PRIMA, scientific diplomacy for a more resilient Mediterranean


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PRIMA (Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area) – a unique initiative for the inclusive, healthy and prosperous Mediterranean societies — will finance 40 new projects and invest 65 million euros in 2021. Supported by the EU and 19 states from both shores of the Mediterranean, the innovation and scientific diplomacy program funds projects in the fields of sustainable and integrated water management, farming systems and agro-food value chain.

The partnership, which invested 167 million euros in projects until now, has put the climate crisis at the top of its agenda. PRIMA aims to provide innovative solutions to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change in the Mediterranean, one of the world’s most affected regions by global warming. It also aims to promote social cohesion in a context of population growth and loss of biodiversity.

Undertaken within the frame of the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation, PRIMA places special emphasis on the so-called WEFE (Water, Energy, Food and Ecosystems) nexus. Water, energy and food are the three vertices of an inseparable triangle for life and human development. Knowing and exploiting the interconnections and taking a holistic approach is vital to respond to the challenges of the Mediterranean area.

The Mediterranean diet, key element

PRIMA focuses also on the Mediterranean diet as a key element to preserve health and the environment. The Mediterraneandiet has been chosen as a critical element and a crucial selection determinant due to its importance in preserving health, especially in the current global health and pandemic situation. Especially now when, with the global pandemic, the proximity in the food chain has become strategical. 

Angelo Riccaboni, Chair of the PRIMA Board of Trustees, highlights that “PRIMA could contribute to the resilience and recovery of the Mediterranean. To that end, it is synergizing with all the relevant actors to ensure prosperity for the region and the generations to come”. PRIMA’s mission is to contribute to the sustainable development of the region and tackle the challenges it faces such as food security, water scarcity, overexploitation of natural resources, unsustainable agricultural practices and the lack of innovation in the agri-food value chain.

Mohammed Shinawi, Co-Chair of the PRIMA Board of Trustees, adds that the Covid-19 pandemic “has emphasized and confirmed the crucial role of small business and essential workers in the agro-food system. PRIMA will continue its work to create sustainable and innovative solutions to support them”.

A Partnership based on the principle of equal footing

Based on equal footing, all PRIMA projects must include a minimum of three research teams from different participating countries, with at least one partner from the North and one partner from the South of the Mediterranean. The 19 participating countries in the program are Algeria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey.

Octavi Quintana, Director of PRIMA Secretariat, states that “the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that the challenges our societies face can only be dealt with through international cooperation”. This international cooperation and PRIMA partnership are based on the principle of equal footing applied through co-decision, co-financing and co- management. 

With headquarters in Barcelona, PRIMA has successfully implemented three calls for proposals so far and funded a total of 129 projects to date, in which more than 1700 research teams either applied or participated and with a budget of 164.1 million euro allocated in the years 2018, 2019 and 2020

PRIMA has successfully implemented three calls for proposals so far and funded a total of 129projectstodate, in which more than 1700 research teams either applied or participated and with a budget of 164.1 million euro allocated in the years 2018, 2019and2020. The call for projects for 2021 was launched yesterday in an event in Barcelona.

The program, which is a multilateral collaboration model between countries from the North and South of the Mediterranean, was created to strengthen the Euro-Mediterranean capacity and knowledge towards more sustainable development and a better way of life for local communities.


PRIMA programme is supported by Horizon 2020, the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

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