature-based Solutions (NbS) play a significant role in climate adaptation, coastal protection and climate mitigation, but also food security as well as biodiversity conservation and for safeguarding the livelihoods of coastal populations.

The objective of this Call for Proposals is to improve the knowledge base for marine and coastal NbS and to improve the use and uptake in national strategies and action plans.

More information: visit the Meer Wissen call website

plate with spanish paella

HORIZON Europe Call – Sea to fork transparency and consumer engagement | Deadline: 6 October 2021

Deadline: 6 October, 2021
Budget: 10.000.000 €
Countries: Algeria, France, Italy, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia

Themes:

  • Fisheries/ Aquaculture (O2/P2)
  • Maritime Research and innovation (O2)

Objective:

A successful proposal should support the farm to fork’s strategy objective of a transition to fair, healthy, climate-resilient and climate- and environment-friendly food systems from primary production to consumption, notably the target of at least 25% of the EU’s agricultural land under organic farming by 2030 and a significant increase in organic aquaculture, by evaluating the conditions and proposing scenarios relating to knowledge and innovation for reaching this target

Description

In line with the European Green Deal objectives, the farm to fork strategy for a fair healthy and environmentally friendly food system, the EU bioeconomy strategy and blue growth strategy, the successful proposal will support consumer engagement to a more sustainable, environmentally friendly, inclusive, safe and healthy seafood consumption through innovative information strategies and tools.

Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Sustainably fished or farmed nutritious seafood with a low ecological and carbon footprint is well-communicated, well-accepted and preferred by consumers.
  • Identification of key bottlenecks to achieve a fully transparent seafood value chain in Europe, including the assessment of criteria for consumers’ non-acceptance.

More information

More information at the call webpage

HORIZON Europe Call – Demonstration of measures and management for coastal and marine ecosystems restoration and resilience in simplified socio-ecological systems | Deadline: 6 October 2021

Deadline: 6 October 2021
Budget: 10.000.000 €
Countries: Algeria, France, Italy, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia

Themes

  • Marine pollution and circular economy (O2/P4)
  • MPA’s and nature conservation (O2/P5)

Objective

A successful proposal will improve the knowledge to restore ecosystems and halt biodiversity loss, supporting notably the following impact in this destination: ‘Biodiversity decline, its main direct drivers and their interrelations are better understood and addressed’

More information: Visit the call webpage

HORIZON Europe Call – Socio-economic empowerment of the users of the sea

Deadline: 6 October 2021
Budget: 6.000.000 €
Countries: Algeria, France, Italy, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia

Themes

  • Maritime skills and education (O2/P6)
  • Fisheries/ Aquaculture (O2/P2)
  • Marine and Coastal Tourism (O2/P4)

Objective

This call aims to better understand the environmental, socio-economic, behavioural, cultural and demographic drivers of change for users of the sea in coastal areas, and how these are taken into account by the policy making community.

More information: Visit the call webpage

ocean-innovation-challnge poster for call

UNDP – Ocean Innovation Challenge – Call Sustainable Fisheries | Deadline 9 May 2021

Deadline: 9 May 2021
Budget: 50.000-250.000 USD
Countries: TN, DZ, MA, MR, LY

Themes:

  • Fisheries and Aquaculture

The UNDP Ocean Innovation Challenge is looking for innovative solutions promoting sustainable fisheries to receive support up to 250K USD. Application deadline: 9 May 2021.

Over the years, the international community has taken important steps to promote sustainable fishing, such as the FAO’s Code of Conduct on Responsible Fishing, the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement, and through the work of various regional fisheries agreements and RFMOs. Nevertheless, progress on key SDG 14 targets pertaining to sustainable fisheries has lagged and the main target, 14.4, was clearly not met in 2020.

Recognizing the increasing urgency of addressing unsustainable fishing, the second OIC Challenge, launched in March 2021, seeks innovative solutions that address one or more of the following SDG 14 targets:

Project proponents can include governments, private companies (including start-ups), NGO/CSO, United Nations entities, academic institutions, and intergovernmental organizations.

Over the years, the international community has taken important steps to promote sustainable fishing, such as the FAO’s Code of Conduct on Responsible Fishing, the 1995 UN Fish Stocks Agreement, and through the work of various regional fisheries agreements and RFMOs. Nevertheless, progress on key SDG 14 targets pertaining to sustainable fisheries has lagged and the main target, 14.4, was clearly not met in 2020.

Recognizing the increasing urgency of addressing unsustainable fishing, the second OIC Challenge, launched in March 2021, seeks innovative solutions that address one or more of the following SDG 14 targets:

Project proponents can include governments, private companies (including start-ups), NGO/CSO, United Nations entities, academic institutions, and intergovernmental organizations.

More information on the call-page of the ocean innovation challenge website