TIPI: Global Organic Innovation Platform
by Kai Kreuzer (comments: 0)
Global and European organic technology platforms present their visions and strategies for organic food and farming research on Science Day, held on February 13, 2015 at the global organic fair BioFach in Nürnberg. The Technology Innovation Platform of IFOAM (TIPI) discussed the second draft of its vision and strategy for organic farming research and in particular its action plan. At the same event, the European Technology Platform Organics (TP Organics) presented its new research and innovation strategy. Science Day was preceded by a workshop held in Istanbul in October 2014, where both organisations presented and discussed the draft of these documents in.
Picture: TIPI is the Technology Innovation Platform of IFOAM
First vision and research strategy of TIPI - presented in Istanbul, October 2014
On October 12, 2014, a day before the start of the Organic World Congress in Istanbul, TIPI - Technology Innovation Platform of IFOAM (Internatioal Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements), presented the first draft of its global vision and strategy for organic food and farming research. Organised by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), representatives from all parts of the world – Africa, South America, North America, India and the Pacific Region – expressed the necessity to improve research and better implementation of organic knowledge. At the presentation of this draft at Yeditepe University in Istanbul in October 2014, one crucial question came in the middle of the six hour session in Istanbul from a participant from Poland. Do we need more research or do we only need a much better implementation of already existing knowledge? Both is probably true.
TIPI, which is targeting the worldwide organic community, has developed its vision and an agenda to advance organic agriculture through research, development, innovation and technology transfer. TIPI’s vision recognizes that current technologies based on heavy use of external inputs that are toxic and pollute the environment come with a price. Investments in ecosystem services and the development of technologies that are productive, stable, adaptable, resilient, and fairly shared are much more likely to sustain the world’s population in a rapidly changing environment. In the 60-page document, a team of authors summarizes the needs of the different countries and continents beginning with Africa, and then dealing with Asia and Middle East, then Europe, Latin America, North America and Oceania. In Asia and the Middle East the general situation is described, and a couple of countries such as China, India, Iran, Korea, Saudi Arabia are highlighted, amongst others. As regards Africa, an important event was the conference “Mainstreaming Organic Agriculture in the African Development Agenda”, which was held in Lusaka, Zambia, from 2 to 4 May 2012. At this event, participants shared research results confirming that organic agricultural practices increase yields, improve livelihoods and food security, conserve indigenous knowledge, plant varieties and animal breeds, as well as sociocultural development, and provide much greater resilience in times of climate extremes, such as drought and heavy rains. Participants thus adopted the six pillars of the African Organic Action Plan, the first pillar of which is research, training and extension. The African Organic Network (AfroNet14) was thus formed as an umbrella organization uniting and representing African ecological/organic stakeholders, complemented by the Network for Organic Agriculture Research in Africa (NOARA).
Presentation of results at BioFach 2015. Photo Kai Kreuzer
Discussions of the TIPI action plan at Science Day 2015 at Biofach
Around 80 people from all over the world came to the third Science Day, which was held BioFach on February 13, 2015. The session was opened by Andre Leu, the president of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM - Organics International) and Marco Schlüter, the director of the European Union Group of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM EU). Important input to the TIPI vision and strategy was given by Dr. Manon Haccius of Alnatura, Germany, Dr. Ulrich Hoffman of FiBL (formerly United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD), and David Amudavi of the Biovision Trust. TIPI calls upon the organic community to support its point action plan to advance organic agriculture in a forward-thinking and innovative way. The following key actions were identified and discussed in Nuremberg:
- Facilitate interactions between researchers and the beneficiaries of research, development and technology transfer;
- Facilitate global access to information on organic farming and food systems;
- Develop a global organic research agenda: priorities and establish a program to address those priorities and assist IFOAM and the entire organic movement with scientific-evidence-based advocacy;
- Develop a global organic research agenda: priorities and establish a program to address those priorities;
- Assist IFOAM and the entire organic movement with scientific-evidence-based advocacy.
Global research needs
Furthermore, Dora Drexler (TIPI vice president and director of the Hungarian Institute of Organic Agriculture ÖMKI) presented the results of a global survey on research needs in organic agriculture. She concluded that a large part of the world’s organic research needs could be covered by the dissemination and local adaptation of existing research results and solutions, and that on-farm research & development seem to be a successful tools. Most topics came for biological pest and disease control, and there is general need for a better system understanding, particular in in tropical and subtropical climate zones. TIPI will now elaborate this list of research needs in organic agriculture worldwide further.
European Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for Organic Food and Farming
The new “Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for Organic Food and Farming” of the European TP Organics, presented on the morning of Science Day 2015, describes the research and innovation priorities of the European organic sector until 2020. The aim is to influence the funding priorities of EU and the national research programmes in the years to come. TP Organics recommends massive investments in research for organic farming and food systems. At least 10 percent of the European research budget of the programme “Horizon 2020“ should be dedicated to the organic sector, the organisation states.
Bram Moeskops (TP Organics) introduced the new strategy, while Cristina Micheloni (TP Organics and Italian Association for Organic Agriculture AIAB) presented the main research and innovation challenges in organic production. After the launch of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, Hans-Jörg Lutzeyer (Directorate-General Research and Innovation) and Alina Ujupan (Directorate-General Agriculture and Rural Development) from the European Commission and Borris Haupt from the Enterprise Europe Network gave an overview of the instruments available in Horizon 2020 and Rural Development to fund research in the organic sector. Especially important were the funding opportunities for Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Weblinks and links to documents
TIPI: A Global Vision and Strategy for Organic Farming Research, First Draft, October 12, 2014
TIPI: Summary of the discussions at the Workshop „Practitioners Research Agenda“ in Istanbul on October 12, 2014
TIPI: Report from the Workshop „Practitioners Research Agenda, October 12, 2014,
TIPI: Report from Science Day 2015, February 13, 2015