Horizon 2020: CEMA Expression of Interest on calls for research projects on Food Security & Sustainable Agriculture (2018-2019)




With an investment of €1.3 billion, the Societal Challenge 2 (SC2) “Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine, maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy” of the H2020 Work Programme for 2018-2020 responds to some of the key challenges our planet is facing for the years to come: adapting to and mitigating climate change; ensuring food security; safeguarding the natural resource base, promoting alternatives to fossil-based economies and sustainably using marine resources while protecting the oceans.

Agriculture and food systems, forestry, the marine and the bio-based sectors are at the very heart of the challenges to be addressed.

The Work Programme is structured around three calls: "Sustainable Food Security", "Blue Growth” and "Rural Renaissance" and a Thematic Investment Platform on Circular Bioeconomy. Within these calls a number of topics contribute to the Focus Areas "Low Carbon", "Circular Economy" and "Digitisation".


Selected calls in the SC2 Work Programme 2018-2019 are:

  • SFS-08A-2018: Improving animal welfare / Organic and low-input farming
  • LC-SFS-19A-2018: Climate-smart and resilient farming / Microclimate management: from field to landscape
  • SFS-33-2018: Support to the implementation of the EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security & Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA)
  • RUR-02-2018: Socio-economic impacts of digitisation of agriculture and rural areas
  • RUR-13-2018: Enabling the farm advisors' community to prepare farmers for the digital age
  • RUR-14-2018: Digital solutions and e-tools to modernise the CAP
  • RUR-15-2018: Thematic networks compiling knowledge ready for practice
  • mechanisms
  • SFS-31-2019-A: ERANETs in agri-food: ICT-Enabled Agri-Food Systems
  • SFS-35-2019-A: Sustainable Intensification in Africa: African Farming Systems, sustainable intensification pathways


CEMA is the European Association that brings together 4,500 Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers in the EU. European Agriculture has become impressively productive in the last decades thanks to the adoption of technologies helping farmers to improve land management, increase yields levels and target the application of inputs (such as seeds, pesticides, or fertilisers).

However, changes in agriculture come slowly and the level of technology uptake has not been the same across Europe. Significant challenges remain on the horizon: new arable land is limited, natural resources are scarce and need protection, the young generation is at times hesitant to enter the farming sector, while at the same time sufficient amounts of food need to be produced sustainably and affordably for a growing urban population. Here is where Precision Farming and smart machines can help to “produce more with less” encouraging a more productive, resource-efficient, and sustainable agriculture.

In this context, modern agricultural equipment is a central solution in helping farmers to meet the challenge. From ploughing to harvesting, advanced farm equipment with integrated Precision Farming technologies (satellite-based driving systems, sensors, increasing automation, drones) offer promising solutions for farmers at any scale to increase production, farm processes efficiency and environmental protection.

To keep pace and encourage sustainable productivity growth in agriculture in the years to come, farmers should be at the core of the innovation processes. Further technology innovation and uptake will be crucial to attract young farmers to the sector, make better use of natural resources, and ensure sufficient levels of food production while bringing growth and jobs to rural communities.

Exchanging knowledge & increasing awareness raising on Precision Farming techniques in Europe have been firmly placed as a priority on CEMA’s agenda in the last years. To explain the benefits modern agricultural technologies can bring into European agriculture, CEMA has been coordinating regular events and high-level conferences to bring together industry experts, key EU decision-makers and farmers’ representatives to share their views on the state of play Precision Farming has in Europe today. Discussions on bottlenecks precision agriculture encounters in Europe have helped to align views among the farming community and assess those policy options e.g. CAP, research funding, Agriculture 4.0, that could greatly encourage a further technology uptake in European agriculture in the years to come.


In order to encourage the development and adoption of innovative machine technologies in European agriculture CEMA offers:

  • Access to a unique European network of manufacturers (SMEs and multinational companies) connected to major agri-food stakeholders in Europe and at global level;
  • Expertise on the latest technology trends and developments in farm machinery
  • Knowledge of emerging technologies used in precision farming equipment along the entire crop growth cycle;
  • Knowledge on research and technology transfer, such as tailor-made adaptation of agricultural equipment to local production conditions and specific challenges in particular geographical areas;
  • Optimisation in using existing equipment through e.g. driver training to reduce fuel consumption in agricultural operations.



  • Close links to the 4,500 agricultural equipment manufacturers across Europe;
  • Liaising with EU agri-food stakeholders;
  • Support in communications activities and dissemination of results;
  • Contributing to policy recommendations, bringing the view of agriculture machinery industry;
  • Ensuring a direct link with existing international initiatives in the field of Precision Farming technologies;
  • Cooperation with international partners: FAO, UNIDO, OECD.


On-going projects and initiatives:

CEMA is already partner in 3 ambitious EU projects funded by H2020:

  • Internet of Food & Farm 2020 (IoF2020), which explores the potential of IoT-technologies for the European food and farming industry.
  • Smart-AKIS, the EU Thematic Network aiming at examining the suitability and use of Smart Farming Technologies in EU Agriculture involving farmers, the agricultural machinery industry, academia, research centres, ag engineering and policy makers and ultimately increase a wider adoption of precision farming technologies in Europe.
  • AgroCycle, which addresses the recycling and valorisation of waste from the agri-food sector and it is aimed at understanding and addressing how to make best use of the full range of waste streams associated with the agri-food industry.



Agrievolution Alliance www.agrievolution.com

Agrievolution is a global Alliance for agriculture equipment manufacturing associations that was established in April of 2012 to facilitate collaboration within the agriculture equipment manufacturing industry from a worldwide perspective. Members include ABIMAQ (Brazil), AEA (UK), AEM (US), AXEMA (France), CEMA (EU), FEDERUNACOMA (Italy) FICCI (India), KAMICO (Korea), ROSAGROMASH (Russia), TARMAKBIR (Turkey), VDMA (Germany), JAMMA (Japan), CAMDA (China)


Agri-Food Chain Coalition

The Agri-Food Chain Coalition includes representatives of agricultural input industries such as suppliers of machinery, seeds, fertilizers, crop protection, animal health, feed and biotechnology-based products, the agricultural trade, EU farmers and the European food and drink manufacturing sector. Together, these industries account for about 30 million jobs and 3.5% of the EU's gross value added.


Contact details:

Dr Sara R. Djelveh

Phone: 0032 2 706 81 71

Email sara.djelveh@cema-agri.org  

Address: Bd. Auguste Reyers, 80 – BE 1030 Brussels (Belgium)



CEMA is the association representing the European agricultural machinery industry. With 11 national member associations, the CEMA network represents both large multinational companies as well as the numerous European SMEs active in this sector. CEMA represents more than 4,500 manufacturers, generating an aggregated annual turnover of EUR 26 billion. 135,000 people are directly employed in the sector, with a further 125,000 people working in distribution and maintenance.

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