CEMA presents Smart-AKIS at Thematic Networks' workshop on EU Agricultural Innovation

On the 9th of March 2018, Copa Cogeca hosted the second workshop on “The Role of Thematic Networks (TNs) in EU Agricultural Innovation” jointly organized by TN leaders, SWG Scar-Akis, and the DG Agri. This event follows the success of the first edition of the workshop, organized on the 3rd of February 2017, with positive participation of partners in TNs, EU Commission policy makers and the Research European Agency project officers.

Thematic Networks are a specific type of Multi-Actor projects funded by H2020 Societal Challenge 2 on “Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine, maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy”.  The first call for TNs was released in 2014: up to now there are 21 TNs focusing on the most urgent needs of agriculture and working for connecting the research and practice in agriculture, boosting existing scientific knowledge and best practices that are not sufficiently known (and applied) by practitioners, and supporting the EIP-AGRI activities.

During the workshop, partners from different Thematic Networks (AgrispinHennovationWINETWORKOK-Net Arable4D4F, Smart-AKISEUFRUITFERTINNOWA and SheepNet) and demonstration projects (AgriDemo-F2FPLAID and NEFERTITI) have showed and discussed challenges, lessons learnt, solutions and measures taken to increase the impact of each one of the project. Through a methodology that mixes traditional presentations, pitches and interactive workshop interactions, participants also had the possibility of exchanging on how TNs can better interact with farmers and engage with other projects.

CEMA presents Smart AKIS progress & first results

Sara Djelveh, from CEMA, participated at the meeting presenting the Smart-AKIS project’s results and moderating the related workshop’s session focused on the Smart-AKIS lessons learnt, challenges and networking options.

The workshop has given us several insights about the dynamics and results from the EIP-AGRI Thematic Networks. Among the most interesting findings for the future of TNs in Europe, we can mention:

  • The importance of translating materials and information in different languages for reaching several audience and, in particular, farmers.
  • The need of identifying a common database or platform for the different TNs’ results, thus avoiding the duplication of platforms that might be counterproductive.
  • The crucial role of advisory services for reaching farmers, particularly in remote rural areas where internet connection is still lacking.
  • The importance of mixing different types of approach for engaging with farmers: online and digital tools, but also direct contacts and peer-to-peer demonstration activities.
  • The successful of demonstration activities for fostering agricultural innovation in farms.

Such common findings from the workshop not only confirm the first results of the Smart-AKIS project (www.smart-akis.com), but they also further endorse CEMA participation in ongoing EU initiatives (such as for the NEFERTITI project on demonstration farms) as well as for future ones (e.g. FAIRShare project proposal submitted last February).