The “LIVINGAGRO – Cross Border Living laboratories for Agroforestry” project is funded under the ENI CBC Med Programme 2014 – 2020, under the “Support to education, research, technological development and innovation” thematic objective - “Technological transfer and commercialization of research results” priority (A.2.1). It addresses the challenge of knowledge and technological transfer in Mediterranean agroforestry systems to achieve and share good practices aimed at sustainable production.
Dates: the project, which started in September 2019, will have a duration of 36 months.
Funding: a total budget of 3,3 Million Euros and a 2,9 Million EU-contribution.
Participating organisations: it involves 6 organizations from 4 different countries (Italy, Greece, Lebanon and Jordan).
Aim of the Project: the project aims to boost user-driven development and innovation transfer through an Open Innovation approach, a holistic co-creation process that includes all stakeholders of the value chains in a cross-border dimension. The goal of the project is therefore to establish two Living Laboratories (LL) based on two innovation communities, olive multifunctional systems (LL1) and grazed woodlands (LL2), populated by the relevant stakeholders residing in the project areas. Olive cultivation is representative of many Mediterranean rural areas, and traditionally olive groves were managed as agroforestry systems, in combination with cereals, grain and fodder legumes or pastures. Grazed woodlands are major agroforestry systems in the Mediterranean that greatly contribute to sustaining local Mediterranean economies, supplying both plant and animal products. The identification and implementation of innovative value chains in these territories will create new opportunities for local communities to adopt best practices at the farm level and new market opportunities for SMEs.
The project activities, now entering the fourth semester and mainly carried out during the Covid_19 pandemic, have already delivered several of the foreseen outputs. A baseline survey, as the reference base for project results’ indicators, and the fine-tuning of the Unitary Model approach for running the LL were among the first steps carried out by the consortium. Two extensive research stakeholder analyses, one for each LL, identified facilities and available innovations in partner countries, and will be made available through the dedicated ICT platform in terms of an agroforestry innovation database.Through questionnaires and interviews with SMEs, industry, farmers, chambers of commerce, government institutions, single entrepreneurs and their associations, the needs of economic operators have been assessed and will be further compared in 10 brokerage events (B2B), where innovation offer and demand will meet in an open innovation ecosystem, with 2 B2B events in Crete, 4 in Lebanon, and 4 in Jordan. An analysis of the national and international policies dealing with agroforestry systems and of the tools supporting olive multifunctional systems and grazed woodlands in EU countries, Jordan and Lebanon, also capitalising on previous research findings, has been carried out.
Research collaborative agreements will now strengthen or establish cooperation between research and enteprises, while 2 public-private partnerships and people (PPP+P) collaborative agreements will form the basis for the LL long-term establishment. Once the restrictions related to the current pandemic are lightened, the project will be able to better adress the outputs regarding adequate animation of the LL, operating field visits in the farms, carrying out field trials to test or demonstrate the proposed innovations, to finally enter the stage of realeasing innovative products and services, and technology transfer support activities for the agroforestry sector in the four countries.
Discover more about LIVINAGRO: official project FB page: https://www.facebook.com/Livingagro
Partners: Regional Forest Agency for Land and Environment of Sardinia (Fo.Re.S.T.A.S.), Italy; Italian National Research Council, Department of Biology, Agriculture and Food Science (CNR), Italy, National Agricultural Research Center (NARC), Jordan; Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute (LARI), Lebanon; Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (MAICH), Greece; ATM Consulting S.a.s. (ATM), Italy.
Associated Partners: Autonomous Region of Sardinia, Dept. of Environment defense; Autonomous Region of Sardinia, Dept. of Agriculture and agro-pastoral reform; The Lebanese University (Faculty of Agronomy, Beirut).