Societal Challenge 2: Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and the bio-based Economy

Agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, together with the bio-based industries, are integral parts of the European economy and society. Biological resources must be used in an optimal and renewable way, while food production must be sustainable and efficient, in order to reduce inputs, environmental impact and greenhouse gases, and waste. These sectors face significant challenges which require solutions based on research and innovation.

The objective of this Societal Challenge is therefore to accelerate the transition to a sustainable European bioeconomy, by bridging the gap between new technologies and their implementation. Applicants are invited to find solutions which will make positive changes to our society, economy and environment, using resources more efficiently.

The involvement of end users including farmers, fishers, consumers, public authorities (including at local and regional levels) and society at large will be a key to achieve this. In particular, several topics will involve a 'multi-actor approach' as foreseen in the Horizon 2020 Regulation.

Research and Innovation for a sustainable bio-based economy

The 2016-2017 Work Programme for Societal Challenge 2 is composed of four calls. Two highly cross-cutting calls on "Sustainable Food Security", on "Blue Growth" and a call on "Rural renaissance".

Sustainable Food Security: Resilient and resource-efficient value chains

  • More resilient and resource efficient value chains
  • Environment-smart and climate-smart primary production
  • A competitive food industry
  • Healthy and safe foods and diets for all
  • Support to the Implementation of the EU-Africa partnership on food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture
  • Implementation of the EU-China FAB flagship initiative

Blue growth: Demonstrating an ocean of opportunities

  • Boosting innovation for emerging Blue Growth activities
  • Linking healthy oceans and seas with healthy people
  • The Arctic Dimension
  • Valorising the Mediterranean Sea Basin

Rural Renaissance: Fostering innovation and business opportunities

  • New approaches towards policies and governance
  • New value chains and business models
  • Innovation and skill development

Bio-based innovation for sustainable goods and services - Supporting the development of a European Bioeconomy

  • Securing sustainable biomass supply for bio-based goods and services
  • Building the "bio-based markets of the future" - mobilising stakeholders engagement

This Work Programme also includes and SME instrument call, a Fast track to innovation pilot call, and Other Actions such as the Horizon Prize on food security, or funding for a Bioeconomy knowledge centre. A budget of about 775 million euros is reserved for this Challenge for 2016-2017.