On 1st February more than 80 representatives of the European vegetables research centres took part in the Brussels kick-off meeting of Euvrin, a European network gathering research centres on vegetables. The initiative of such a web came from AREFLH (1), Freshfel (2) and Agrolink (3). So far the consortium represents 50 centres originating from 16 European countries.
The objective of this first meeting was triple:
- to allow the researchers on vegetables to get to know each other better and to develop partnerships;
- to define research topics and to organize working groups;
- to valorise the European vegetable sector to the European Commission and to highlight the needs for research.
Mrs. Inge Van Oost from the DG Agri took part in this meeting. She presented the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) “Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability - Demand driven innovation under H2020: Multi-actor topics and Thematic networks”. This document is available on AREFLH’s website.
During this first Euvrin meeting, five working groups were created:
- IPM for vegetables
- Fertilisation and irrigation
- Genetic resources and breeding
- Greenhouse and vegetable material
- Quality throughout the chain of value
As for the organic production, it will be inserted in each of the five topics.
These working groups are open to any EU28 research centre working on vegetables. They will meet in the second half of 2016 to define the priorities of research and the possibilities of programs within the framework of Horizon 2020.
The creation of this network is part of the framework of the Task force, initiated two years ago by AREFLH, Freshfel and Eufrin (4). Its goal is the animation of a European platform of research and innovation for fruit and vegetables. A strategic agenda was submitted to the Commission in 2015. It demonstrates the economic importance of the sector and the strong expectations as regards innovation.
Also, a website is now online. In the coming weeks it will show the objectives of the working groups and a list of the centres involved in the network.
The organisations interested by Euvrin can contact AREFLH who holds the secretariat of Euvrin.
- AREFLH gathers 21 European regions and their producers' organisations who mainly produce fruit and vegetables. They account for 45% of the European production of fruit aand vegetables.
- Freshfel federates the different actors of the sector at the European level, from the production up to retail.
- Agrolink gathers the research and transfer centres for vegetables in Flanders.
- Eufrin is a network of 43 research centres for the fruit-bearing productions in Europe.
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