Feeding a global population set to reach 9 billion by 2050 will require a 70% increase in global agricultural output. At the same time, there is a growing demand for plant-derived biomass beyond livestock feed to support the bioeconomy. In the face of climate change and scarcity of natural resources, there is an additional requirement for the plant sector to reduce input use and GHG emissions. Europe can contribute to this global challenge by decreasing its imports and reducing regional environmental impact.
Plant ETP has identified a number of challenges affecting the progress of this sector. The stakeholder groups of the Platform, which represent the industry, academia and the farming communities, jointly developed three action plans based on the pillars of innovation, research and education, to deliver a sustainable supply of food, feed and renewable biomass. Each action plan is part of an integrated strategy that seeks to nurture research and innovation potential and ensure societal mechanisms are in place to implement improvements and develop new knowledge.
How to build on the science base and translate knowledge into commercial reality is the key objective of the Innovation Action Plan (Plants for the Future: Building sustainable innovation leadership in European agriculture). Key success factors at the scientific level that address the challenges identified by the Plant ETP are outlined in the Research Action Plan (Plants for the Future: Boosting research for a sustainable bioeconomy). Education of the skilled plant sector workforce of the future is then essential for sustainability of the flow of innovation to the market. This is dealt with in the Education Action Plan (Plants for the Future: Educating and training the next generation).
The integration of the action plans of the Plant ETP (summary) is fully in-line with the approach of the European Commission. Here, innovation, research and education are defined as integral parts of an overall concept that requires strong cooperation and linkages for success. For each action plan, please check: innovation, research, education topic respectively.