Producing sufficient and safe food for a growing population without over-exploiting natural resources is one of the major problems that our society must face, finding solutions which are sustainable in the long term. This is a global challenge, placed in a difficult context of unstable climate, increasing competition for land, water and energy, in an increasingly urbanized and globalized world. The importance and the breadth of this challenge requires a significant research effort that is far beyond the capacity of any single institution. To adequately address this issue, it is mandatory to develop an integrated, large-scale, multi-disciplinary research programme.
This is the ambition of Agritech partners, which, by building upon pre-existing collaborative research, higher education initiatives, networking of infrastructures and large equipment sharing, have defined a programme motivated by the need to:
- Combine the top research expertise required to adequately address in a truly multidisciplinary context the multifaceted problems associated with sustainable agriculture.
- Integrate the research infrastructures and equipment available at each site.
- Exploit and apply the most suitable Key Enabling Technologies (KET) that can allow a profitable advance in productivity, sustainability, ecological and digital transition in the agricultural sector.
- Work with companies and farmers to co-design research efforts and exploit at the best the results to increase the resilience and economic competitiveness of agri-food supply chains.
- Develop and disseminate new models and organizational capabilities to create and implement large- scale, strategic research programmes that cross discipline boundaries and industrial sectors.
- Train the next generation of Agritech scientists and managers to generate the necessary human capital and skills required.
- Support policy makers and influence public opinion to promote a social context favoring the development of stable and equitable agri-food supply chains.
The main characteristic of Agritech research programme is its structural organization, which reflects the high level of integration among a broad diversity of participating research institutions and companies.