By Nigel Murphy,
EIP Scheme Manager
CAFRE recently hosted the first meeting of the European Innovation Partnership Forum, which represents the seven operational groups who were successful in receiving funding under the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) Scheme.
These groups, which formed in 2020, brought together almost 100 farmers, advisers and researchers to deliver innovative projects on farms throughout Northern Ireland
During the forum each of the seven groups shared stories of the innovation journey they were on, the challenges they were facing and how they were making real progress by working together and harnessing everyone’s expertise.
The energy this collaboration was generating was clearly evident, whether the focus of the group related to reducing the industry’s carbon footprint, dealing with animal health issues, environmentally friendly pest control or improved water quality.
And while every project was unique, each complimented one another and had the potential to deliver significant change to the industry.
Alistair Carson, DAERA’s Chief Scientific Officer, who chaired the forum, commented: “It is great to to see the level of commitment and enthusiasm from the members of each of the groups.”
As well as representation from the seven operational groups, the forum was joined by senior staff from AFBI, CAFRE, Queen’s University and Ulster University, which were all pleased to be associated with these projects, which are being driven by real issues and opportunities identified by farmers.
The EIP scheme, which is part of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme and part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, is a pilot scheme and is being used to help DAERA design future innovation schemes.
n If you would like to find out more about each of the seven projects visit www.cafre.ac.uk