Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Sunday, October 6, 2019

European Research and Innovation Days

25 September 2019. Horizon Europe Mission on Soil health and food. This policy conference brought together high-level speakers to debate and shape the future research and innovation landscape.

Discussion about a Mission on Soil Health and Food. 

The debate included soil management in agriculture and forestry for food and nutrition security, and the delivery of non-food products and public goods; soil management beyond agriculture and forestry; restoration and remediation of soils, brownfields, soil sealing; potential of soils and soil management practices for climate mitigation and adaptation; etc.

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Transforming of Food Systems for People, Planet and Climate

Our food systems are unsustainable. How can they be urgently transformed to simultaneously address multiple-objectives - climate, environment, safety, nutrition for health, and inclusion? A systemic approach to R&I will provide new opportunities and solutions, and support evidence-based policy making and implementation.

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Professor Mazzucato’s first report for Commissioner Moedas, called ‘Mission-Oriented Research and Innovation in the European Union’ set out the main characteristics of mission-oriented research and innovation:
  • Bold, inspirational, with wide societal relevance;
  • Targeted, measurable, and time-bound;
  • Ambitious, but realistic R&I actions;
  • Cross-disciplinary, cross-sectoral and cross-actor innovation;
  • Drive multiple, bottom-up solutions.
Professor Mariana Mazzucato currently holds the Chair in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London (UCL). She is founder and director of UCL’s new Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. Her research covers the relationship between financial markets, innovation and economic growth.

Mission-oriented policies can be defined as systemic public policies that draw on frontier knowledge to attain specific goals or “big science deployed to meet big problems” 7 . Missions provide a solution, an opportunity, and an approach to address the numerous challenges that people face in their daily lives. 

4 July 2019. Commission launches work on major research and innovation missions for cancer, climate, oceans and soil

The Commission is establishing five ‘mission boards’. Their first deliverable will be to propose concrete targets and timelines for each mission by the end of 2019. They will be chaired by the following outstanding individuals who will contribute with their experience, authority and credibility:
  1. Ms Connie Hedegaard, former European Commissioner for Climate Action, for the mission on ‘Adaptation to Climate Change including Societal Transformation’
  2. Professor Harald zur Hausen, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, for the mission on ‘Cancer’
  3. Mr Pascal Lamy, former Trade Commissioner and Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, for the mission on ‘Healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal and Inland Waters’
  4. Professor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, former Mayor of Warsaw, for the mission on ‘Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities’
  5. Mr Cees Veerman, former Dutch Agriculture Minister, for the mission on ‘Soil Health and Food’.
Professor Mariana Mazzucato, Special Advisor for Mission Driven Science and Innovation to Commissioner Moedas, presented a new report: Governing Missions in the European Union’, which sets out what it takes to make missions a success.


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