BIOEAST – Central Eastern European Initiative for Knowledge-based Agriculture, Aquaculture and Forestry in Bioeconomy

What is the challenge of BIOEAST?

Over the last ten years the resources of the Common Agricultural Policy have helped the Central-Eastern European (CEE) regions to improve their agri-food, aquaculture, forestry sectors, environment and rural areas thus helped to increase the cohesion of the European Union (EU). We believe that in order to achieve further progress in sustainable growth of agriculture, aquaculture and forestry in the bioeconomy we have to shift the emphasis to research, innovation and transnational cooperation for knowledge-based development.  It is a fact that the European Union sees significant internal disparities in terms of research and innovation performance as also identified in the Innovation Union Scoreboard. Besides, due to low participation of CEE regions in H2020, high level of professional knowledge stays outside of the region. This is a major challenge, which is hindering the sustainable growth in the whole EU. Therefore, the „widening participation” –as one of the horizontal issues complementing the strategic orientations for 2018-20 Work Programme - needs to be strengthened.  The low performance and visibility of knowledge-based agriculture, aquaculture and forestry in the bioeconomy in CEE regions is an issue which in the past months has been recognised and discussed at regional, national and macro-regional level by many stakeholders including farmers, researchers and policy makers. What we need now is cooperative action to reach synergies and improve our performance.

What are the objectives of BIOEAST?

Our objective is to improve the sustainable growth of knowledge-based agriculture, aquaculture and forestry in the bioeconomy in the CEE regions.

The actions we propose to reach this objective are:

  • Initiate cooperation: establish a multi-stakeholder network to facilitate joint actions;
  • Provide an evidence base: establish data-driven support for implementation of policies;
  • Focus on research: map specific challenges for a Strategic Research Agenda;
  • Improve skills: train a new generation of dedicated multi-stakeholder actors;
  • Develop synergies: promote regional, national, EU and international funding opportunities;
  • Increase visibility: draw attention to specific challenges of the CEE regions.

What is the thematic scope of BIOEAST?

Theme 1: Climate change challenges in the Continental and Pannonian Bio-geographical Regions

  • Sustainable intensification of plant production (by maintaining soil conditions and improving water management) and livestock production (by decreasing harmful impact of emissions, gases);
  • Sustainable extensification by maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services (including the role of pollinators, sustainable use of genetic resources);
  • Improvement of organic farming in terms of production technology;
  • The reduction of high dependence on non-renewable energy sources;
  • Exploiting the potential for protein crop production;
  • Strengthen the Region as a buffer zone against emerging and changing pathogens;
  • Sustainable, efficient and competitive freshwater fish production.

Theme 2: Policy and governance challenges in the economically less developed EU regions

  • Motivating knowledge-based modern farming (economic optimization of production systems) and cooperation among farmers;
  • Supporting the generation change of the first entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector;
  • Improving supply chain efficiency and increasing its added value;
  • Increasing consumer awareness in mistrustful and price sensitive societies;
  • Increasing the value added use of agricultural and forestry biomass;
  • Experiences of less developed EU regions in social integration challenges such as food, energy or social care security.

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