A total of 254 applications have been submitted to the call for these grants, of which the granting of aid to the 47 projects with the highest score has been proposed, following the application of the selection criteria, highlighting not only the quantity, but also also the quality of the proposals presented.

Innovative projects can be executed until July 15, 2021 and will be executed by operational groups of the European Association for Innovation in agricultural productivity and sustainability (AEIAgri or EIP in its acronym in English).

The proposed average grant amount exceeds 497,000 euros per project. The budget for this call amounts to 23.4 million euros to be executed in two annuities, corresponding to 10.5 million by 2020 and 12.8 million by 2021, with a co-financing of 80% financed from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

The deadline for the operational groups with selected projects has already been submitted to present the documentation required in the call, and the corresponding 10-working day deadline for submitting allegations to the proposed provisional resolution has been opened this week. The approval of the final resolution will be published in the coming months, once the documentation has been studied and prior inspection by the Ministry of Finance.

Of the 47 projects selected, 32 have been submitted by operational groups that were created with a prior grant from the Ministry, through other calls for the creation and operation of supra-autonomous operational groups.

The profile of these groups is varied, although they always have a member of the agri-food or forestry sector, and they are consortiums without legal personality, which are associated to address an innovative initiative based on practical needs, as well as strategic opportunities identified by them. .

Prevalence of digitalization projects

Although the innovations are very varied at the sector level, it is remarkable that in 25 cases, the projects address the application of the technologies of digitalization and use of big data, showing the impulse to the digitalization by the sector itself, in a call which contemplated, already starting, a 20% credit for this type of transversal innovation.

The promotion of these innovations is one of the characteristics of the European Association for Innovation in agricultural productivity and sustainability, whose fundamental objectives are to facilitate a closer relationship between research and practical solutions in agricultural, agri-food and forestry activities, encouraging greater use of available knowledge, and therefore, accelerating the adoption of innovative solutions.

Given the high demand by the agri-food and forestry sector of funds for innovation, a final call is planned, in 2020, to support the execution of these types of projects in the remainder of the current 2014-2020 programming period.

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