Innovative connections for sustainable agriculture
Agriculture and forestry – the basis for food, feed and countless other products to meet consumer and industrial demands – are integral parts of the European economy and society. Innovation and collaboration between various actors are key. The EU-funded i2connect will build on the existing advisor networks – a resource of over 40 000 advisors and critical actors – to form a broader network. Its aim is to promote a new culture of bottom-up innovation support. The project will create an inventory of advisory practices in Europe. The best practices will be reviewed and studied as part of a training programme. Overall, the project will connect 32 organisations and support them through a moderated online platform for mutual coaching and sharing experiences.
The i2connect project aims to fuel the competencies of advisors who will support and facilitate interactive innovation processes responding to multiple challenges in European agriculture and forestry. The strategy in i2connect is to use the existing advisor networks and the experiences of success in different contexts to create a broader network and momentum of change enabling a new culture of bottom-up led innovation support. This resource of over 40,000 advisors are critical actors supporting agriculture and forestry on the ground and must be influenced in this project to support interactively innovation with particular emphasis on EIP-AGRI 2020 target of 3,500 operational groups and beyond.
An inventory will be made of the current state of advisory practices in Europe. Best Practices throughout Europe will be analysed in an interactive way to guide the development of approaches and tools, and to be studied as part of the training program for advisors. A pool of trainers will be trained to work with these materials in training and coaching advisors. Some advisors may join cross visit teams for studying interesting cases abroad. Attention will also be given to the ‘enabling environment’: ways in which managers of advisory services, research actors, policy makers and others can create conditions. These activities feed into a professional network with many local branches, supported by the project through a moderated on line platform for mutual coaching, sharing experiences. i2connect brings together 32 organisations (beneficiaries and third parties).