Two new themes have been included in proposals for European Innovation Partnership funding – namely animal health and welfare and gender balance in farming. The announcement was made on Wednesday by Minister of State Pippa Hackett and follows recent funding announcements on the Breeding Waders and Water Quality European Innovation Partnership (EIP) projects.

Commenting on the announcement, Minister Hackett said: “I am delighted to announce the call for the next round of projects under the European Innovation Partnerships. This latest round of projects will cover animal health and welfare, and gender balance in farming in Ireland, two policy areas that are hugely important and that are rightly gaining increasing awareness in our sector.

“EIPs have proven over the last number of years to be a great way to bring farmers and other stakeholders together, backed up with financial and administrative support, to develop new and innovative ways to tackle the many existing and emerging challenges faced by the agriculture sector.”

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, added: “My Department is investing significantly in European Innovation Partnerships as part of the CAP strategic plan. This approach has proven successful in the past across a wide variety of projects and I’ve no doubt that the same success will be achieved by this latest call, which will cover the areas of animal health and welfare, and gender balance in Farming in Ireland.”

Minister Hackett explained the two calls announced are designed using a two-phase process, whereby expressions of interest are first being sought from potential Operational groups, with those who present the most potential then being invited to submit more detailed proposals.

She said the role of the operational group is key in bringing together a variety of factors that can collectively, and in a very interactive way, enhance innovation through a locally led approach to addressing some of the challenges facing Irish agriculture today.

Selected projects

Each of the selected projects will be funded for a period of between three and five years, with a maximum budget allocation of €650,000 per project. The closing date for this expressions of interest call is 5pm on 22 May 2024, by electronic submission.

The CAP Network will run a webinar to inform applicants of the requirements under the EIP programme, which will include available supports and advice on the writing of an EIP proposal etc.

The intended date of this webinar is Thursday 2 May, at 2.30pm.

To attend this webinar you must pre-register by scanning the QR code at the end of this article.

EIP projects

The EIP initiative is co-funded by the European Commission and the Irish Government under the CAP strategic plan. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine will fund payments to farmers as well as the operational groups’ administrative costs.

The EIP initiative involves a range of stakeholders (farmers, advisers, researchers, NGOs) coming together in what are termed ‘Operational Groups’ to trial innovative solutions that the groups themselves have developed.