FACCE MACSUR proposes Flagship topic 'Climate change and food security'
MACSUR has been successful in advancing agricultural systems modelling capacities across several disciplines. In addition, it has brought together these disciplines to perform integrated regional assessments of climate change risks in relation to selected farming systems within Europe.
Achieving food and nutrition security under climate change is a major societal challenge that requires further and more intense scientific and stakeholder collaboration now that the Paris agreement has been reached. Looking ahead and beyond MACSUR, the leadership team of MACSUR proposed a European Flagship on the broader topic of food and nutrition security under climate change. European Flagships are major research investments on the scale of 1 bn euro over ten years. You can read further thoughts on the flagship in IIASA's Nexus blog.
In order to push the MACSUR topic to the top of the list, many people voted for it on the Futurium platform in spring 2016.
About 60 organisations from industry and research and government agencies across Europe had been invited to write position papers on the topics until 15 November 2016. On 15 December 2016, the EU Commission held a round table where the position papers were discussed. The the topics have been clustered in three groups: "ICT for connected society", "Health and life science" and "Environment, climate and energy", without ranking any. Environment, climate and energy includes our topic. The others are "Technologies for Energy: Direct conversion of Solar Energy", "Computing and modelling: Forecasting the energy demand, consumptions and price", "HPC platform for developing very high resolution models of the climate", "Computing, modelling & simulation for understanding the earth system".
The EU Commission, guided by the FETBoard of Funders, has described (in draft) several candidate topics, including agriculture and climate change, that may become eligible for funded preparatory actions in H2020 calls 2018-2020. The most advanced one or two actions will be eligible for further funding as a Flagship after 2020.
During summer 2017, a MACSUR group has prepared a proposal for submission to a H2020 call. The group has received strong support from industry and other disciplines. The proposal on Digital Bioeconomy – Transforming agriculture and food systems for environment and society was submitted on 20 February 2018. Unfortunately, the consortium was not invited to submit the second-satge proposal. Hence, the consortium is looking for other possibilities to pursue this eminantly important topic.