ICT-AGRI-FOOD will contribute to the expected specific impacts described in the ERA-NET Cofund Call on 'ICT-enabled agri-food systems', (SFS-31A-2019), as follows:
The national funding agencies that have committed funding to the proposed ERA-NET Cofund would ordinarily have allocated that funding through national/regional calls to national/regional projects. In this way, similar projects might be funded in different countries, with little or no linkage between projects from different member states/associated countries. In this case, the ICT-AGRI-FOOD partners have agreed on a draft scope for the co-funded call (cp. section 1.3.2) and have jointly committed between €8.135.653,00 and €16.956.450,00 to that joint call. The total funding pot for the co-funded call of between €12.142.766,00 and €20.963.562,78 million, including EU co-funding, will achieve a critical mass of funding for these transnational projects. Operating a single funding call at a transnational level, rather than multiple calls at a national level, will deliver reduced duplication of research and a better overall return for that investment. The ICT-AGRI-FOOD partners will, in future, agree on thematic priorities and a common scope for additional call(s) without European Commission co-funding. One call (T6.1) will be organised together with the European Space Agency (ESA) with the aim of promoting the emergence of innovative and commercially sustainable services in the agri-tech sector making use of space. This partnership will support European companies in making the best use of space data, together with other technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, for developing applications and knowledge to the benefits of the agri-food research communities and stakeholders networks.
WP7 has a dedicated task to prepare for the future of the network of funders after the end of the ERA-NET Cofund. As many of the partners have already worked together for ten years, and wish to continue to do so as part of an expanded consortium, it is obvious that there is a drive to sustain and expand this network. ICTAGRI- FOOD will enter discussions with other relevant ERA-NETs or projects, including FACCE ERA-GAS, ERA-NET SusAn, SusCrop, SusFood and the new ERA-NETs that may be funded in 2019 to ensure no duplication or fragmentation of funding and, where suitable, to investigate the possibility of joint funding calls. As noted above, this consortium has shown a strong record of coordinating national and EU funding and collaborating with complementary ERA-NETs and other initiatives to reduce duplication and to maximize synergies. Finally, through active membership of the International Bioeconomy Forum (IBF) working group on digital technology in precision food systems, the proposed Cofund will actively seek international funding
partners to join the non-cofunded calls. Collaboration at an international level will help to make better use of the resources committed to this research area.
The following impacts will primarily be achieved through the parameters set by ICT-AGRI-FOOD for the research and innovation projects that it funds
The adoption of digital technologies in the food system has huge potential to increase sustainability and efficiency and to reduce waste in the system. Thereby, resource inputs, losses and emissions can be substantially decreased. Also, by empowering the consumers with easy access to information on the environmental footprint of the food that they buy, the consumers will be able to choose food with a reduced environmental footprint, thereby further reducing inputs and emissions and additionally contributing also to a healthier diet. Topic 1 projects in the cofunded call will directly target a greater understanding of the barriers to adoption of digital technologies, and by understanding those barriers, allow them to be addressed, thereby increasing adoption rates.
The topic 2 projects which are funded by ICT-AGRI-FOOD will have to demonstrate a series of impacts, which include • reduced environmental footprint by reducing inputs, emissions and waste in the food system; • empowered customers who make smarter, more sustainable, healthier and more personal food and dietary choices, taking into account data regarding environmental impact and footprint, • increased sustainability and system resilience.
Realise the potential of ICT and digital technologies to share data throughout the food value chain, thereby driving greater sustainability, offering new business models and helping to empower consumers to make smarter, more sustainable, healthier and more personal food and dietary choices, taking into account data regarding environmental impact, origin, nutrition, safety, integrity, etc., underpinned by the concept of transparency;
The primary goal of topic 2 projects is to “develop data-driven ICT platforms and solutions which derive value for multiple actors from the data collected throughout the food chain”. Topic 2 projects will have to demonstrate the following impacts:
- new business model(s) enabled that increases affordability and adoption of such solutions - reduced environmental footprint by reducing inputs, emissions and waste in the food system - a more transparent food system - empowered customers who make smarter, more sustainable, healthier and more personal food and dietary choices, taking into account data regarding environmental impact and footprint, origin, nutrition, safety and integrity - increased sustainability and system resilience
Type 2 projects funded in the cofunded call will have to explicitly meet the following criterion: “Develop solutions that integrate effectively with major digital platforms from food actors, ICT solution providers and consumers”.