The European Commission's DG AGRI is responsible for the EU policy on agriculture and rural development and coordinates, programmes and monitors the related research and innovation (R&I) activities.
The circular bio-based economy offers opportunities for European farmers to:
- increase profitability
- improve competitiveness and growth in rural areas
- create business opportunities
- reduce the environmental impact of agriculture
DG AGRI funds projects under Horizon 2020 on bio-based value chains, with a special focus on the role of primary producers and small-scale bio-based facilities in rural areas. The EU contribution for sustainable, circular and innovative value chains is expected to reach over €440 million in 69 projects until the end of the period. Overall, DG AGRI will invest around €1.4 billion for 315 agricultural and food related projects. Furthermore, DG AGRI is part of the BBI JU governing board, and the EU contributes to the BBI JU through its Horizon 2020 Framework Programme.
Under the Common agricultural policy, the European Innovation Partnership for agricultural productivity and sustainability (EIP-AGRI) stimulates innovation and contributes to the competitiveness and sustainability of European agriculture and forestry sectors. The EIP-AGRI network has committed itself to support farmers through the promotion of circular bio-based opportunities adapted to their needs and the sharing of innovative technologies and practices in the area. Workshops such as ‘Building new biomass supply chains for the bio-based economy’ and ‘Opportunities for farm diversification in the circular bio-economy’ have already stimulated the uptake of such innovations. All these activities have brought together experts from across Europe with different professions, ranging from farmers, researchers, agribusinesses to regional authorities. They can work together in EU funded innovative projects, such as Operational Groups, multi-actor projects and thematic networks to address their challenges and share with the rest of the EIP-AGRI network.