Today, agricultural systems are facing multiple challenges, including climate change, loss of biodiversity, dwindling resources, degradation of soil and water quality. Agroecology can strengthen the sustainability and resilience of farming systems and thus contribute to addressing these challenges. Based on the premise that Open Innovation Arrangements (OIAs) and in particular Living Labs (LL) and Research Infrastructures (RIs) are instruments that have large potential to contribute to amplifying agroecology in Europe, the main aim of ALL-Ready is to prepare a framework for a future European network of LLs and RIs (to be called “AgroEcoLLNet”) that will enable the transition towards agroecology throughout Europe. The project will lay the groundwork and prepare the necessary prerequisites and activities. Testing will verify and improve the project’s outcomes, which will be communicated widely in Europe. The implementation plan will be tested and integrated into the validated framework of AgroEcoLLNet. The project relies on a highly participatory and inclusive approach and on experimentation in real life situations and thus itself uses a living lab approach. An underpinning principle of the project is strong stakeholder engagement, which has begun in the preparation of this proposal.
The project has 3 phases:
- An initial preparatory phase in which the vision, scope and mission for the Network are defined and the criteria for inclusion in the Network of LLs and RIs as well as other forms of OIAs are defined. This will enable the mapping of current and emerging LLs, RIs and OIAs across Europe and their characteristics, highlighting best cases (WP1-WP2).
- In a second phase, different prerequisites/ activities for the future Network will be prepared ‘(sustainability, including funding, governance, capacity building, data and knowledge management). Plans for each of these will be constructed with stakeholders and then tested in a small-scale pilot network and then refined to match needs (WP3).
- Finally, the outcomes of the work will be communicated widely throughout Europe by a variety of mechanisms. One of the final outcomes of the project will be a pilot-tested Implementation Plan for implementing the validated framework of AgroEcoLLNet, within Horizon Europe (WP4-WP7).