Networking and sharing of FASTER good practices in an international scenario

Our project coordinator Sihem Jebari (INRGREF), represented the FASTER project at an online Cluster Event titled “Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resources on May 20, 2021. The meeting facilitated networking among projects and their institutions in sustainable agriculture and linked natural resources. The participants could also identify emerging topics and knowledge development needs and get familiarised with the EU research policies and upcoming opportunities. 

As an attendee of the meeting, Sihem Jebari had the opportunity to increase the visibility of the project by sharing its methodology, results, knowledge and good practices to a broad international network. The cluster brings together many stakeholders willing to strive for sustainable agriculture and the protection of Natural Resources. Therefore, it has significant importance, giving a chance to the participants to learn about other projects of the same domain, discuss them by transferring knowledge and raise awareness of the different ways to manage projects within the Horizon Europe (HE) program.

The online day meeting organised by REA (European Research Executive Agency) invited 50 projects and gathered 115 participants in the H2020 programme “Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation” in sustainable agriculture and natural resources. In the meeting, the participants presented and shared the content of their projects, discussed opportunities of cooperation and were informed on the new Framework Programme Horizon Europe (HE). This online event helps project consortia to get prepared for the latest opportunities in HE.

The FASTER project had a positive welcome from the other attendees. The expected impacts of the project were presented, as well as the increased number of publications in peer-review journals and mobility. FASTER shared its new skills and competencies by explaining the ongoing Living Lab process and the tools for these good practices, including the foreseen Job Bank for FAS young professionals, the E-learning platform, the Summer School and our upcoming brokerage event.

Finally, Sihem explained the networking opportunities. She described the networking needs that FASTER is covering with research excellence and transfer of knowledge. This is done through our E-learning tool that includes various courses on topics to improve natural resources management, the Living Lab experience, the involvement of the private sector and the increase of employability within the agricultural sector.

The participants were very interested in our project, particularly in the 60 produced factsheets and in the Living Lab process. Among the many questions they posed to Sihem about the factsheets, the participants asked how they could read them and include them on their platforms. Sihem took the occasion to mention that they will soon be able to read the factsheets in our forthcoming Atlas. Regarding the Living Lab process, the FASTER project was one of the very few projects in an advanced stage, and Sihem had the opportunity to explain details of the process carried out at FASTER.

The event explained the Horizon Europe Cluster 6 “Food, Bioeconomy Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment”. It was followed by different presentations about new developments in the context of the new EU framework programme Horizon Europe, the central policies in this domain, funding opportunities in HE and discussion on how the networking can be facilitated.

Sihem Jebari was also able to learn and gather good practices from other projects on innovative technologies in agriculture, sustainable management of natural resources, and new methods, policies and cooperation. All of this will be helpful to bring back to the FASTER project to find practical and result-proven ways to adapt to climate change while preserving natural resources and promoting sustainable agriculture.

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