Event report: EIP-AGRI Networking and Communication Workshop

Workshop EIP-AGRI Networking & Communication - copyright European Commission.
Ruth Macdonald, Scottish Rural Network Support Unit

Officials from all over the European Union came together to share their experience of supporting European Innovation Partnerships in agriculture and forestry (EIP-AGRI) in Budapest, Hungary on 4-5 October 2016.

The idea behind European Innovation Partnerships is that farmers or foresters work with others, such as researchers to: 

  • find a solution to an issue they are facing or 
  • try out a new idea aimed at improving productivity or sustainability

The results of these projects are then shared across the European Union on the EIP-AGRI website

Each country is working to make this idea a reality in different ways so this event was a great opportunity to learn from each other. People gave presentations about EIP-AGRI in their country and there were small group discussions about solutions to the issues faced. 

We learnt a lot about what was done in other countries. In Germany, for example, they have created a database (in English as well as German) where you can find information about all their EIP-AGRI projects. In Spain they have brought together experts and farmers to find new ideas to address issues linked to irrigation, for example how to reduce energy use. 

We told people of the work being done here in Scotland to support innovation in agriculture, including about the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund. This fund provides financial support for farmers or foresters who are working with others to try out their new idea. For more information about the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund visit the Rural Payments and Services website

We came away from this event with lots of inspiration for what more we could do here in Scotland to help farmers and foresters to try something new.