2023 funding opportunities to invest
in the sustainable development

PRIMA programme: funding research projects addressing Mediterranean region sustainability challenges

The PRIMA programme 2023 calls just opened, it allows for research projects related to water, food security, sustainable agriculture and climate change mitigation in the Mediterranean region to submit their ideas to the first stage deadline by 22 and 29 March 2023 for section 1 and 2, respectively.

The Mediterranean region is facing a significant challenge of degraded lands, caused by climate change and unsustainable agricultural practices. The PRIMA Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area aims to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and thus contribute to the UN’s 2030 Agenda. This cooperation initiative arose in 2017 in response to the problems of citizens in Euro-Mediterranean countries related to water scarcity and the need to produce safer and more sufficient food to supply the population.  

The aim of this programme is to support research projects related to water, food security, sustainable agriculture and climate change mitigation in the Mediterranean region. In addition, this scientific diplomacy programme promotes and facilitates collaboration between countries with research and development as a meeting point.

This initiative is co-financed by the European Union and a combination of funds from the 19 participating states (PS) on both sides of the Mediterranean: Algeria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey.

The programme is split in several sections. Section 1 is funding activities financed with EU funds, while sections 2 and 3 are funding activities financed by the participating states.

Example of a PRIMA project exploring sustainable agro-production

As the global population continues to grow, so does the need for increased food production. This has led to an increase in the use of intensive farming techniques, which can have a negative impact on the environment. However, there are ways that farmers can reduce their impact on the environment while still increasing their production and income. What if Mediterranean farmers are provided with higher quality information about their soil conditions to improve their resource management practices?

A multidisciplinary team of 10 partners from 5 countries (Spain, France, Greece, Lebanon and Tunisia) joint efforts to approach this challenge. Together, they work on combining different models and tools such as water, energy and fertilisation management models and meteorological and climatic tools. By doing this, they seek to implement and validate an end user software platform that will support a more efficient use of water and other inputs such as energy and fertilisers. This will reduce impact on environment and increase production and farm income.

Eligibility conditions

The rules of participation require projects in consortia of at least 4 legal entities established at least in 3 different countries among the PRIMA participant states, of which:

  • At least 1 must be stablished in a UE member state or third country associated to Horizon 2020 and not MPC.
  • At least 2 legal entities must be in a different region of the same Mediterranean Partner Country or two different Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPC): Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey.

2023 Budget: EUR 33 M for the Section 1 and EUR 36 M for the section 2.

Read more on the PRIMA programme eligibility criteria here.

PRIMA Programme 2023 calls priorities

According to the 2023 work programme, the Section 1 calls address four thematics, each call have a budget of EUR 8.2 M, i.e the total budget of the section for 2023 is EUR 32.8 M:

  • Call 1 Water management: Integrated adaptive wastewater management plans in the Mediterranean region.
  • Call 2 Farming systems: Actions to restore and return degraded lands in the Mediterranean region into productive agroecosystems.
  • Call 3 Agri-food value chain: Increasing resilience of agri-food supply chain (cereal) in the MENA region.
  • Call 4 Water-energy-food-ecosystems: Accelerate adaptation and mitigation to climate change in the Mediterranean region by deploying WEFE nexus solutions.

Section 2, a single multi-topic call

The overall budget of section 2 is EUR 36.1 M in 2023, it is split in 3 calls, each single project submitted should have an overall budget superior to EUR 1.5 M, whatever the call. The 3 calls themes are:

–  Call 1: Water Management

This call seeks to fund projects that create new governance models based on solid data and resulting, in the medium and long term, in improved agreements for the sustainable management of water resources under conditions of climate change, by establishing a solid process involving all relevant stakeholders at the local, national or transboundary levels.

–  Call 2: Farming system

Proposals should couple renewable energy sources with circular farming systems. Projects should address the lack of non-sustainable agricultural practices, as well as an increase in water and inputs used for irrigation and fertilisation. Moreover, the production costs and GHG emissions are higher, while there is a decrease in farmers income.

–  Call 3: Agri-Food Value Chain

This call seeks to assess novel antimicrobial food packaging and coating materials to reduce food waste to improve safety in the Mediterranean food supply chain to preserve/prolong food quality and shelf-life, as well as develop new food packaging technologies, minimising hazards of foodborne pathogens.

Deadlines/cut-off dates 2023:

For each section there are different deadlines, for each call the application should be prepared in two stages, you can see the various cut-off dates and evaluation results dates for 2023:

 

Section

Submission deadline

Stage 1

Evaluation results

Stage 1

Submission deadline

 Stage 2

Evaluation results

Stage 2

1

22/03/2023

16/06/2023

06/09/2023

20/11/2023

2

29/03/2023

23/06/2023

13/09/2023

11/12/2023

 



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