Network of the European Innovation Partnership for Agriculture Productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI Network)

Network of the European Innovation Partnership for Agriculture Productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI Network)

Kerstin Rosenow
Other Organisations
EIP-AGRI Service Point


The EIP-AGRI Network was launched in 2013. It supports the EIP-AGRI, an EU initiative that works to foster competitive and sustainable farming and forestry by means of knowledge sharing and innovation. It aims to reach public and private actors active in the field of agriculture and rural development innovation (e.g. farmers, researchers, advisers, NGOs, businesses, public authorities, etc.). It has no formal membership. Activities range from capacity building events to seminars and workshops, focus groups and communication activities.

It has two main objectives:

  • facilitate the exchange of expertise and good practices;
  • establish a dialogue between farmers and the research community and facilitate the inclusion of all stakeholders in the knowledge exchange process.

In the current programming period (2014-2020) the EIP-AGRI Network is set up by Art. 53 of Regulation (EU) No 1305/2013. It supports the implementation of the EIP-AGRI, initiative.

Participation Spectrum

When and Where

Start Year

Policy Context

Policy Stage
Context of activity
Science or Policy Field
Specific Topic
The events organised by the EIP-AGRI network cover a broad range of topics related to research & innovation for the farming and forestry sectors (e.g. bio-based and circular economy; biodiversity; food supply chains; soils; water; precision farming).


Communities or representatives involved
The network aims to reach public and private actors active in the field of agriculture and rural development innovation (e.g. farmers, foresters, researchers, advisers, NGOs, businesses, researchers and public authorities in EU Member States and regions).
How were the Participants selected?
Through what means citizens knew about the call for participation?
The key communication tool for the EIP-AGRI is the network’s website (, but events are also advertised on social media, via the EIP-AGRI newsletter and invitations can be sent out to specific groups of stakeholders.


Methodologies used
Methodology description
EIP-AGRI events are by nature, highly participatory. Social media, digital communications and a dedicated event apps are used to engage participants before, during and after each event.

- Interactive workshops for 80 participants;
- Seminars of 150 participants;
- Focus groups involving 20 experts and meeting twice per year;
- Online exchange platforms for registered users on the EIP-AGRI website;
- Social media community;
- Events apps;
- Field trips/farm visits linked to events.
Spaces Used


Main Outcomes and Lasting Achievement
So far the EIP-AGRI Network has run around 120 events across almost all MS. Outcomes of all EIP-AGRI events are recorded in reports that are published on the EIP-AGRI website: They feed research needs from practice into the programming of research and innovation activities under Horizon 2020 and research agenda-setting at national/regional level. EU-level events can inspire similar activities at the national/regional level (e.g. focus groups) and spur agricultural innovation across Europe giving rise to EAFRD-funded projects (so called 'operational groups':, Horizon2020 multi-actor projects ( and fostering collaboration among those. Networking activities also raise social capital in the EU by linking people involved in the implementation of EU policies and help them share knowledge.
How were the outcome taken up within the process they were carried out?
One key outcome of the EIP-AGRI activities is the gathering of research needs from the ground that eventually feed the EU and national research agenda for the agricultural sector ( These have namely contributed to inform the EU strategic research and innovation agenda for agriculture in the current programming period and the specific work programmes under Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 2 up to 2020 (
Feedback provided
Other Feedback
Reports of all events are published and participants informed.
Were the methodologies used elsewhere?
EU-level events might inspire similar activities organised by national/regional level stakeholders. For example this included the launch of national Focus Groups of experts based on the model promoted by the EIP-AGRI Network (examples exists e.g. in Spain, Portugal,...).


Reason for such challenges and solutions
No particular challenges apart maybe some constraints in ensuring a balanced attendance to large participatory events because of language barriers (English is usually the main working language). As far as possible this issue is addressed by providing consecutive interpretation and on-the-spot support to allow participants to contribute in their own language. Some EIP-AGRI publications/reports are translated, usually via the involvement of national stakeholders.
Lessons Learn
- Importance to count on the presence of the right group of target stakeholders at events. For this, foreseen open calls for interest combined with a selection process is very helpful.
- Using English as working language is still a main barrier for ensuring participation from certain Member States, however limited actions can be put in place to redress the balance.
- Essential presence of a dedicated Network and resources to establish a long-term engagement with stakeholders and make them feel valued for their participation and contribution (establish a sense of ‘community’). In this respect, the use of external contractors to animate the Network’s activities allows a level of resourcing that would not be possible in-house; it also provides necessary skills (e.g. expert groups’ facilitation) and knowledge.
- Communicate timely and clearly about the scope, objective(s) and target audience of the networking activities.
- Engagement is not one-off activity. Adequate long-term planning of resources and communication is key to accompany stakeholders in the journey and get the best results possible.
- Provide timely and clear feedback to participants to keep their engagement in the long run and raise the profile of your activity.