The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, through the Spanish Agricultural Guarantee Fund (Fega), has opened the call, in advance for 2023, for aid for the preparation and implementation of innovation projects of general interest by super-autonomous operational groups of the European Association for innovation in terms of agricultural productivity and sustainability (Aei-Agri). The tender has a budget of 37.5 million euros. These grants form part of Spain's Strategic Plan for the Common Agricultural Policy (PEpac) and are financed 80% by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and 20% from the budget of the Ministry of Agriculture, fishing and food. The financing line has a budget of 75 million euros in the period of application of the new CAP 2023-2027).
These aids can be requested by groups, made up of a maximum of eight members, of natural or legal persons which include an actor in the agri-food and forestry sector and add other types of subjects (in the research or knowledge sector, non-governmental organizations, groups action groups, civil society organisations). They must present an innovative project with execution in different autonomous communities according to their basic and strategic needs to address any of the specific objectives of the CAP. The maximum aid limit per beneficiary group will be 600,000 euros and the projects can be implemented until 1 May 2027. Non-productive investments will have an aid intensity of 100% and operational groups can request an advance of up to 50% of the grant , subject to the establishment of an endorsement or guarantee. The aid intensity for productive investments will be 65%.
With this line of funding for innovation, the ministry intends to create added value through a closer relationship between research and agricultural and forestry practices. Likewise, greater use of available knowledge is encouraged, as well as faster practical application of innovative solutions. Aid applications can be submitted until 28 September 2023, through the telematic office of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
The support for innovation through the supra-autonomous operational groups is part of the Strategic Plan of the CAP (PEpac) of Spain 2023-2027, in the context of the aid to supra-autonomous rural development in the cooperation-innovation intervention according to the philosophy of the Aei-Agri. Aei-Agri seeks to accelerate innovation in the agricultural sector to achieve competitive agriculture that produces more with fewer resources and less environmental impact. Its implementation took place a decade ago and served the second pillar of the Common Agricultural Policy to promote innovation in the agri-food sector, with specific actions complementary to those deriving from European R&D&i and national policies.
By: EFA News - European Food Agency