Please find below the ARIMNet2 Newsletter n°1!
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N°1- MAY 2015

Dear ARIMNet community,
We are happy to present to you the first ARIMNet2 Newsletter which looks back at the achievements of ARIMNet1 and presents the past and planned activities of ARIMNet2. The consortium, not only wiser but also bigger, continues to be an important actor in building the Mediterranean community in agricultural research, creating collaboration and funding opportunities together with our Scientific and Strategic Advisory Board and other stakeholders.
We invite you to take a look at what we do and read into it also by following the links we provide.
We hope you enjoy the read*!

Kim Turk and Marie Ollagnon
ARIMNet Newsletter editors

*Please share the newsletter with your relevant contacts. If you feel there is something missing or if you would like to contribute to our future newsletters, let us know.


Upcoming public events

  • February 2016, Public dissemination event of ARIMNet funded projects and ARIMNet2 presentation of the Integrated Strategic Research Agenda (ISRA), location to be confirmed
  • October 2016, Regional Conference on "Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS) in the Mediterraean Countries, Antalya (Turkey).

A look back

  • Kick-off meeting of ARIMNet2: February 2014, Rome (Italy)
  • Mid-term Scientific meeting of the 10 ARIMNet funded research projects: June 2014, Montpellier (France)
  • Innovation workshop, with the coordinators of the 10 funded projects: June 2014, Montpellier (France)
  • First ARIMNet2 Joint call for Mediterranean research proposals launched: September 2014
  • Pre-proposals Scientific Evaluation Committee meeting of the 1st Joint call. February 2015, Madrid (Spain)
  • AKIS seminar (Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems in the Mediterranean), February 2015, Madrid (Spain)

A look forward

  • 3rd SSAB meeting (Scientific and Strategic Advisory Board) : preparation of the first draft of the Integrated Strategic Research Agenda (ISRA)- Internal seminar, May 26-27, 2015, Rome (Italy)
  • AKIS Internal Seminar, Conference Organizing Committee, September 3-4, Montpellier (France)
  • Internal ARIMNet2 meetings, Full proposals Scientific Evaluation Committee meeting and Call Board, Sept. 28-Oct. 02, 2015, Thessaloniki (Greece)
ARIMNet : a Network
for Agricultural Research
in the Mediterranean Area

An ERA-Net supported and funded by the FP7 from 2014 to 2017; the second phase of the ARIMNet project that began in 2008.

Network: 24 national funding agencies and research institutions from 15 countries; 9 members countries of the EU,
2 Associated Countries,
and 4 Mediterranean Partner Countries

Main aims: promoting the coordination of national research programmes & building joint initiatives to fight fragmentation & exploit synergies in the Mediterranean.

Main activities: preparing an Integrated Scientific Research Agenda (ISRA), funding Mediterranean research through Joint Calls, organizing other joint activities, such as summer-schools for young researchers,  AKIS related activities.

A look into...

...the 1st ARIMNet2 joint transnational call for research proposals

ARIMNet aims to establish itself as a source of funding. By launching joint calls which enable collaborative interdisciplinary projects based on complementarities between scientists, disciplines and countries ARIMNet promotes international collaboration to create research consortia in order to respond appropriately to global stakes and challenges facing Mediterranean agriculture.

The 2014-2015 ARIMNet2 transnational Joint Call  was launched in September 2014 with the participating funding organizations pooling 7.2M EUR to fund from 8 to 13 research proposals focusing on the topics of developing sustainable production in the context of increasing ecological & climatic stresses, enhancing the advantages of Mediterranean agriculture & food and sustainable management of landscape and resources used by agriculture.

In the first step of the two-step call procedure, the Call office received 156 eligible pre-proposals. The evaluation of the pre-proposals was finalized in Madrid in February 2015. Based on the recommendation of the Scientific Evaluation Committee the Call Board invited 54 consortia to submit full proposals by May 11, 2015.
The final decision on projects to be funded is expected in October 2015

A major achievement of ARIMNet1 was the 2011 launch of a joint Call for transnational research projects based on the identified strategic priorities.
Serving as a pilot, with the aim of developing basic common funding procedures/mechanisms shared by all partner countries, the call resulted in 10 projects being funded and paved the way for future collaboration in funding Mediterranean agriculture research.
The projects gathering several research teams from the North, South and East Mediterranean cover a broad range of strategic Mediterranean agriculture issues including sustainability of crops, livestock and production systems; efficiency of water and other resource use in agriculture; sustainable management of crop and animal health; and the production and trade of safe and quality products along the entire supply chain.
Further insight into the pilot ARIMNet call with a presentation of funded projects is available in the 
ARIMNet Brochure.

The funded projects presented their results in the Mid-term Scientific Meeting of ARIMNet research projects, which took place in Montpellier, France,
in June 2014. 

You can access interviews with project coordinators,
click here
Ppt presentations are also available.

  • DOMESTIC, Final seminar. “Small ruminant local breeds and sustainable regional development: the challenges in the Mediterranean area. Experiences from the DOMESTIC project.” Dec. 16 -17, 2014, IAV Hassan II, Rabat, Morocco. Presentations available!
  • CLIMED, Mid-term meeting. "The future of Mediterranean Livestock Farming Systems: Opportunity and efficiency of Crops – Livestock Integration", Jan. 2015, Rabat, Morocco  
  • SAFEMED, Doctoral Workshop, “Organisation des filières et sécurité sanitaire des aliments”, Feb. 4, 2015, INRAA, Alger, Algeria
  • REFORMA, Mid-term meeting. “From molecular breeding to utilization of legume fodder crops: the project REFORMA”. April 13-15, 2015. Rabat, Morocco. More info available here
  • ARIDWASTE, Consortium meeting. “Development of specific agricultural practices with the use of recycled wastes suitable for intensively cultivated Mediterranean areas under degradation risk”. April 22, 2015. Murcia, Spain.

  • SWIPE, Final meeting. “Predicting whitefly population outbreaks in changing environments”. May 6-8, 2015.
  • PESTOLIVE, Final meeting. “Contribution of olive history for the management of soil-borne parasites in the Mediterranean basin” May 11-13, 2015. Bari, Italy.


  • APMed, Final meeting. “Good water management in orchards. Fruit-tree water status and irrigation”.  June 15-16, 2015. Montpellier, France. More info available here
  • MEDILEG and REFORMA, Final meeting during the Second International Legume Society Conference, October 12-14, 2016. Tróia resort,vicinity of Lisbon, Portugal. More info available here
ARIMNet2 benefits from the advice of a SSAB whose members are:
- Uygun Aksoy, Chair, Professor, Ege University Faculty of Agriculture (Turkey)
- Bernard Hubert, Vice-Chair, President, Agropolis International (France)
- Mohammed Badraoui, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, General Director (Morocco)
- Dunja Bandelj, Researcher, University of Primorska (Slovenia)

- Mohammed Ben Hamouda, General Director, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (Tunisia)
- Marcello Pagliai, Director, Centro di ricerca per l'agrobiologia e la pedologia, APB-CRA (Italy)
- Maroun El Moujabber, representative of ERANETMED
- Peter Gregory, representative of FACCE JPI
- Egizio Valceschini, representative of SCAR

Meet one of our SSAB member

Dunja Bandelj, Deputy Head of the Institute for olive growing and Head of the Department for agronomy, genetics and plant biotechnology
, University of Primorska
Where can you find Dunja Bandelj? @ the Department of Applied Natural Sciences, Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies, University of Primorska
What's Dunja's role in ARIMNet? Collaboration in development and implementation of ISRA (Integrated Strategic Research Agenda), acting as ARIMNet2 ambassador at events, related to the aims of ARIMNet2
What are Dunja's research interests? genetics, molecular genetics, plant breeding, transcriptomics, genomics, Mediterranean fruit species

Want to get in touch with Dunja? Email her @

What contribution can ARIMNet2 have in battling common problems the Mediterranean Agriculture is facing today? 

Of all ecosystems on earth, those located in the Mediterranean have been subject to the earliest and most radical human interventions. As a result, the natural and anthropogenic habitats are so intertwined that it is impossible to objectively differentiate them. The complexity and diversity of ecosystems significantly contribute to the development and orientations of Mediterranean agriculture.
Some of the vitally important global challenges in the Mediterranean are the conservation and protection of the environment and natural heritage, sustainable use of natural resources and development of sustainable and competitive agricultural production.
All these challenges can only be achieved by acquiring new knowledge and collaboration between countries that are facing the same or similar problems. Continuous research, better scientific knowledge and its transfer to end users (farmers) constitute the only logical approach in dealing with common problems in Mediterranean Agriculture. 
Although international partnerships in the field of agriculture research exist, Mediterranean agriculture is still insufficiently coordinated and inadequately developed. Thus the most important mission of the ARIMNet2 consortium is to enhance and strengthen transnational cooperation, knowledge generation, and to increase excellence and relevance of agricultural research in the Mediterranean region.

How is participation in ARIMNet2 important for small countries, like Slovenia, where you come from? 

Slovenia is well recognized as a Mediterranean country, thanks to olive growers producing top quality olive oil. The excellent cooperation between Slovenian researchers and growers has resulted in formation and recognition of the protected designation of origin “Extra virgin olive oil of Slovene Istria” (EDOOSI ZOP), the first Slovenian product listed in the EU register of agricultural products and foodstuffs with protected labels.
From the professional point of view and as a researcher in the field of Mediterranean agriculture, I would like to stress my gratitude that the Republic of Slovenia recognized the importance of research in the field of Mediterranean agriculture as an important constituent of Slovenian research.
The inclusion of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, and the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport as funding agencies and partners of the ARIMNet2 consortium will additionally contribute to the promotion of Slovenia as a Mediterranean country and will enable the inclusion of Slovenian researchers into the international scientific sphere in the field of Mediterranean agriculture. Establishment and widening of international cooperation among institutions conducting similar research and determination of common goals is of great importance for Slovenian research groups. Consequently, information flow, international mobility, especially of young researchers, and know-how transfer will be facilitated.  

What is your vision of agricultural research collaborations in the Mediterranean? 

The Mediterranean basin concentrates all challenges agriculture is facing globally, but important issues are too often addressed separately by each country considering national research capacities, infrastructure and laboratory equipment availability, financial resources for research activities, etc.
The complexity of scientific challenges, necessity for innovation and fragmentation of research, require the development of various initiatives with suitable coordination. I am convinced that ARIMNet2 is following the right direction.
First of all, a common vision on agricultural research and a strategic scientific agenda should be prepared through the revision of the most important and specific issues, as crucial for Mediterranean countries.
The next step is building Mediterranean research capacity and establishing a critical mass of researches through networking of relevant research institutions and organizations that represent agricultural producers and food industry.
Additionally, the linkage between researchers and end users is one of the most important factors, which allows the right orientation in research. Successful projects are the ones whose results reach the end users and the achievements are implemented into practice. Scientists at the early stage of their research career should be considered as added value to any collaborative program.

Focus on a new member: Croatia

This is a Added value of ARIMNet2 for Croatia

The Mediterranean region makes about 40% of the Croatian land territory, along the approximately 6000 km of Adriatic coast. Its mild climate enables production of high quality agricultural products. In order to improve this specific agricultural production and to properly respond to the facing challenges common to the entire Mediterranean, Croatia joined the ARIMNet2 network. Involvement in this multinational cooperation gives to Croatia opportunity to participate in the development of a common strategic research agenda describing key priorities of the overall Mediterranean Agriculture Research and Innovation, to increase excellence and relevance of its agricultural research, to strengthen transnational cooperation and make basis for future cooperation.


A snapshot of some relevant Croatian publications for Mediterranean Agriculture

Radunić, Mira; Jukić Špika, Maja; Goreta Ban, Smiljana, Gadže, Jelena; Díaz-Pérez, Juan Carlos; MacLean, Dan. Physical and chemical properties of pomegranate fruit accessions from Croatia. Food chemistry. 177 (2015) ; 53-60

Likar, Matevž; Vogel-Mikuš, Katarina; Potisek, Mateja; Hančević, Katarina; Radić, Tomislav; Nečemer, Marijan; Regvar, Marjana. Importance of soil and vineyard management in the determination of grapevine mineral composition. Science of the total environment. 505 (2015) ; 724-731

Hančević Katarina; Zdunić Goran; Vončina Darko; Radić Tomislav. Grapevine virus composition influences virus elimination success and in vitro growth characteristic in cv. Plavac mali. Journal of plant pathology.  97(1) (2015); 159-162

Zdunić, Goran; Mucalo, Ana; Budić-Leto, Irena; Humar, Iva; Pejić, Ivan; Maletić, Edi. Cluster architecture of old, neglected Croatian grapevine varieties (Vitis vinifera L.). Vitis (in press, accepted)

Urlić, Branimir; Dumičić, Gvozden; Goreta Ban, Smiljana; Romić, Marija. Phosphorus-use efficiency of kale genotypes from coastal Croatia. Journal of plant nutrition. (in press, accepted) DOI: 10.1080/01904167.2015.1016174

Focus on a member: Cyprus

The participation of Cyprus, i.e. the Agricultural Research Institute, Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, in ARIMNet2 aims at:
  • initiating, broadening and increasing long-term partnerships as well as the type of collaborations and networking with various institutions in the EU and non-EU countries
  • developing and implementing joint research activities by mutually supporting joint calls for trans-national proposals
  • enhancing competitiveness within the national research community
  • generating valuable ideas from new national research programmes useful for future policy-making
  • jointly challenging driven agricultural research and innovation agendas
  • more active participation in European initiatives with European funding instruments
  • Participating in cutting edge research, which aims to promote the sustainable use of resources and the successful adaptation and mitigation of agriculture to climate change

News from the Agricultural Research Institute in Cyprus

The Agricultural Research Institute in Cyprus utilizes various web services for dissemination of research results. Get a glimpse of the services here.
Recently the Institute has launched two web applications for farmers for 
calculation of fertigation dosages and irrigation needs per plant cultivation and per location.
The Agricultural Research Institute is coordinating the Leonardo da Vinci project 
SmartFarmer. See sidebar for more information.
The Leonardo da Vinci SmartFarmer project:  Improving skills for Smartfarming as an innovative tool for rural development and economic growth  aims to create and develop a training programme, a long term superfood electronic platform and a guide book with the final goal to enhance the dissemination and transfer of knowledge and innovation in the specialized agricultural areas of selected superfoods (e.g. goji berries, blueberries etc). The project is implemented by a consortium of 7 partners from 5 EU countries (Cyprus, Spain, Latvia, Greece and Portugal). The consortium includes education and training organisations, and authorities responsible for rural development, thus allowing combining different views and experiences. For more information visit the 
project websitedownload the project leaflet or read the recent newsletter.

Initiative “Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area” (PRIMA)

During the Competitiveness Council meeting, held in Brussels, Dec. 4, 2014, the European Commission welcomed the proposition of the EU Member States and Mediterranean Partner Countries for the Initiative “Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area” (PRIMA).
In March, the EC announced the launching of the impact assessment.
This initiative began in 2013. Pursuant to Article 185 TFEU, PRIMA aims at improving the cooperation in research and innovation in the Mediterranean Area in the fields of Food Systems and Water resources. The objectives are to create a stable long-term and sustainable framework for cooperation on the basis of mutual benefit, equal footing partnerships, co-ownership, co-decision, and co-financing, as well as scientific excellence and added value.
If it is accepted by the EC, PRIMA will constitute a strong opportunity for the future of ARIMNet2.

For more information on the PRIMA proposition, click here


Workshop EC-AGRI "Research on Climate Change and Agriculture", Feb. 10-11, 2015, Brussels (Belgium) 

The workshop, organized by the European Commission (DG Agri), addressed issues related to agriculture and climate change building on EU research results. The objective of the workshop was to identify and prioritize research gaps and research needs through exchanges on the outputs of EU projects. Florence Jacquet, coordinator of ARIMNet2, was invited in participating in the event and contributing to discussions on research needs to guide further activities under Horizon 2020 (H2020), in particular with regard to Societal Challenge 2 (Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, Maritime and Inland Water Research and the Bio-economy).


AGRIMED meeting,
Feb. 25, 2015, Brussels (Belgium)

This meeting gathered policy officers from several regional offices in Brussels from the Mediterranean area (from European regions) and focused on the opportunities of research and innovation in the field of agriculture in the Mediterranean area. ARIMNet2 was invited to present the ERA-NET, forthcoming calls and opportunities for Regions.



Second Conference of the SDSN Mediterranean Network, March 5-6, 2015, University of Siena (Italy) 

The coordinator of ARIMNet2 was invited to participate in the Second Conference of the SDSN Mediterranean Network.
The Conference was held on March 5-6 at the University of Siena, Italy. This conference focused on agri-food sustainability in the Mediterranean region and was attended by 250 researchers, policy makers and private sector representatives. Launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in August 2012, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) mobilizes scientific and technical expertise from academia, civil society, and the private sector in support of sustainable development problem solving at local, national, and global scales. University of Siena coordinates the SDSN Regional hub for the Mediterranean.
Florence Jacquet presented her views on Sustainable solutions for Agricultural in the Mediterranean. She presented the food and agricultural stakes in the Mediterranean, the conditions for development sustainable systems and their consequences for Research & Innovation.

Find more information on the Conference and an access to the ppt presentations
click here.


Join the Community

... in Croatia @ the International Olive Symposium,  October 10-14, 2016, Split. Under the auspices of the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), organized by the Institute for Adriatic Crops. 

... in France @ the INTERREG MED Programme 2014-2020 Kick Off meeting, June 22-23, 2015, Marseille
The MED programme is a transnational programme of European territorial cooperation. It is financed by the European Union as an instrument of its regional policy and of its new programming period. It continues the tradition of the European programmes for cooperation (previously named Interreg).

For current events in the Euro-Mediterranean Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Environment issues, get access to CIHEAM Press Review and click here.
1 - INRA, France
2 - ASRT, Egypt
3 - ANR, France
4 - CIRAD, France
6 - FCT, Portugal
7 - DEMETER, Greece
8 - IAV, Morocco
9 - INRAA, Algeria
10 - KRS, Croatia
11 - IREASA, Tunisia
12 - INIA, Spain
14 - INEA, Italy
15 - MESRS, Algeria
16 - MIPAAF, Italy
17 - MIZS, Slovenia
18 - MKO, Slovenia
19 - MOARD, Israel
20 - ARI, Cyprus
21 - GDAR, Turkey
22 - MESRT, Tunisia
23 - MCST, Malta
24 - ARC, Egypt

To learn more about our partners click here


ARIMNet2 WP leaders

Want to learn more about our activities? Contact the ARIMNet2 WP leaders
WP1: Integrated Scientific Research Agenda (ISRA)
Marina Montedoro, MIPAAF-IT

WP2: Joint Calls
Sanaa Zebakh, IAV-MA
WP3: Follow-up of funded projects
Anabel De la Peňa, INIA-ES
WP4: Joint activities (e.g. summer-schools)
Aristotelis Papadopoulos, DEMETER-GR
WP5: Innovation (AKIS activities)
Sahin Anil, GDAR-TR
WP6: Communication
Anis Ben Rayana, IRESA-TN
WP7: Management
Florence Jacquet, INRA- FR
ARIMNet and ARIMNet2 are an ERA-Net supported and funded by the 7th Framework Programme from 2008. The current second phase of ARIMNet runs from 2014 to 2017.
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