The objective of LEAP Agri is to respond to this diagnostic by consolidating an EU-Africa Research and Innovation flagship partnership in the Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture “FNSSA” domain. This partnership will increase investments in research and innovation through a coordinated bi-regional (Europe/Africa) mechanism aimed at reducing fragmentation. This mechanism will be based on two complementary approaches:
- The preparation and implementation of a joint call for proposals for collaborative R&I projects between European and African partners which will contribute to the coordination and increase of joint activities between R&I institutions, and their programmes across European Union Member States (and Associated countries) and African countries.
- The undertaking of other activities, in particular: the identification and test of innovative instruments for alignment and collaboration in research, innovation, capacity strengthening and infrastructure development; the communication and dissemination of results emerging from LEAP-AGRI activities; the definition of a joint Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda in the FNSSA domain; and the consultation and liaison with relevant stakeholder communities, including research, the private sector, civil-society organizations and governments in Europe and Africa.
Concept and methodology
The overall concept of LEAP Agri is that these two pillars are interconnected by the final LEAP-AGRI ambition, the long term strategic partnership, in various ways:
- Implementing a joint call between European and African funders (in pillar 1) will promote a better mutual understanding and a convergence of views on the strategic priorities of common interest for both continents, thus facilitating the elaboration of a long-term joint Strategic R&I Agenda (in pillar 2)
- Results (including difficulties encountered and identified through monitoring and evaluation) of the projects selected by the joint call will also influence the definition of this Strategic R&I Agenda
- Regarding the collaboration modalities, the learnings generated by the implementation of a joint call between public research funders (pillar 1) will be complemented by the testing of other type of instruments, with other types of stakeholders (pillar 2). Together, these will form the base of portfolio of diversified instruments to be proposed to sustain the long term partnership.
- Stakeholder involvement, communication with (including consultation of) interested parties – within and beyond the LEAP AGRI partners – and liaison with the policy makers in Europe and in Africa are strong components of both pillars’ activities are these will be key factor of success for the proposed long term EU Africa partnership in the FNSSA domain.
This call will encompass the three priority areas identified by the EU-Africa High Level Policy Dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation EU Africa (HLPD), as being of common interest for Europe and for Africa:
- Sustainable intensification of agriculture, with for instance R&I proposals on the improvement of the production of food/fibre/biomass and of services (social, economic and environmental); reduction of the environmental impact of such production and the depletion of natural resources; Ecological intensification approaches such as conservation agriculture, integrated pest management, organic agriculture, which optimizes the use of ecosystem services to produce quality food in a competitive manner; breeding of crops and animals; nutrient management; research on institutional innovations.
- Agriculture and food systems for nutrition, with for instance R&I proposals on the reduction of waste and improvement of diets (including through development of aquaculture and coastal fisheries); solving under-nutrition, obesity and micronutrient deficiency; role on diets of urban agriculture and better rural-urban linkages; understanding of consumer behaviour in relation to diets; role of regulations, education and incentives
- Expansion and Improvement of agricultural markets and trade, with for instance R&I proposals on the role of agricultural market and trade for job creation and growth, especially in rural areas; global value chains benefitting small farmers and consumers; labels and regulations.
LEAP-Agri builds on:
- The IntensAfrica initiative, launched in 2012 by various European and African partners. This initiative explored the interest and commitment for a large-scale collaboration on sustainable intensification by advocating the concept during meetings in Europe (at the invitation of the EC) and Africa (at the invitation of FARA and of NEPAD). This initiative is supported by the EC through the Horizon 2020 funding of the PRO-IntensAfrica Coordination and Support Action.
- The ERAfrica project, a partnership of programme owners and programme managers from Europe and Africa, The partnership implemented the first Europe Africa jointly funded ERAnet, and aims to support further joint activities in areas of mutual interest.
- The ERA-ARD I and II projects, which have shown the added value of forming consortia composed of diverse institutions dedicated to agriculture and food systems and to research.
The expected impacts of LEAP-Agri are:
- Effective trans-national, European-African research and innovation networking and better coordination and synergies between national, international and EU research programmes relevant to food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture.
- Implementation of the first stage, and preparation of the next stage, of a long-term EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture, connecting research and innovation networks to local multi-stakeholder R&I processes.
The communication strategy, will serve to guide the communication activities of LEAP-Agri, as well as to provide guidelines for the communications activities undertaken by the projects funded by the joint call. The strategy will relate to the stakeholder analyses for identifying stakeholder groups relevant for the project, including relevant partners and potential users of the research and innovation outcomes, in order to support tailored communications to these various groups. In addition, a strategy for communication between the selected projects will be developed.
Tools to be developed and used during project implementation include internet-based tools to exchange and disseminate information, including the establishment of a website for the joint call, a communication toolkit for project partners and funded project, communication materials for distribution, such as posters, flyers, brochures, regular newsletters, and if possible videos on the projects funded by the joint call, and briefs and materials for matchmaking events for stakeholders.
The communication activities of LEAP-Agri will enhance the impact by:
- Ensuring timely and effective communication and dissemination to LEAP-Agri partners and external stakeholders;
- Supporting knowledge sharing and research uptake between projects funded under the joint call and with external stakeholders, including end-users;
- Identifying potential synergies and, wherever possible, future collaborations with other projects or programmes (beyond the projects funded under the joint call);
- Supporting the networking between and by projects funded by the joint call.