European Innovation Partnership in Agriculture

ITC MURSKA SOBOTA participated at the workshop organized by the Ministry of Agriculture on 27th October 2017 in Murska Sobota. The main topic underlined was the importance to organize European Innovation partnership, where the main goal is to set the triangle of cooperation between Farmers, Research organizations and business support organizations. Only this will enable new innovations and increase the investments and economic situation of Agriculture sector.

The Ministry presented the EIP concept and how it is connected with the initiative which is prepared under their scope, which was followed by the discussion between participants. Following conclusions could be underlined:

  • Importance of bottom-up approach, where the farmer (SME) is leading the initiative by providing ideas, challenges, …
  • Farmers should step out of traditional thinking and see innovation as an opportunity or necessity in order to increase competition and added value
  • Business support organizations must act as a bridge between farmers (SMEs) and research organizations.
  • Research organizations must step out of their laboratories or offices and do pilot activities on the field – real case scenarios
  • IPR issues should not be forgotten when forming EIP groups, and should be identified in partnership contract.

As a conclusion we can summarize that all farmers are positive about the approach of EIP, but are still doubting what will be their benefits. They are still questioning the innovations in production processes and investments costs related to that. All in all it is important to connect farmers to the research organizations either within EIP groups or DIH (Digital Innovation Hubs) or Living Labs and to transfer good practices from abroad, not necessarily to develop and innovate everything.

International event on EIP groups will be organized in Ljubljana on 13th November 2017 where best practices from Germany, Austria and Hungary will be presented and workshop on future EIPs in Slovenia will be organized.