PRIMA concludes its first year of activity with the announcement of the projects selected for funding under the PRIMA Section 2 Call 2018: Multi-topic.
PRIMA – Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area, by funding R&I; through competitive calls, aims to build research and innovation capacities and develop innovative solutions for agro-food systems and for integrated water provision and management in the Mediterranean area. The partnership currently consists of 19 Participating States, including EU Members States, Horizon 2020 Associated Countries and Mediterranean Partner Countries and is a perfect example of science diplomacy: for PRIMA, science is a means to bring together researchers from different countries, to address common problems and to build constructive international partnerships.
The PRIMA Programme is implemented by the PRIMA Secretariat, based in Barcelona, Spain. In early February 2018, the Secretariat launched the first ever PRIMA calls for proposals, with a total budget of around 52 million Euros. Almost 900 proposals, involving more than 6000 applicants from 23different countries (among which 19 PRIMA Participating States and 4 not- PRIMA countries (China, Libya, Palestine, USA), were received by the Secretariat. Project proposals are submitted by consortia that include private and public entities from both the northern and southern shore of the Mediterranean and beyond.
After two evaluation stages conducted by independent experts according to the rigorous Horizon 2020 rules, a number of outstanding project proposals was selected for funding. Many high-quality projects were unfortunately not selected, due to the high competition rate. A list of 27 projects to be funded under the PRIMA Section 2 Call 2018: Multi-topic has been published on the PRIMA website and a number of additional projects might also be awarded, subject to availability of funding. Within next week, the final list of Section 2 project proposals to be funded will be published, after which the beneficiaries will be able to sign the project grant agreements. Actions funded by PRIMA aim to promote biodiversity-rich agriculture and healthy and safe artisanal food, pathogen novel control methods, the implementation of new value chains in rural economies, sustainable water management and irrigation techniques, new ideas, products, technologies, policy recommendations and social innovations to provide a supportive framework for genuine improvements in the way we produce and consume.
“The massive participation of researchers from across the Mediterranean in the PRIMA Calls for Proposals 2018 – underlines Octavi Quintana Trias, PRIMA Foundation Director – proves the very promising start of the initiative and marks a positive balance in the first year of activity. But we are also thinking about PRIMA’s future activities. We have just launched the new PRIMA Calls for Proposals 2019, which will encompass a set of activities and actions aiming to enhance the innovation potential in the Mediterranean. Thanks to a sensible increase in the call budget, which next year will amount to 63 million Euros, more projects will be funded, boosting excellent research and innovation in the Mediterranean.”
The Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area will devise new R&I approaches to improve water availability and sustainable agriculture production in a region heavily distressed by climate change, urbanisation and population growth