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On the occasion of the European Commission’s publication of the new proposals for the H2020 Work Programme 2018-20, the CDTI (the Spanish Industrial Technology Development Centre) held last 7th November an Infoday on Horizon2020 Societal Challenge 2: Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Maritime and Inland Water Research and the Bioeconomy. During the workshop, the calls for 2018, 2019 and 2020 proposals were addressed, detailing the research priorities in terms of funding for the next three years.

As part of the meeting, José Manuel González (Spanish Delegate to SC2 – CDTI) exchanged with us his expectations regarding the future of the Bioeconomy in the H2020 and beyond. It seems that it will be strongly supported under the WP2018-20 and the future FP9. Another point worth considering is the presence of other funding opportunities within the agri-food sector and related sectors, as for instance the PRIMA initiative, the BBI and its continuation and two new ERA-NETs (FORESTVALUE and SUSCROP).

Davide Amato (EC, DG Research and Innovation, Directorate F “Bioeconomy”) emphasised the major objectives of the new proposals that include a wise management of our resources to nourish people sustainably, understand, preserve and valorise oceans and develop greener, circular rural economies. This leads us to the three present calls: Sustainable Food Security, Blue Growth and Rural Renaissance, without forgetting the investment made in the Circular Bioeconomy Platform, which is enhanced in this last call. All in all, the idea of this programme is to be more strategic and have a focused approach, with an increase in funding and fewer but wider topics.

Marta Conde (SC2 National Contact Point from CDTI) focused on the Cross-Cutting Issues that cannot be forgotten in our projects and on the three assessment criteria: Excellence – Impact – Implementation.

Eventually, as a final touch of this workday, the coordinators of three Spanish winning proposals during the previous programme (DIVERFARMING, YPACK y AfriCultuReS) shared with the rest of participants their own experience and tips for success in a H2020 proposal.

As Guillermo Álvarez (Head of Societal Challenges Department – CDTI) noted, we should not forget that Spanish Projects have already attracted around 10% of the H2020 budget. From Innovarum, we continue working to increase these figures and would like to thank the CDTI for its involvement in these workshops that help the diffusion and implementation of new projects as well as the understanding of the new call priorities.

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