New synergies emerged at the FACCE SURPLUS end term meeting
Researchers from all of Europe met in Düsseldorf when FACCE SURPLUS hosted the end term meeting for the projects funded in the 1st call. Outputs from these projects will be used to prepare the next activities focusing on the valorization of research.
How do we maximize barley biomass and yield for different end-users and purposes? Is it worth cultivating energy crops like miscanthus on heavy contaminated soils? And how do we enhance agronomic, environmental and economic performances of integrated food and non-food production systems by optimizing productivity and valorizing woody components, residual wastes and co-products?
These are just a couple of the themes and topics, which were on the table when around 120 researchers, funders and stakeholders from all of Europe met in Düsseldorf in November. The purpose of the meeting was the approaching end of the first 14 FACCE SURPLUS projects, which were selected for funding back in 2015.
One of the main objectives of the 1st FACCE SURPLUS call was to improve the collaboration across the European Research Area in the range of diverse, but integrated, food and non-food biomass production and transformation systems, including biorefining. Thus, the meeting also centered around how to ensure an optimal exchange and use of new information among the researchers, stakeholders and policy makers.
FACCE SURPLUS project coordinator, Nicolas Tinois, is pleased with the progress of the 1st call projects and the meeting:
- This event was the opportunity to bring together all research projects conducted under the umbrella of our ERA-NET, to present results achieved until now and herewith to start highlighting synergies and potential common outcomes. The research results are interesting and tend to show the increasing importance of the holistic approaches in the bioeconomy. In this regard, the upcoming 3rd FACCE SURPLUS call is a first tool, but in addition to that, FACCE SURPLUS will use the outputs from this meeting in order to prepare future activities focusing on the valorization of research.
A funder's perspective
One of the partners’ countries in the ERA-NET is The Netherlands. Mr. Jan van Esch is a bioeconomy strategy and research advisor at the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality in the Netherlands, and from the Dutch perspective, the outcome of the first call has proven that working together and funding research across borders is the way to go:
- Every time I go to this type of meetings, I'm impressed by how much work and research there has been done. I always say to myself - we should do this more. Combating climate change, securing biodiversity and biomass and improving production conditions for the farmers are not typical Dutch, German or Italian problems. They concern us all. And it is smarter to solve these things together, says Mr. Jan van Esch.
During the meeting, four valorization sessions were arranged, in which participating projects were divided into groups, covering the following subjects: Optimizing biomass production, Agricultural practices towards climate change adaptation, mitigation, and resilience, Supporting decision making for sustainable intensification and multi-functionality and sustainable land use.
In the beginning of the new year, conclusions from the valorization sessions will be available on this website, as will interviews, videos and presentations from the meeting.