Call for proposals for Sustainable Food Security H2020-SFS-2014-2 Closed!

Objectives

The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) is implemented by specific programme and work programmes.

The “Societal challenges” responds directly to the policy priorities and societal challenges that are identified in the Europe 2020 strategy and that aim to stimulate the critical mass of research and innovation efforts needed to achieve the Union's policy goals.

The specific objective is to fully exploit the potential of Europe's talent pool and to ensure that the benefits of an innovation-led economy are both maximised and widely distributed across the Union in accordance with the principle of excellence.

Funding shall be focused on the following specific objectives:
(a) Health, demographic change and well-being.
(b) Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine, maritime and inland water research. and the bioeconomy.
(c) Secure, clean and efficient energy.
(d) Smart, green and integrated transport.
(e) Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials.
(f) Europe in a changing world - Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies.
(g) Secure societies - Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens.

Actions

Actions foreseen within this call for proposals include the following topics:

  • SFS-02a-2014: External nutrient inputs. European crop production is facing more and more difficulties in remaining competitive in the global market for many reasons. Some of these reasons are the loss of soil fertility and the consequent massive use of expensive external nutrient inputs, notably Nitrogen and Phosphorous, for which European agriculture is almost totally dependent on imported products, or on fertilizers produced with expensive industrial processes, which generates greenhouse gases (GHGs). Therefore, more sustainable crop management strategies are needed to maintain or increase soil fertility. Inappropriate soil and water management and the overuse of external inputs in intensive crop production systems, represent an economic loss for the farmer and a significant burden for the environment and subsequent impact on human health, as they contribute significantly to ground water and surface water pollution, GHGs emissions, the build-up in soil contaminants, such as heavy metals and organic pollutants. Better soil management and optimisation of fertilisers and water are of paramount importance for conciliating the necessary competitiveness and the long-term sustainability of the entire intensive crop production sector in Europe.

 

  • SFS-04-2014: Soil quality and function. Agricultural soils provide the basis for crop and animal production and in turn are impacted by the different types of land use, water quality, management practices, choice of crops, cultivars and genotypes. Effects include not only changes to chemical and physical soil properties but also to the composition of the soil biological community and plant-soil-microbial interactions. Understanding this complex and fragile interplay is crucial for developing on-farm soil management and conservation practices to increase agricultural productivity whilst avoiding degradation of this virtually non-renewable resource in environmentally sustainable ways.

 

  • SFS-09-2014: Towards a gradual elimination of discards in European fisheries. The new orientation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) calls for a move towards a gradual elimination of discards on a case-by-case basis, and taking into account the best available scientific advice to reduce unwanted catches and gradually ensure that all catches are landed. To do so, and to obtain better economic results while keeping consistency with the objectives of the CFP, particularly about compatibility with Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY), there is a need to underpin innovations and changes in the tools and technologies used at all stages of the seafood supply chain, from catching to consumers.

 

  • SFS-11a-2014: Optimizing space availability for European Aquaculture. Access to space and high quality water are essential for European aquaculture operators. In particular, the lack of spatial planning is considered as one of the factors hindering the expansion of European aquaculture. Therefore, establishment of reliable (inland, coastal and offshore) spatial plans should be crucial for facilitating investment and development of the sector. Aquaculture also needs a high quality aquatic environment for ensuring the production of safe and nutritious seafood products. Subsequently, human activities, including operations of some specific aquaculture segments, that might affect negatively (e.g. through the impact of chemical, antibiotics, organic wastes, etc.) fresh water and marine ecosystems might also compromise the sustainability of European aquaculture. Therefore, ensuring the environmental sustainability of aquaculture practices is essential not only for guaranteeing compliance with the existing regulatory framework but also for improving the image of the European aquaculture sector. This should ultimately secure that the maximum economic potential of growth and employment is reached by the sector.

 

  • SFS-01a-2014: Genetics and nutrition and alternative feed sources for terrestrial livestock production. Due to the increasing demand for animal derived food and the mounting pressure over land use, further intensification and expansion of animal production is expected. Development of the livestock sector at EU and global level is challenging as it puts pressure on the environment, human health and the welfare of animals within the systems. Climate change is an additional pressure to the sustainability (e.g. productivity, health) of livestock systems. Increasing efficiency is required, while decreasing the environmental footprint and increasing quality, e.g. nutritional value. Livestock farming systems generate valuable products for human consumption including some from resources that cannot otherwise be converted into food (e.g. grass-based systems). They support the development of rural communities. Extensive livestock systems can contribute to the management and maintenance of ecosystems and may increase biodiversity.

 

  • SFS-03a-2014: Native and alien pests in agriculture and forestry. Native and alien pests cause increasing yearly losses to agriculture and forestry and plant production costs. Invasive alien species and new pests and diseases impact negatively on native species (e.g. outcompete), affect food chains, change biodiversity patterns and disrupt terrestrial ecosystems (including inland water bodies) and landscapes, with further impacts on economic and recreational activities. Climate change is expected to favour the permanent establishment of many alien pests and change the distribution of already established pests. The prevention of the entry, establishment and spread of new alien pests is regulated by the Directive 2000/29/EC. More environmental friendly approaches in pest and disease control are sought, in line with the Directive 2009/128/EC. Given the high costs associated with the prevention/controlling of pests and invasive alien species and the reduction of their environmental impacts, there is a need to further develop integrated mechanisms of response measures (practical solutions), ranging from prevention of entry to novel Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approaches.

 

  • SFS-07a-2014: Traditional resources for agricultural diversity and the food chain. Genetic diversity in agriculture and forestry - both within and between species - is commonly recognised as a pre-requisite to ensure food security, productivity as well as resilience of crops, forests and animals vis-à-vis biotic and abiotic threats in changing environments. Widening the genetic basis of crops, forest trees and animals as well as diversifying production is therefore essential. This requires coordinated efforts to enhance conservation, access and use of a wide range of genetic resources conserved in ex-situ and in-situ/on-farm conditions. Local livestock breeds, forest plants and crops are a particularly important source of genetic variation as they are associated with a number of favourable characters such as robustness, adaptation to local – often marginal – conditions or organoleptic and health attributes. They also provide the basis for products with a regional identity for which there is increased consumer interest. Despite these benefits their use has been decreasing partly because of lower productivity as compared to modern, high yielding and more uniform breeds and varieties. The improvement of local breeds and crops provides opportunities for diversification in agriculture along with new openings for regional, high quality products and for economic development.

 

  • SFS-10a-2014: Scientific basis and tools for preventing and mitigating parasitic diseases of European farmed fish. Disease prevention and management are essential for the sustainability of the European aquaculture industry. The diversity of species and farming practices throughout Europe involves also a significant number of threats related to a large variety of pathogens that hamper production and require specific preventive and curative practices and tools ensuring a high level of biosecurity of aquaculture production and related seafood products. Among other disease-related threats, parasites and related infections can cause significant damages on farmed fish species and can result in poor growth performance, impaired welfare and death of farmed animals with significant consequences in terms of production and economic performance. Parasites can also affect the end users of aquaculture products and therefore their monitoring and eradication are essential for ensuring the safety of European consumers. The management of diseases is even more challenging in farmed aquatic mollusc where the absence of adaptive immune system further complicates the development of tools and methods allowing mitigating effects of diseases on production. Despite the initiatives that have been implemented to understand, explain and mitigate disease outbreaks affecting farmed molluscs, which seem to have multifactorial origins, the future of the European mollusc production sector is still challenged.

 

  • SFS-12-2014: Assessing the health risks of combined human exposure to multiple food-related toxic substances. Risk assessment has long been the tool for science-based decision-making and has become an integral part of EU policy development. With regard to chemical hazards, there is increasing concern over the possible ‘cocktail effects’ of combined exposure to multiple food related toxic substances. The complex toxicology of chemical mixtures, and the diversity of the routes of exposure, call for the development of a more mechanism-based and quantitative framework for risk assessment estimating the impact on health, thereby increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of safety evaluations.

 

  • SFS-14a-2014: Authentication of olive oil. The EU is the world largest producer, consumer and exporter of olive oil. Olive oil is normally sold at a higher price than other vegetable oils and fraudulent activities are tempting. To preserve the image of olive oil, it is necessary to guarantee its quality and authenticity. Olive oil characteristics are regulated at EU level by Regulation (EEC) N° 2568/91 which establishes a list of physical, chemical and organoleptic characteristics as well as methods for their analysis. The list and the methods are updated to include the existing scientific knowledge. Yet despite these regular revisions some issues have not yet found proper solutions. In particular there is a need for the development, validation and pre- as well as co-normative activities followed by the standardization of a method for the assessment of the organoleptic characteristics based on the existing methods, reference materials and already performed research and development work. The specific challenge consists in developing, validating and harmonising analytical methods and quality parameters that specifically address technical authenticity issues. These issues concern in particular 1) the blend of extra-virgin olive oil or virgin olive oil with soft deodorised olive oil, 2) the blend of extra-virgin olive oil or virgin olive oil with other vegetable oil. Beyond the case of olive oil, there is also a strong need for better coordination of research in the area of food authenticity, integrity and traceability across the food supply chain between Member States and Associated Countries.

 

  • SFS-17-2014: Innovative solutions for sustainable novel food processing. Over recent decades, much research on innovative food processing technologies has been carried out with a view to combating pathogens, reducing spoilage and waste, optimising process efficiency, reducing the need for chemical preservatives, improving the functionality of foods, and improving the nutritional and sensorial properties of food responding to the demands of the different consumer niches and markets, also in terms of affordability. However, risks associated with scaling-up have often impeded real-scale demonstration of the viability of innovative solutions, and market failures and barriers have hindered the uptake of promising research and innovation results in novel food processing by industry and in the market. One way of supporting sustainable food security is through demonstration and first application in the market of eco-innovative solutions in sustainable novel food processing.

 

  • SFS-01b-2014: Tackling losses from terrestrial animal diseases. Due to the increasing demand for animal derived food and the mounting pressure over land use, further intensification and expansion of animal production is expected. Development of the livestock sector at EU and global level is challenging as it puts pressure on the environment, human health and the welfare of animals within the systems. Climate change is an additional pressure to the sustainability (e.g. productivity, health) of livestock systems. Increasing efficiency is required, while decreasing the environmental footprint and increasing quality, e.g. nutritional value. Livestock farming systems generate valuable products for human consumption including some from resources that cannot otherwise be converted into food (e.g. grass-based systems). They support the development of rural communities. Extensive livestock systems can contribute to the management and maintenance of ecosystems and may increase biodiversity.

 

  • SFS-03b-2014: EU-China cooperation on IPM in agriculture. Native and alien pests cause increasing yearly losses to agriculture and forestry and plant production costs. Invasive alien species and new pests and diseases impact negatively on native species (e.g. outcompete), affect food chains, change biodiversity patterns and disrupt terrestrial ecosystems (including inland water bodies) and landscapes, with further impacts on economic and recreational activities. Climate change is expected to favour the permanent establishment of many alien pests and change the distribution of already established pests. The prevention of the entry, establishment and spread of new alien pests is regulated by the Directive 2000/29/EC. More environmental friendly approaches in pest and disease control are sought, in line with the Directive 2009/128/EC. Given the high costs associated with the prevention/controlling of pests and invasive alien species and the reduction of their environmental impacts, there is a need to further develop integrated mechanisms of response measures (practical solutions), ranging from prevention of entry to novel Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approaches.

 

  • SFS-15-2014: Proteins of the future. The EU agro-food sector has considerable potential in addressing the various multifaceted challenges on food and nutrition security (FNS). Demographic, dietary and income trends, the broader economic and policy context, climate change and environmental sustainability as well as technological change are perceived as major drivers that shape FNS. Furthermore, as EU agriculture itself operates within a complex policy environment involving a plethora of domestic, EU and international policies (themselves being subject to change), a comprehensive understanding is required with regards to the combined implications of the numerous and multidisciplinary factors, including considerations on their future developments. Such an assessment should encompass the role of EU fisheries and aquaculture.

 

  • SFS-19-2014: Sustainable food and nutrition security through evidence based EU agro-food policy. The EU agro-food sector has considerable potential in addressing the various multifaceted challenges on food and nutrition security (FNS). Demographic, dietary and income trends, the broader economic and policy context, climate change and environmental sustainability as well as technological change are perceived as major drivers that shape FNS. Furthermore, as EU agriculture itself operates within a complex policy environment involving a plethora of domestic, EU and international policies (themselves being subject to change), a comprehensive understanding is required with regards to the combined implications of the numerous and multidisciplinary factors, including considerations on their future developments. Such an assessment should encompass the role of EU fisheries and aquaculture.

European community funding

The Community provisional funding available for the call for proposals is:

  • 128,00 Million EUR (Global Budget)

All the important deadlines

  • 12 March 2014 - 5 years ago (Deadline for the presentation of proposals)

Further information about the call

Official webpage of the call

Useful documents

  • Sustainable Food Security (Legal base)

Organisations eligible to participate

Opened to the following bodies or institutes with legal status established in the covered areas:

  • Any legal organisation

Covered areas

Bodies or institutes must have their registered legal seat in one of the countries taking part in the Programme which are:

  • European Union (EU)

Directorate-Generale responsible

Directorate-General for Research

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