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Who is PRIMA

19 participating states countries have a common research and innovation strategy addressing the challenges in climate change, population growth and food security, water scarcity and overexploitation of natural resources, sustainable agriculture, agro-biodiversity loss, reinforcing Mediterranean lifestyle: diet , physical activity , socio-cultural, mediterrenean agro-food value chains.

The PRIMA initiative acts under the legal framework of Article 185 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union, allowing EU participation in research programmes undertaken by the EU and Associated Member States in a framework of complete integration and alignment of national research policies at scientific, management and financial level on specific topics identified in a strategic and long-term perspective. In order put its programme into effect, PRIMA operates through an Implementation Structure in Barcelona, in charge of managing the initiative and implementing a common integrated long-lasting strategic research and innovation agenda.

PRIMA can currently count on the participation of 19 Euro-Mediterranean countries, including 11 EU-countries (Croatia, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain) and 8 non-EU countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey). This strongly structured long-term committed partnership is working to extend the initiative to other interested countries.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. 

Environmental and social changes are deeply affecting Euro-Mediterranean agro-food systems and water resources. Climate change, unsustainable agricultural practices, over-exploitation of natural resources, new lifestyle behaviours (diet, physical activity and socio-cultural) and low profitability of smallholders put a strain on the sustainable and healthy development of the Region, with major impacts on our societies.  The increased complexity and multidimensionality of such social, economic and environmental challenges can only be tackled through common efforts and resources with a research and innovation approach. PRIMA – Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area is the most ambitious joint programme to be undertaken in the frame of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation.


“build research and innovation capacities and to develop knowledge and common innovative solutions for agro-food systems, to make them sustainable, and for integrated water provision and management in the Mediterranean area, to make those systems and that provision and management more climate resilient, efficient, cost-effective and environmentally and socially sustainable, and to contribute to solving water scarcity, food security, nutrition, health, well-being and migration problems upstream”.

PRIMA also aims at to contribute to United Nations’ Agenda 2030 through the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

PRIMA consists of European Union Member States, Horizon 2020 Associated Countries and Mediterranean Partner Countries on an equal footing basis (co-ownership, co-management and co-funding) with the Participation of the European Commission, under the framework of Art.185 TFEU.


Algeria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey have formally become PRIMA Participating States.

The partnership will be financed through a combination of funding from PRIMA Participating States (currently €274 million), and a €220 million contribution from the EU through Horizon 2020, its research and innovation funding programme (2014 – 2020).

PRIMA Vision

Inclusive, healthy and prosperous Mediterranean societies through innovative solutions in agro-food and water systems, contributing, by the end of the programme, to sustainable use of natural resources, economic growth and stability


PRIMA Mission

“To achieve, support and promote integration, alignment and joint implementation of national R&I programmes under a common research and innovation strategy to address the diverse challenges in water scarcity, agriculture, food security.”

PRIMA Objectives

ALIGNMENT OF NATIONAL PROGRAMMES: Orientation of relevant national research and innovation programmes towards the implementation of the strategic agenda.

CRITICAL MASS OF ACTORS AND RESOURCES: Involvement of all relevant public and private sector actors in implementing the strategic agenda by pooling knowledge and financial resources to achieve the necessary critical mass.

STRENGTHENING R&I CAPACITIES: Strengthening of the research and innovation funding capacities and of the implementation capabilities of all actors involved including SMEs, academia, non-governmental organisations and local research centres.

PRIMA History

2-3 April 2012
Euro-Mediterranean Conference on Research and Innovation
The Euro-Mediterranean Conference on Research and Innovation (Barcelona, Spain) marks the inception of the proposal for a Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA).
23 December 2014
Submission of PRIMA proposal to EU Commissioner
Italian Minister of Education, Universities and Research Stefania Giannini submits a proposal for the participation of the EU in the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area, through an Article 185, to European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas.
June 2015 – July 2016
PRIMA Impact Assessment
The European Commission services perform an Impact Assessment of the PRIMA initiative to analyse the need for an EU action in this domain and the potential economic, social and environmental impacts of the alternative policy options.
May 2016 – February 2018
PRIMA Impact Assessment
The 4PRIMA Coordination and Support Action, funded by Horizon 2020, sets the ground for the launch of the initiative, by contributing to the alignment of R&I programmes on food systems and water use in the Euro-Mediterranean Area and through the definition of the PRIMA Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA).
3-4 May 2017
Ministerial Conference on Strengthening Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation through Research and Innovation
The Valletta Declaration, endorsed during the Ministerial Conference on Strengthening Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation through Research and Innovation (Valletta, Malta) welcomes PRIMA as the most ambitious joint programme to be undertaken in the frame of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation.
June 2017 – August 2017
PRIMA Decision
On 13 June 2017, the European Parliament adopts the PRIMA Decision and on 26 June 2017, the Council of the EU endorses the initiative. The Decision enters into force on 7 August 2017.
19 June 2017
PRIMA Foundation
The PRIMA Foundation is officially established, with its Secretariat based in Barcelona.
Sept. 2017 - January 2018
PRIMA Ex-ante assessment
An ex-ante assessment of the PRIMA Implementation Structure is carried out to provide reasonable assurance to the European Commission as to whether the entity fulfils the necessary requirements to be entrusted with budget implementation tasks.
October 2017 - April 2018
Signature and ratification of International Agreements

Algeria is a PRIMA Participating State from 26th October 2017.

Egypt is a PRIMA Participating State from 15th March 2018.

Jordan is a PRIMA Participating State from 16th January 2018.

Lebanon is a PRIMA Participating State from 27th February 2018.

Morocco is a PRIMA Participating State from 10th April 2018.

6 February 2018
PRIMA Calls for Proposals
The first round of PRIMA calls for proposals is launched by the PRIMA Secretariat.
December 2023
Horizon Europe

Successful negotiations between the European Parliament, the EU Council, and the EU Commission in the preparation of the extension of PRIMA for the 2025-2027 period within the Horizon Europe framework programme, with a similar scope and budget.

December 2023
Bulgaria's commitment to join the Partnership
January 2024
Kickoff meeting of FUTURE4PRIMA

a Coordination and Support Action funded by Horizon Europe, aims to prepare for the extension of the PRIMA program beyond 2028, potentially expanding its thematic scope.