No. 4 · July 2006


Joint call

Preannouncement of first transnational call for organic food and farming

CORE Organic workshop

How to increase cooperation in transnational Organic Food and Farming research?

Book release

European research in Organic Food and Farming

Joint Organic Congress

Discussing European research issues

Around Europe

An overview of current topics in partner countries

EU research

News from EU research activities

Notes & correspondences

On current events and activities


EU research

News from EU research activities

In this issue the news on EU research activities include:

Organic food and farming in the seventh framework programme

The work programme of the new European framework programme (FP7) is still in preparation. Likewise, the EU parliament has not yet made a final decision on the budget.

However, according to Christian Patermann, director of the EU Research Directorate for Biotechnology, agriculture and food research, the first call will be issued in December 2006.

Christian Patermann made this clear at his plenum presentation at the European Joint Organic Congress in Odense, Denmark.

Christian Patermann also stated that organic food and farming will be included in FP7, but the research will need to relate to other topics that can be mutually beneficial to organic farming/conventional farming in order not to create a marginal research ‘niche’ in this area.

Christian Patermann has kindly made his presentation available for interested readers of CORE Organic News

Meeting of ERA-Nets in the field of Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology

On 15 June 2006 eight ERA-Nets in the field of Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology met in Brussels together with representatives from the EU commission, the Standing Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR) and other committees and workgroups within research.

The main purpose of the meeting was to exchange experiences and discuss issues of common interest, but also to discuss the ERA-Net projects in the context of the upcoming FP7 Theme 2, which will focus on support to the building of a Knowledge-Based Bio-Economy (KBBE).

One of common problems for ERA-Nets is the handling of joint transnational calls based on national funding. As there are no precedents for such calls, the administration and legal aspects are often to be mastered in the mode "learning by doing".

The administrative (and mental) difficulties of distributing resources across boundaries are leading to a practice of "each country financing its own research" within the ERA Nets, thus not creating a real common pot (the Commission wish that the real common pot mode is used as often as possible). Additional EU funding (the so called ERA-Net Plus) might help solving the problems. However, it was made clear that for budgetary reasons there will be only a limited number of ERA-Net-Plus actions possible.

The Commission also made it clear that existing ERA-Nets cannot be renewed in FP7 for a second period without being developed further. This would have to be in the form of a significantly increased membership, an adjusted topical range or launching of a joint call.

Conclusions and recommendations from the SAFO network

The concerted action on Sustaining Animal health and Food Safety in Organic Farming (SAFO) are coming to an end. At the fifth SAFO workshop, held in conjunction with the European Joint Organic Congress, the main project conclusions and implications on areas like standards, certification, advice and research was presented and discussed.

See the SAFO website