The European Commission DG AGRI and DG RTD explained as a team what Horizon Europe candidate partnerships are and how the framework of a partnership ‘Agriculture of Data’ should look like. 

The reason for the set-up of an agricultural partnership is to:

  • provide support to improve the sustainability performance of agriculture
  • improve the capacities for policy monitoring and evaluation

Certainly for national authorities, as also mentioned in the Commission study, an additional element is to reduce the administrative burden for both authorities and farmers in relation to the CAP besides the enhanced monitoring. Importantly, the focus will be on already available technical solutions rather than developing new ones.

What’s new?

These partnerships go beyond the regular calls, integrating different disciplines, and can take different forms. The one dedicated to agriculture would be a co-funded partnership similar to an ERA-net joint program with a Grant agreement as legal form and with co-financing support of 30% up to exceptional 50%. The formal agreement is between national authorities and the European Commission. Private partners will be certainly linked within the national activities.  

Timeline for the partnership’s set-up

A core group will be created by summer 2021 mainly including representatives from the Member States who will decide which other stakeholders should be invited.  The core group will start working on a document to define the partnership using a common template and guidance to be ready by September 2021. The draft document including elements like needs, partners, activities, resources, governance will be finalised by January 2022. 



This first document must include a long-term vision, roadmaps and  measurable objectives. The core group therefore will engage in an interactive process including all stakeholders. After that, it’ll get published on the European website. The core-group will also draft the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA). By December 2022 the SRIA should be finalized and by March 2023 a work program should be published. The final deadline for submission of the partnership proposals is expected for July 2023. By second quarter of 2024 the partnership can start working.

Why is this new ‘Agriculture of Data’ partnership interesting for CEMA?

CEMA is committed to provide tools for farmers in order to achieve the ambitious EU targets on input reduction and biodiversity safeguard. Any European action that will help to achieve those goals is more than welcome, as much coordination is needed to ensure more European harmonization of solutions, reduce fragmentation and to ensure proper market working. 

Where does CEMA see opportunities for collaboration?

Agricultural machinery is only one source of data. In order to get trustworthy and secured data that farmers can use to proof compliance, collaboration is necessary in the whole chain, from input providers, farmers, but also governments. The necessary user cases need to be identified and worked out.

What are crucial points to be closely followed-up?  

The position of the farmer needs to be clarified in this partnership. As it is announced now, the main collaboration will be between the European Commission and the Member States. The partnership needs to ensure farmers get involved and future actions will need to provide clear benefits as regards value for their data as well as reducing administrative burden.

Reference document can be found here