The EU, which is the largest donor for development aid, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is the larger philanthropist organisation in this field, will work together on a joint initiative to drive research and technical and organisational innovations across agricultural and food systems in developing countries.
Both sides consider that more science and innovation is required to address some of the most pressing challenges posed by climate change. This joint initiative will build on the outcomes of the Paris Agreement and the recent COP23 held in Bonn on the role of agriculture in the climate change agenda.
Among other philanthropists, Bill Gates is one of the stars at the One Planet Summit hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron on the two-year anniversary of the Paris climate accord, which saw nearly 200 governments agree to end their heavy reliance on fossil fuels and limit further global warming.
- Given the size of the challenge and the need for urgent action, the European Commission and the Gates Foundation have started identifying priority investments towards putting research into use, fostering innovation in farming and food systems, and ensuring their climate relevance.
- The generation of scientific knowledge and applied innovations will encompass agronomy for primary production, technology for all steps of processing, general organisation along the value chains, and focus on major activities to increase job creation and food security and nutrition.
- They also aim at enhancing research architecture and developing the national and regional research capacities conducive to innovation. This effort will also increase knowledge and evidence needed for policies and investment decisions.
- The initiative will aim at stronger coordination of strategies and promotion of joint and coordinated actions. It will particularly be based on collaborative activities between member states and all interested partners in order to pool financial resources and human expertise through innovative mechanisms leveraging an increased response.
Technical work will continue between the Commission, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and other interested EU member states and partners, in order to identify priorities and develop long-term plans. (see further)