EURAGRI webinar: 15:00 – 16:30 CET, 9 June 2021 on Zoom – has passed

Living labs, co-innovation and co-creation as building blocks for soil health and food

A living lab in the agro-food sector is defined as a user-centred, open-innovation ecosystem engaging farmers and other stakeholders in jointly developing the solutions towards farming systems which are more resilient and more closely connected to society, and which would deliver sufficient, safe, nutritious and affordable food, while respecting planetary borders and rewarding farms better. In living labs (LL) experimentation is conducted on real farms, in specific territorial and community contexts, with farmers and other actors involved from the beginning as equal partners in proposing ideas, testing them, improving them and promoting them further.

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Living labs have a key role in the just started European research and innovation framework, Horizon Europe (2021 – 2027):

  1. The mission “Soil health and food” combines research and innovation, education and training, investments and the demonstration of good practices using ‘Living labs’ and ‘Lighthouses’ to translate challenges into concrete problems and delivering solutions.
  2. The European partnership “Accelerating farming systems transition: agro-ecology living labs and research infrastructures” is an implementation tool. The target is to deliver ready-to adopt practices that support farmers in understanding and implementing agro-ecological practices at the scale needed for positive economic, environmental and social impacts.

However, we are dealing with a scheme that, though not new, is not a commonly used approach in research. Over the last decades, stakeholder involvement in research has been increasingly taken up but not necessarily always successful.

Therefore, EURAGRI would like to invite you to engage in a discussion concerning among other questions:

  • What are the challenges for research institutions and researchers?
  • Are we ready, conceptionally as well as practically?
  • How can living labs facilitate the uptake of existing knowledge?

Programme:

Alexia Rouby (DG-AGRI, European Commission):

Setting the scene – What are LLs and what experiences exist already?

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Johan Bouma (NL, coordinator of Living Labs WG within the Soil Health and Food Mission Board):

How to link the concept of LLs with research?

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Alfred Grand (Farmer and owner of a Lighthouse/Living Lab Farm, Austria):

How to implement LLs and how do they foster innovation in the farming community?

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Moderator Gottlieb Basch (MED – University of Évora and EURAGRI)