Identifiant du topic: HORIZON-CL6-2023-FARM2FORK-01-1

European partnership on accelerating farming systems transition – agroecology living labs and research infrastructures

Type d'action : HORIZON Programme Cofund Actions
Nombre d'étapes : Single stage
Date d'ouverture : 22 décembre 2022
Date de clôture : 12 avril 2023 17:00
Budget : €30 000 000
Call : Fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food systems from primary production to consumption
Call Identifier : HORIZON-CL6-2023-FARM2FORK-01
Description :


In line with the European Green Deal, this partnership will contribute to the objectives and targets of the new common agricultural policy (CAP), and of the EU farm to fork strategy for a transition to fair, healthy, environmentally-friendly and more resilient food systems from primary production to consumption, and in particular pursuing the ambition to boost agroecology. Moreover, the Commission Communication ‘Safeguarding food security and reinforcing the resilience of food systems’[1] highlights innovation through agroecology as one of the tools that can mitigate pressure on input costs without hurting production capacity, leading to long-term progress in productivity. Agroecology is a dynamic and holistic approach that contributes positively to healthier ecosystems and biodiversity, including in soils. Agroecology aims at supporting the transition of agri-food systems towards more sustainable practices by connecting science, practice and society and by triggering the adoption of a set of policies to promote sustainable agricultural practices. Given the potential of agroecology to deliver positive impacts for the transition towards environmental, climate, economic and social sustainability of Europe’s farming systems, the partnership will deliver solutions that will support the implementation of several other European Green Deal strategies and initiatives, notably: the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030; the action plan for the development of organic production; the EU zero pollution action plan; the 2030 climate target pact; the EU soil strategy for 2030, the sustainable carbon cycles, and the EU bioeconomy strategy. The partnership will constitute a unique instrument that will help connect agroecological research across Europe. Its expected outcomes will contribute to the impacts of various Destinations under Cluster 6 of Horizon Europe, notably Destination ‘Fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food systems from primary production to consumption’, as well as to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDGs 2, 3, 6, 12, 13 and 15.

The partnership’s activities are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Increased capacities of farmers and actors of the land-based primary production value chains across Europe to implement agroecological practices that contribute to sustainable ecological, climate, environmental and productivity impacts, and to inclusive, competitive and resilient agri-food systems.
  • A Europe-wide network of existing and new agroecology living laboratories and research infrastructures is set. Knowledge sharing and multi-stakeholder co-creation of agroecological innovations at various scales is ensured. A framework for data management, indicators, and tools to monitor agroecology transition is put in place.
  • A robust European R&I system for agroecology integrating science and practice is put in place. The direction for expanding existing and building up new collaborations, boosting knowledge creation and sharing, and co-creating place-based and tailored solutions through agroecology living laboratories (‘living labs’) and research infrastructures is set. The understandings of the technical and socio-economic performance and the uptake of agroecology in Europe are improved.
  • The science-policy dialogue on agroecology is strengthened. Scientific support and technical demonstrations for the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of relevant EU policies is provided. Evidence-based, systems-oriented and transformative governance and policy-making are supported.
  • EU and national/regional agroecological research and innovation agendas from the EU and Member States and Associated Countries are complementary, leading to the co-creation and implementation of a long-term pan-European strategic research and innovation agenda.


The European partnership on ‘Accelerating farming systems transition: agroecology living labs and research infrastructures’ is one of the actions included in the farm to fork strategy, which calls for the promotion of agroecology as one of the sustainable farming approaches with capacity to help meet the European Green Deal objectives in relation to agri-food systems. Living laboratories are multi-stakeholder, real-life settings that place the user at the centre of innovation and operate as instruments for farmers, research organisations, companies, citizens, local and regional authorities, etc., for the co-creation of solutions following a multi-method approach. Agroecology living labs are characterised by very strong local embeddedness, multi-stakeholder involvement by a large diversity of origins, and knowledge intensiveness in the pursuit of and the innovations needed and produced. They can operate at different scales: typically farm, landscape or regional levels. Research infrastructures provide a wide range of services for research communities working in a long- term perspective.

The partnership should coordinate research and innovation programmes on agroecology between the EU and its Member States and Associated Countries and trigger combined actions. It should mobilise key partners and stakeholders, including ministries, funding agencies, research performing organisations, regions, local authorities, research infrastructures, living laboratories, farmers, advisors, industry, consumers, etc.

The partnership’s co-created Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) should include calls for research projects and activities to boost place-based and multi-stakeholder co-creation of solutions. As such, it should boost fundamental research on agroecology through to applied research, and should give rise to ready-to-use solutions for scaling up in real-life environments. The partnership should cover issues pertaining to the transition to agroecology in all agricultural production systems, including but not limited to conventional agriculture, organic farming, agroforestry, permaculture, regenerative agriculture, urban farming, etc. Ultimately, the partnership should significantly contribute to filling existing knowledge gaps on agroecology, addressing geographical/territorial specificities in the EU and Associated Countries.

Delivering on the partnership’s ambitions requires the implementation of the following portfolio of activities to be achieved during the partnership’s lifetime:

  • Support transnational research and innovation activities, as defined in its SRIA, on the challenges and potential of agroecology in addressing biophysical, climate, social and economic dimensions of sustainability, as well as for reducing environmental impact and resource use, at farming, local environment and broader societal levels. This should include supporting research in and on agroecology living labs as tools to foster agroecology transition.
  • Build a European network of new and existing living labs and research infrastructures for knowledge sharing and co-creation of agroecology innovations, at various scales. The network will constitute a key platform for the development and co-creation of innovations to address the technical, economic, institutional and policy-related challenges of agroecology transition for both individuals and collectives across Europe.
  • Improve access to and use of services provided by research infrastructures and other relevant initiatives, for long-term measurement, observation and experimentation in support of agroecology.
  • Improve the sharing and access to knowledge and innovation on agroecology, and improve the capacities of farmers and actors of the agri-food chain to take up agroecology innovations, as well as reinforce the agricultural knowledge and innovation systems for agroecology across Europe, considering culture, gender, and youth aspects.
  • Build a monitoring and data framework with indicators and tools to monitor and measure the progress of agroecology transition, its social, economic, environmental and climate performances and impacts, and improve data valorisation and sharing.
  • Put in place robust mechanisms for science-policy dialogue to support the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies (research and sectorial) with a view to contributing to improved governance and policies, as well as institutions that are better equipped to support agroecological transition.
  • Design and implement communication, knowledge sharing and dissemination activities to improve stakeholder and wider public engagement in agroecology transition.

The partnership is open to all EU Member States, as well as to Countries Associated to Horizon Europe. Partners are expected to provide financial and/or in-kind contribution, in line with the level of ambition of the proposed activities. The partnership should be open to include new partners over its lifetime. Its governance should allow for engaging a broad range of stakeholders, together with the full members of the partnership. Guidelines, standards and legislation in the field should be taken into consideration, to facilitate the marketing of the methods and products developed in the partnership.

To ensure that all work streams are coherent and complementary, and to leverage knowledge and innovation investment potential, the partnership is expected to foster close cooperation and synergies with the Horizon Mission ‘A Soil Deal for Europe’, with the existing European Partnership Biodiversa+, and with other relevant future partnerships, in particular Sustainable food systems, Agriculture of data, and Animal health and welfare.

Cooperation with the JRC may be envisaged, in particular for actions related to monitoring and measuring progress of agroecology transition, as well as for improving data valorisation. The JRC may provide expertise on EU-wide data and indicators to monitor agroecology transition.

The partnership should allocate resources to cooperate with existing projects, initiatives, platforms, science-policy interfaces, and/or institutional processes at EU level, and at other levels where relevant to the partnership’s goals.

Proposals should pool the necessary financial resources from the participating national (or regional) research programmes with a view to implementing joint calls for transnational proposals resulting in grants to third parties. The partnership will provide financial support to third parties as one of the means to achieve its objectives. To explore the full range of financing options available under Horizon Europe, the general annexes of the main Work Programme setting out the general conditions applicable to calls and topics for grants should be considered.

To achieve the international cooperation objectives, and given the global dimension of agroecology, collaboration with strategic third country partners with proven added value in the field of agroecology transition is strongly encouraged. In particular, the participation of legal entities from international countries and/or regions, including those not automatically eligible for funding, is encouraged in the joint calls and/or in other activities of the partnership. Cooperation with international organisations may be considered.

Applicants are expected to describe in detail how they would carry out this collaborative work in practice.

Efforts should be made to ensure that the data produced in the context of this topic is FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable).

This topic should involve the effective contribution of social sciences and humanities disciplines.

In order to enhance the societal impact of the activities, the approach should empower citizens to contribute to the co-design/co-creation/co-assessment of research and innovation agendas/contents/outcomes.

Cross-articulation with the other data spaces, and notably with the European Open Science Cloud should be foreseen, exploiting synergies and complementarities of the different approaches.

The Commission envisages to include new actions in future work programme(s) to continue providing support to the partnership for the duration of Horizon Europe.

The expected duration of the partnership is seven to ten years.

Specific Topic Conditions:

The total indicative budget for the duration of the partnership is EUR 150 million.