No. 6 · December 2006

Research proposals

Many applications from large consortia

The first call for transnational research in CORE organic closed 1 December. In total 37 applications have been submitted, and some of them represent very large consortia with participants from several of the CORE member countries.

The establishment of joint funding for transnational research in organic food and farming has been one of the main objectives for the CORE organic project. The eleven CORE member countries have contributed with 100.000 – 600.000 € each per year to this pilot programme, which will run during 2007–2009.

The call was directed to three thematic areas:

  1. Animal disease and parasite management, mainly focusing on preventive health and improving therapies to reduce reliance on antibiotics

  2. Quality of organic food – health and safety

  3. Innovative marketing strategies – identification of successful marketing methods, local markets

The proposed projects should clearly demonstrate added value in the partnerships and deal with targeted questions, which could be better answered if research takes place in more than one European country. The project consortia should consist of at least three partners from different participating countries. Some of the submitted applications represent very large consortia, comprising applicants from up to nine participating countries and more than twenty individual applicants.

All CORE Organic member countries are at least represented as co-applicants in more than one application. The most active countries in the call have been Germany and Italy, since the researchers from those countries are most frequently represented – both as main applicants and as co-applicants.

A few of the proposed projects cover more than one of the three thematic areas. “Quality of organic food” is clearly the dominating area, with more than half of the applications within this topic. The other half of the applications is distributed rather evenly between “Animal disease” and “Innovative marketing”.

The process of evaluating the applications has now started. At a meeting in March, the CORE Organic Governing Board will prioritise and rank proposals to be recommended for funding. Since each participating country will finance their own participants, the final decision on funding will be taken by the national funding organisations. All applicants will receive written feedback after the evaluation is completed and the funding decisions have been made.

Written by Karin Ullvén, Sweden