OPEN CALL for networking activities

The aim of the call is to promote Nordic collaboration among researchers from the agricultural sectors by networking activities including conferences and seminars.

Features of funded networks

Participants in submitted networks should represent at least three countries consisting of three research institutions in the Nordic* region. Successful applicants may receive funds from NKJ of up to 200 000 SEK for activities in 2020-2021, covering at most 50% of the total budget for the network.

* Nordic is defined as Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the autonomous areas of the Faroe Islands, Greenland and the Åland Islands.

Network outputs

should be useful for the Nordic community and should include knowledge exchange across national borders through e.g. arranging workshops, seminars, scientific meetings or open conferences. Networks could also produce peer-reviewed scientific papers, design policy recommendations based on research findings, write large-scale research funding applications, and create or maintain databases or websites.

Focus areas of the call:

• Plant health
• Alternative proteins

We particularly encourage networks that relate to aspects of plant health or alternative proteins to apply for funding. However, we also encourage networks with focus on other aspects of Nordic agriculture and food research to apply for funding.

Plant health
The United Nations has declared 2020 as “The international year of plant health to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment and help boost economic development”. Climate change and human activities such as plant trade, reduced biodiversity and altered ecosystems are creating new environments where invasive organisms can thrive. Plant health is increasingly under threat, FAO estimates that up to 40% of food crops are lost due to plant pests and diseases annually. Read more here.

NKJ wants to ensure that Nordic policies are based on sound research to take preventive and adaptive measures to keep plants healthy. We want research networks dealing with sustainable methods such as tools used in integrated pest management and phytosanitary measures. In the face of climate change, plant breeders need to improve traits of crops. Yields needs to be maximized and of high quality while making sure that plants are resilient enough to endure extreme weather and resist diseases and pests. Growing techniques need to be adapted to lower the usage of chemicals, while providing economical incitement to farmers to make both our landscapes and fields more diverse. Insects need shelter in a complex surrounding to provide invaluable ecosystem services from pollinators and natural enemies. Monitoring techniques needs to be readily available for farmers so they can make informed decisions and as a last resort use just the correct amount of pesticides at the right time. Soils needs to be maintained and improved for future generations both as an agricultural resource as well as a carbon sink. We need to interconnect and come up with new, sustainable solutions to reduce the dependency of agrochemicals, while increasing resilience. In this spirit, NKJ has decided to fund networks that can change the future.

Alternative proteins
“The global need for proteins will increase steeply along with population growth, economic growth, and higher purchasing power, along with higher focus on health and lifestyle. It is assessed that total global consumption of animal proteins from 2007 to 2030 may increase by around 70 percent; an increase in the demand for plant-based proteins for food is also expected.” Proteins for the future, The Danish National Bioeconomy Panel.

To combat climate change and increase the resilience of the global food production, proteins needs to be sustainably produced with minimal environmental impact in comparison to the traditional protein industry. If not, there will be major problems to feed the global population that is estimated to increase from today’s 7 billion to 10 billion in 2050. To provide high quality alternatives, proteins needs to be developed from new sources while being cheap, tasty, nutritious and attractive to consumers. These sources need to have an environmental footprint radically smaller compared to that of the traditional meat industry. The Nordic countries with its infrastructure have a great potential to create a flourishing, sustainable alternative protein industry for food and feed production. Therefore, NKJ by this funding opportunity wants to encourage researchers and stakeholders to meet and together design solutions for the future.

The aim of the call is to:

  • Facilitate collaboration between researchers in the Nordic countries by networking activities
  • Increase Nordic regional synergies in agriculture and food research**
  • Bridge gaps between research and practice
  • Encourage Nordic researchers and institutions to apply for funding from larger funds like e.g. Horizon 2020 or similar activities.

** Including animal health and welfare and reindeer husbandry.

 

Call text

Application form

Deadline: April 15th 2020 at 12:00 CET.