PRIMA - Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area

Environmental and social changes are affecting Mediterranean agro-food systems and water resources. Climate change, unsustainable agricultural practices, over-exploitation of natural resources and new lifestyle behaviours put a strain on the sustainable and healthy development of the region, with major impacts on its societies

To meet these challenges the Mediterranean area faces, the PRIMA initiative was launched on the basis of Article 185 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) to develop joint solutions through research and innovation.

Objective

The "general objectives of PRIMA are to build research and innovation capacities and to develop knowledge and common innovative solutions for agro-food systems, to make them sustainable, and for integrated water provision and management in the Mediterranean area, to make those systems and that provision and management more climate resilient, efficient, cost-effective and environmentally and socially sustainable, and to contribute to solving water scarcity, food security, nutrition, health, well-being and migration problems upstream." (Article 2, Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the participation of the Union in the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA) jointly undertaken by several Member States, 18/7/2017).[pagebreak]

Organisation and participation

In 2014, several EU member states (Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain) submitted a proposal for PRIMA to the European Commission which carried out an Impact Assessment and a public consultation on the issue and in October 2016 submitted a proposal for a decision by the European Parliament and the Council on the participation of the Union in a corresponding initiative according to Article 185 of the TFEU. The decision of the Parliament and the Council on the establishment of the initiative entered into force on August 7, 2017.

Currently, 19 countries are formal participants of the initiative. 11 EU member states (Croatia, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain), as well as 8 Mediterranean partner countries - Israel, Tunisia and Turkey as countries associated to Horizon 2020 as well as Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Morocco which have all signed a corresponding specific international agreement with the EU.

As the initiative is evolving over time, more participants from both EU and non-EU countries may join.

For the management of the initiative a corresponding body, the "PRIMA Foundation", has been set up in Barcelona.[pagebreak]

Budget

For the duration of the programme (2018-2028) a total budget of almost €500 million is foreseen, of which €274 million will be provided by the participating countries and €220 million by the European Commission through the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (currently Horizon 2020).

Calls for proposals

PRIMA has published its first call for proposals on February 6, 2018 with a deadline for pre-proposals in March/April 2018. The call consisted of 12 topics based on the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda which provides for three main thematic areas:

  • MANAGEMENT OF WATER - Integrated and sustainable management of water for arid and semi-arid Mediterranean areas
  • FARMING SYSTEMS - Sustainable farming systems under Mediterranean environmental constraints
  • AGRO-FOOD VALUE CHAIN - Sustainable Mediterranean agro-food value chain for regionl and local development.

The future projects under this call will be funded in part centrally, from EU Commission funds (3 Topics, "Call Section 1") and in part decentrally, from funds of the participating countries (9 Topics, "Call Section2"). Further information and details on this call are available on the PRIMA Website.

The results of this call are expected to be published in December 2018.

The second call for proposals and the Annual Work Plan 2019 will also be published in December. The PRIMA Secretariat will organise an Info Day for this call on 4 December 2018.