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PRIMA - Section 1 – Agro-food Value Chain 2018
Deadline: 17 Apr 2018   CALL EXPIRED

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 Food Safety
 Sustainable Development
 Environmental protection
 Euro-Mediterranean Relations

THEMATIC AREA: Agro-Food value chain

TOPIC: Implementing innovation in Mediterranean Agro-food chains by smallholders and SMEs

TYPE OF ACTION: Innovation action (IA)


OPENING DATE: 6 February 2018

Stage 1 Pre-proposals - 17th April, 2018 (17:00h CET) 
Stage 2 Full proposals - 15th September, 2018 (17:00h CET)




Horizontal and vertical fragmentation of the Mediterranean value chains and the lack of integration among the main food system actors are the biggest obstacle to the adoption of technological and organizational innovation. Furthermore, the small size of the firms and the weak entrepreneurial business culture make it even harder the adoption of such innovations.

Effective organizational and business models, replicable on most of the typologies of Med food companies are necessary to foster uptake of production of business solutions able to meet the needs of the market, food security needs and the opportunities given by Mediterranean values, heritage and biodiversity. Adoption of technological and organizational innovations by smallholders and SMEs is one of the major challenge for Mediterranean economies and societies.


Proposals should clearly address food production and distribution in a changing social, economic and environmental scenarios. Activities should focus on chosen Mediterranean food product(s) and be in line with sustainability principles (e.g., consuming less water and energy, reducing environmental impact and waste, valorising by-products etc.).

Activities should aim to produce plans for new, modified or improved value chains, products, processes or services in line with Mediterranean values and heritage and biodiversity, and promoting the scaling-up of sustainable solutions in a chosen agro-food sector (e.g. vegetables, fruits, cereals, animal products, etc.). For this purpose proposals may include prototyping, testing, demonstrating, pilot projects or large- scale product validation and must include business and market replication analysis. Proposals are expected to produce innovative solutions for existing problems, as well as strategies that may potentially open new markets in an international context. Proposals may, if necessary, include limited research and development activities especially if there are clear market failures or cultural or behavioral barriers to overcome.

Proposals should include activities such as demonstration of the benefits for all the players along the food chain, validation of technical and economic performance at business and system level, identification of possible new standards in line with Mediterranean values and heritage, activities to prepare market uptake, ensure consumer acceptance and optimise dissemination of results towards the main sector's players and the consumers. Work is expected to benefit from contribution of social sciences.

Demonstration activities will require the active involvement of food processing companies, retailers, civil society organizations and consumer associations, to bridge the gap between ideas that have been developed and their practical implementation. Cooperation among relevant Mediterranean stakeholders in the food production and supply chains is encouraged to ensure the adoption of innovative, sustainable, technological and organizational solutions in line with citizens and community's needs.

Proposals could implement solutions to trace origin and identity, ensure safety or exploit digital opportunities. Liaison with EU and Mediterranean quality standardization bodies is encouraged.

To have the desired impact, proposals should show financial sustainability in the middle-long term, be harmonized in the context of the regulatory framework, implement communication and marketing strategies.

Expected Impact

The proposal's expected impacts should be clearly described in qualitative and quantitative terms (e.g. on new job opportunities, financial turnover, employment figures, market seize, IP management, increased sales, return on investment and profit). With a view to support more sustainable Mediterranean economies and societies, proposals should show how some, or all, of the following impacts, will be achieved with reference to the chosen agro-food sector:

  •   Deployment of wider, faster and profitable innovative solutions by smallholders and SMEs, overcoming the barriers to market uptake.

  •   Strengthen the food processing sector in line with Mediterranean values and heritage improving competitiveness.

  •   Create opportunities for growth, diversification and job creation particularly for smallholders and agro-food SMEs.

  •   Strengthen Mediterranean food value chains, supporting product quality, healthy food consumption and consumer trust.

  •   Reduce the negative impacts of food value chains on the environment with particular reference to water.

  •   Support the transition from a linear to a circular economy.

Supporting information for the Section 1 Call for Proposals, Topic 3: “Innovation in the Agro-food chains”

Type of action
Innovation Action (IA )

Total indicative amount allocated to this Call
€ 6,1 million

Funding level
According to Horizon 2020 Rules 70% (except for non-profit legal entities, where a rate of 100% applies)

Technology readiness levels
5 to 8

Expected number of grants
Up to 3 (projects up to € 2,033 million each, – indicative amount)

Eligibility conditions for participation
Please refer to the Guidelines for Applicants – Section 1 2018

Submission and evaluation procedure
Two-stage application procedure. For the first stage, a short proposal (maximum 10 pages) must be submitted by the first deadline. Successful applicants in the first stage will be invited to submit a full proposal (maximum 70 pages) for the second stage. A timeline for the submission and evaluation of applications can be found in the Guidelines for Applicants – Section 1 2018

Evaluation rules
The award criteria, scoring, thresholds and weightings for IAs are listed in the Guidelines for Applicants – Section 1 2018

Grant agreement
PRIMA grant agreement (multi-beneficiary), based on Horizon 2020 Model Grant Agreement.

Consortium agreement
Participants in projects resulting from this Call for Proposals will be required to conclude a consortium agreement prior to the conclusion of the PRIMA grant agreement.

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