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Please find below the ARIMNet2 Newsletter n°2!
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N°2- JANUARY 2016
Dear ARIMNet community,

First of all, it is still time to wish all of you a very good year 2016, full of happiness in your personal lives and success in your professional activities.

For the ARIMNet consortium, 2016 will be a year full of exciting events and activities, among which the launching of a new call for research proposals, the implementation of a young Mediterranean researchers summer school, a conference on Innovation in the Mediterranean... In this newsletter, you will learn about what ARIMNet is preparing for our community in 2016.

You will also meet the vice-chair of our SAAB, read about the developments of cthe PRIMA initiative or about our busy ARIMNet second half of 2015 and especially the results of our Transnational Joint Call 2015.

We hope you enjoy the read!

 

Florence Jacquet,
Coordinator of ARIMNet2

*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.

 

A look into...

 

...the projects selected for funding


2015 ARIMNet2 joint transnational call for research proposals

 
 
ARIMNet2 is pleased to announce the results of its 2nd Transnational Joint Call.

The 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.

Among those, 10 transnational projects were selected for funding after a scientific evaluation by an independent international scientific evaluation panel supported by external reviewers.

The list of selected projects and their summaries are available on the ARIMNet website.

 
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.

Upcoming events

 
  • March 2016Dissemination event of ARIMNet funded projects and presentation of the ARIMNet2 Integrated Strategic Research Agenda (ISRA), Lisbon (Portugal)

By launching joint calls which enable collaborative interdisciplinary projects based on complementaries 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. Two calls were already launched, one in 2011 and one in 2015.

The projects funded through the ARIMNet Call 2011 are about to end or have already ended. 10 new projects were just selected for funding this month. In Lisbon, researchers funded under the first ARIMNet call will have the opportunity to show the results of their work, while those funded under the second call will present the objectives of their projects.
  • Spring 2016, ARIMNet Call 2017 to be launched

The 2017 Call (3rd ARIMNet Call) will, like the 2015 Call, be a two-step process. The Call documents will be published on www.arimnet2.net in spring, with the final selection of the projects expected in February 2017.
  • May-June 2016, Summer School for Young Mediterranean Researchers

Topics and subtopics of the Summer School have been selected according to priorities identified by ARIMNet2 partners, with a focus on the Science – Society challenge: How to better involve end-users throughout the research process to foster innovation driven research for sustainable Mediterranean Agriculture at farm and local scale”.Its five dimensions of sustainability - social, economic, environmental, policy and cultural will be considered.
 

The ambition of the Summer School is to give an opportunity to the participants:
  • to develop their capacity to participate in international research projects, to build international research & innovation projects
  • to belong to a network of young researchers from the Mediterranean
  • to share experiences and knowledge (tools and methods) on common scientific issues and challenges related to agricultural research in the Mediterranean,

The application form will be published in January 2016 on the ARIMNet website.

  • October 2016, Regional Conference on "Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS) in the Mediterraean Countries, Antalya (Turkey).

Today due to increased pressures on the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean priorities (water scarcity, food security, nutrition, rural development, employment in the Med...) ask for an increased effort to generate innovation and socio-economic impact of policies. This calls for a need to modify the way research is conducted and funded. One of ARIMNet2 objectives is to foster the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System in order to ensure that agricultural research impacts the stakeholders of the Mediterranean basin and support their socio-economies.

ARIMNet2 is organising  the AKIS  conference  in order to:
- Share opinions and provide for a mutual learning opportunity on approaches to innovation processes and policies for enhancing the value of Mediterranean Scientific and Technologic Innovation (STI) cooperation.
- Draw on conference exchanges to formulate evidence of good practices in the innovation process and in policies for informing regional STI authorities and enriching the formal Mediterranean STI policy dialogue.
- Foster exchange and networking among Euro-Mediterranean actors on STI cooperation, particularly around strategies for the translation and adoption of outputs into technologies, goods and services.
- Provide an opportunity for potential networking between innovation actors within the Mediterranean countries.

The conference will gather approximately 100-125 experts and stakeholders from the Mediterranean region including representatives from the following groups: policy stakeholders; members of the SCAR AKIS SWG; academics and research scientists; Mediterranean STI cooperation projects; local authorities and NGOs; technology transfer offices and private sector representatives; financial and legal experts; civil society; implementing governmental agencies; international organisations and farmers.

Participation to this conference is by invitation only. Outputs of the conference will be public.

A look back

  • 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)

A look back

  • APMed, Final meeting. “Good water management in orchards. Fruit-tree water status and irrigation”.  June 15-16, 2015. Montpellier, France. Presentations 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”. November 26, 2015. Athens, Greece.

Upcoming events

  • 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
- Reinhart Ceulemans, representative of FACCE JPI
- Egizio Valceschini, representative of SCAR
 

Meet one of our SSAB member


Bernard Hubert, President of Agropolis International
Where can you find Bernard Hubert? @ Agropolis International 

What's Bernard'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, Bernard is the vice-chair of the SSAB.
 
What are Bernard's research interests? Livestock farming systems, agriculture/environment relationships, agricultural research for development

Want to get in touch with Bernard? Email himbernard.hubert@avignon.inra.fr


 
The Scientific and Strategic Advisory Board is working for the ARIMNet2 consortium on an Integrated Strategic Research Agenda (ISRA). What is ISRA's importance?

The ISRA is a strategic programming document which aims at identifying priorities and research issues to be addressed in the coming years on the basis of the analysis of major stakes of the agricultural research in the Mediterranean. The objective is to identify what we have to initiate today in order to avoid a crystallization of potential problems and be ready to produce relevant knowledge to allow societies to face efficiently those challenges.
This strategic research agenda is called “integrated” because the ARIMNet2 Consortium expects not only a list, an inventory of technical issues but rather a document integrating different points of view, stakes, types of data, facts and questions in order to set priorities substantial enough to justify mid-term or long-term research, including next forthcoming steps.

 
What in your opinion are the main challenges Agriculture has to face in the Mediterranean?

Facing these challenges is a nexus of food security, poverty alleviation and renewable natural resources preservation. 
 On a global scale, the Mediterranean basin concentrates in quite a small area, but it faces big issues, such as a demographic increase, scarcity in land and water resources, a rise of social inequalities and climate change threat in one of the most politically unstable areas of this planet. All European countries - not only the southern ones - are connected to this crossroad which represents an important part of Europe's historical cradle as well as geographic neighbourhood. Issues thus have to be handled together through close collaborations with our partners from Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries. Agricultural research can contribute in facing these challenges as it is at the core of interactions between technology, people and their environment.
 
What is your vision of agricultural research collaboration in the Mediterranean and what are the main weaknesses of the national agricultural research systems in the Mediterranean?

The stakes we have to address are so huge that we cannot face them alone. We have to joinforces and target these efforts based on a set of common priorities. That is why networks such as ARIMNet2 are fundamental, as they are able to establish common Mediterranean visions and support the best teams in different research organisations of the Mediterranean. Otherwise, there is a risk of geographic containment, remaining in a national approach, dealing only with here and now issues. We have to look beyond national barriers by establishing a long term vision and implementing a global geographical approach to tackle the issues agriculture is facing today. Mediterranean collaboration can have great impact and it can for example allow anticipating a new pest, new animal disease or plant disease through the observation of its movements, its genetic modifications before its arrival into a country up to now unscathed.
 
Within a national approach, research can be subjected to national political fluctuations when research needs guaranties at least at mid-term perspectives. We all have observed research laboratories being supported strongly and then disappearing because of national political changes and reforms. A way to limit this phenomenon is to work jointly, in a transnational manner (and even more if the project is also supported by the European Commission), gathering and using more permanent, stable funding mobilized in a mid-term perspective. This can be a way to overcome the risks, to give a minimum guarantee to good teams, protecting them from a budget cut and a national policy shift. It's why the perspective of an EU art. 185, like the PRIMA project is an encouraging target to enhance trans-Mediterranean long lasting cooperation!
 
What contribution can ARIMNet2 have in battling common problems the Mediterranean Agriculture is facing today? 
 
ARIMNet2 can deliver a shared strategic vision, to provide a framework to jointly define common priorities, to gather research forces able to address these issues and to convince funders to support it. ARIMNet2 can contribute to address several issues such as:
  1. Increasing the efficiency and sustainability of production systems (in terms of natural resources as much as human resources and working conditions)
  2. Enhancing value chains, better distribution of added value all along the value chain (organizing farmers-retailers relationships, inciting agrofood industry to be interested in local products...)
  3. Promoting a balanced territorial development; not only considering agriculture in terms of yields but also as a tool to deeply change and develop the society (e.g. by considering the question of agriculture in the Mediterranean inland areas in order not to enhance the overpopulation in coastal zones and give economic opportunities to rural population).
Want to know what ARIMNet partners think about ARIMNet and its role in fostering opportunites for joint collaboration in tackling Mediterranean agricultural challanges? Click on the pictures below and meet our partners by watching their interviews.
 
Interview de Mr. Ali Rhouma
Interview of Sahin Anil,

Initiative “Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area” (PRIMA)
Toward an Art 185?

The ARIMNet consortium is pursuing long-term objectives and expects to contribute to a real integrated Mediterranean joint programming in the field of agricultural research, which would importantly contribute to a stable and long-lasting cooperation between Mediterranean countries. Therefore the consortium supports and participates in the creation of the first joint programming in the filed of research for Food systems and water resources in the Mediterranean, The PRIMA Initiative (Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area).

Impact assessment

As an important step in PRIMA's development ARIMNet is pleased to announce the official launching of the PRIMA (Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area) Impact Assessment. This Impact Assessment will be done by the European Commission, during the next months and should in particular identify the most appropriate cooperation instrument for the implementation of the PRIMA initiative.

 
PRIMA was initiated by a group of 12 countries from the EU and countries from the East and South Mediterranean. They committed themselves financially with a common budget of 200M EUR for a 10 years period, with the aim to establish a long-term structured partnership in research and innovation in the Mediterranean area. Following the principles of co-ownership, mutual interest and shared benefits the countries request the involvement of the European Commission in this initiative.

The goal of PRIMA is to build an ambitious joint research program, enhancing innovative solutions for improving efficiency and sustainability of food systems and water resources in the Mediterranean. 

PRIMA should contribute to the socio-economic development of the Mediterranean contributing to the creation of an area of stability and prosperity. Through Innovation driven research, PRIMA aims at impacting employment creation and developing the economies in the region.

 
 
1 - INRA, France
2 - ASRT, Egypt
3 - ANR, France
4 - CIRAD, France
5 - CIHEAM-IAMM
6 - FCT, Portugal
7 - DEMETER, Greece
8 - IAV, Morocco
9 - INRAA, Algeria
10 - KRS, Croatia
11 - IRESA, Tunisia
12 - INIA, Spain
13 - ICARDA
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
m.montedoro@politicheagricole.it

WP2: Joint Calls
Sanaa Zebakh, IAV-MA
sanaa.zebakh@yahoo.com
Maurice Héral, ANR-FR

Maurice.HERAL@agencerecherche.fr
 
WP3: Follow-up of funded projects
Anabel De la Peňa, INIA-ES
anaisabel.delapena@inia.es
 
WP4: Joint activities (e.g. summer-schools)
Aristotelis Papadopoulos, DEMETER-GR
gendirpap@nagref.gr
 
WP5: Innovation (AKIS activities)
Sahin Anil, GDAR-TR
sanil@tagem.gov.fr
 
WP6: Communication
Anis Ben Rayana, IRESA-TN
benrayana.aniss@iresa.tn
 
WP7: Management
Florence Jacquet, INRA- FR
florence.jacquet@supagro.inra.fr
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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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