One of the greatest challenges facing society is food security. Nearly one billion people suffer from malnutrition, while another 500 million are obese. Meanwhile, climate change is already affecting agriculture and natural resources are dwindling. Europe must therefore find solutions for its own agriculture and its own food security.
At the same time, we have a responsibility to contribute to the implementation of global agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and Paris Climate Agreement, particularly given the high quality of European research. These challenges are, however, much too complex for any country to handle alone.
Coherence in programming
The European commission launched the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI) in 2010 to stimulate collaboration between member states, and to provide coherence in research programming.
More alignment and integration is needed, because there is a mismatch between the need to jointly address the issues of food security, agriculture and climate change, and the disjointed way science is funded: almost 90 percent of European research is planned and funded through national research programmes, which are often isolated and scattered across member states.
More impact on society
FACCE-JPI pulls together the research capacity required to tackle the challenges. It seeks to avoid unnecessary duplication and to align and integrate national programmes. The initiative has already brought together almost 25 participating countries (including New Zealand as an Associate Member).
All these participating countries are committed to building an integrated European Research Area, to address the issues of food security, agriculture and climate change. Since 2012, these members have participated in about 15 joint research actions worth more than 104 Million euro. Based on these initial experiences, FACCE-JPI will continue to strive for more shared visions and integration, in order to increase the common impact of European research on society.