Coventry University’s Ryton research site is set to become the UK base of a major European sustainable food and farming project.
The Agroecology for Europe (AE4EU) scheme has just been awarded a €2m funding boost from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. Coventry University (CU) has teamed up with 11 other universities, research institutes and environmental associations, in a bid to develop a European living laboratory and research network that can accelerate the transition to sustainable agriculture and food systems.
Dr Ulrich Schmutz, Associate Professor at Coventry University’s Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) led the application team and believes the state-of-the-art Ryton facilities and the centre’s EU-funding track record helped the university secure this project.
The project start is planned for 2021 and is currently in the grant agreement phase. CU is set to receive just under €200,000 of the funding and will lead on two sections of the project - research on public and private funding for Agroecology and analysis of European Agroecology initiatives and policies.
For Dr Schmutz, the key is being part of a network that will allow researchers and practical farmers across Europe to work together over the coming years towards a common goal of deeper sustainability.
Now that the university legally owns the Ryton site it is also in a position to formally guarantee the delivery of this ‘UK knot’ of a European living lab network of Agroecology. This is an important project as the new EU Green Deal policy target of 25 percent certified organic land by 2030 in Europe indicates that major changes are needed.
We are delighted to be on board and be a part of the coordination and support action.
Dr Ulrich Schmutz, Associate Professor at Coventry University’s Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR)
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