Agriculture and food systems in the Mediterranean basin face a number of common problems related to the management of natural resources (in particular soil, water and biodiversity), the propagation and emergence of animal and plant diseases and the impact of climate change on the productivity and sustainability of agricultural and food systems. These issues need to be addressed through a stronger scientific cooperation between EU Member states and countries from the Mediterranean area. Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in the field of research, development and innovation (RDI) has indeed a major role to play in delivering economic, environmental and social benefits at a wide scale and must be supported by adequate policies and instruments.
ARIMNet2 (Coordination of Agricultural Research in the Mediterranean; 2014-2017; www.arimnet2.net) is an ERA-NET Action financed by the European Union under the Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration, aimed at enhancing the coordination of agricultural research in the Mediterranean area and strengthening the cooperation among stakeholders from the food and agriculture sector (e.g. researchers, farmers and their organisations, agricultural extension services, agribusinesses, policy-makers, funders, etc.).
ARIMNet2 builds upon ARIMNet (Coordination of Agricultural Research in the Mediterranean Area; 2008-2012), which was launched in 2008 as the first ERA-NET action bringing together Mediterranean countries from the EU and from the Eastern and Southern Mediterranean shores.
While ARIMNet involved 13 partners (funding agencies and research institutions) from 12 Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey), ARIMNet2 gathers 24 partners (funding agencies and research institutions) from 15 Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey).
At the crossroad of thematic (led by FACCE-JPI) and regional (Mediterranean) issues, ARIMNet2 operates as a network identifying scientific priorities, providing funding and reinforcing research cooperation opportunities to address the huge societal challenges faced by the whole Mediterranean area and their implications for the agricultural sector ranging from food production, to water and natural resources use and rural development.
ARIMNet2 aims to:
- Develop anIntegrated Strategic Research Agenda (ISRA) describing the key priorities for the European Union and Mediterranean countries in the field of Mediterranean agriculture research, development and innovation;
- Consolidate thecooperation mechanism initiated during ARIMNet between Mediterranean countries through the implementation of joint calls for transnational research projects and the elaboration of guidelines for monitoring the projects funded through these calls.
- Develop joint activities of strategic importance for the partners and the region, related to the training, mobility and networking of researchers (especially young ones), and the sharing and valorisation of infrastructure and data. These activities contribute: a) to establish a common vision on agricultural research and innovation by sharing objectives and priorities; b) to intensify scientific exchanges among researchers and stakeholders from the Mediterranean area and subsequently boost knowledge generation and innovation; c) to strengthen the coordination and coherence of the research programmes between regional and national institutions; d) to support capacity building in scientific methods, concepts and infrastructure management;
- To feed and expand to the Mediterranean region the reflection onAgricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS) that has been developing in the EU, in order to reinforce the positive impact of research on the development and economy of the region.