Boosting research and innovation to increasing resilience in the agri-food value chain
- A roundtable discussion on research and innovation and PRIMA projects was held in Egypt during an Italian-led mission on Agriculture, Agri-food and Food Security.
- The UfM Secretary General Nasser Kamel highlighted the important contribution of PRIMA to the UfM framework, and the need to upscale research projects at Mediterranean level
13-15 March 2023, Cairo – Climate change, the war in Ukraine and its repercussions on food security, along with the need for economic growth and youth employment, all call for common actions between the North and the South of the Mediterranean for increasing resilience of agri-food value chains.
Against these challenges, research and innovation are essential tools for providing tangible solutions, and scientific cooperation between the two rims of the Mediterranean have already produced many concrete outcomes, such as the Mediterranean Initiative of Horizon Europe, and the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA).
Following up on the Mediterranean Ministerial Dialogue on the Food Crisis, chaired by Italian Foreign Affairs Minister Antonio Tajani, held in December 2022, a high-level Agriculture, Agri-food and Food Security mission in Egypt was led by the Italian Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Universities and Research, and met with Egyptian President Abdel Fatha El-Sisi and Prime Minister Dr. Mostafa Madbouly.
The Union for the Mediterranean, led by UfM Secretary General Nasser Kamel, joined PRIMA and CIHEAM in animating a Roundtable discussion on research and innovation and PRIMA projects. The session aimed to discuss and identify with the academic world and economic operators possible means and collaborative avenues that will allow to capitalize on the outcomes of existing R&I activities in operational project on the ground.
The EU and UfM have supported PRIMA as a key initiative advancing R&I in the Mediterranean since its inception phase, connecting it to its many priority areas.
Partnerships between the public and business communities are key to support innovation and sustainability in the Mediterranean, and upscaling existing PRIMA research projects could support job creation, productivity, and the uptake of new technology in agriculture.
A political recognition of the importance of Research and Innovation for addressing Mediterranean challenges has been given by the first UfM Ministerial Declaration in Research and Innovation held last year, where Ministers acknowledged the progress made in R&I cooperation in the region, including the successful rollout of PRIMA and its contribution to science diplomacy. Ministers also endorsed to deepen our cooperation on three lines: climate change, renewable energy and health, all deeply interconnected with food security.