Agriculture provides a profound basis for our society in terms of food, feed and non-food bio-related products and thus provides huge social, environmental and economic benefits. However, is has come increasingly under pressure by increasing world population, an ongoing depletion of natural resources, environmental degradation, and climate change impacts. This raises the need for an agricultural transition towards more resilience while ensuring food and nutrition security globally.
Research in general and research infrastructures in concrete terms are critically important to support this transition by generating new knowledge, practices, technological and societal innovations, policies and governance.
EMPHASIS has joined forces in that context with more than 70 partners in the project AgroServ towards a sustainable and resilient agriculture and agro-ecological transition.
AgroServ supports research and innovation by providing customised and integrated research infrastructure services in all fields related to this challenge, spanning from molecular to organism, to ecosystem, to communities and society. It takes place in line with the One-Health approach, with particular regard to threats and risks on agroecosystems and to enhance new agro-ecological practices and their socio-economic benefits. EMPHASIS is responsible to coordinate the management and implementation of the trans-national access process, allowing scientists to make use of these services and contribute to the overall challenges by excellent research. It will additionally contribute access to latest plant phenotyping facilities and technologies in Europe.
AgroServ will have a high impact on the future of the food system, preserving biodiversity and reducing the impact of agriculture on climate. The consortium will work closely with partners from the society, farmers, industry, citizens and policy makers, through living labs and towards the establishment of evidence-based policy, and co-developed practices in agriculture.
By delivering a pan-European and inter/multidisciplinary data ecosystem, and providing state-of-the art services on agroecosystems, the project will help society to build long-term capacity to respond to global challenges in the agriculture sector. It will also strengthen evidence-based policy making for a resilient and sustainable agricultural system and enable new discoveries and knowledge breakthroughs in the field of agroecology. Through user engagement and Living Lab activities, it will further develop the agroecology research community, encourage cross-fertilisation and enable a wider sharing of knowledge.
This five-years project has a budget of 15 million euros funded via Horizon Europe and is expected to start by the end of 2022. It is coordinated by the research infrastructure for Analysis and Experimentation on Ecosystems AnaEE (https://www.anaee.eu) and CNRS.