Press Release – 19 March 2014

The EU Framework 7 project VALERIE – a project evaluating European innovation in agriculture and forestry – is the eighth recent success for the Countryside and Community Research Institute of the University of Gloucestershire in European research grant funding. It takes funding from Framework 7 and DG projects to over €2 million for the CCRI, providing significant core funding for the Institute to the end of 2018.

Believed to be one of the largest number of EU/Framework projects secured by a policy research centre in England, these projects (see notes below) will provide a significant contribution to the understanding of European food and rural development policies, strengthening food chains for sustainable agriculture and how to remediate soil degradation in the face of climate change.

The work also cements strong international research networks. The CCRI is currently working with around 40 partners across the EU member states and beyond into Africa and Latin America. These include academic institutes and a range of government institutions. It has also led to commissions from individual European states: for example, the CCRI is currently completing work for the Ministry of Resources and Rural Affairs in Malta, supporting them to design and implement a new rural development programme for the period 2014-20.

Working fully in this EU context also has led to public service appointments: CCRI staff acting as expert advisers to the EU Court of Auditors (evaluation of Agri-Environmental Policies in the EU) and as advisers to the European Environment Agency in its work on CAP funding and the environment.

Professor Janet Dwyer, the Director of the CCRI, comments:

“Running these projects simultaneously presents challenges in managing staff allocations and research priorities effectively, but the CCRI is exceptionally well-placed, from its experience of researching rural policy over the past 28 years, to make significant changes to European policy and practice through this work.  At a time of increasing competition in the research grant market it is helpful to have known income streams for the CCRI over the next five years. “

Ends

Notes for Editors

(1) In addition to VALERIE, SOLINSA has evaluated knowledge systems for sustainable agriculture, RuDi, has assessed the impact of European rural development polices, CAPRI-RD, the regional impact of the Common Agricultural Policy, SUPERFOOD, is exploring sustainable modes of urban and peri-urban food provisioning, SmartSOIL is evaluating soil threats under climate change, GLAMUR is assessing food chains, and RECARE is analysing means of remediating soil degradation.

Contacts:

Julie Ryan, Communications Officer, jryan@glos.ac.uk Chris Rayfield, CCRI Business Manager, crayfield@glos.ac.uk  (telephone  +44 (0) 1242 714121)