RECUPERA 2020 is a development and innovation project proposed by the CSIC, which attempts to transfer the results of research activities carried out over recent years by participating institutions and centres to the Andalusian farming sector, in the form of new products and services. It will be run by the CSIC centres in Andalusia, in conjunction with other public research centres and small and medium-sized enterprises in the region.
This project is based on resolving the possibilities of modernising the management and use of the rural environment. The scarce introduction of new technologies in this sector has repercussions on efficiency, productivity, sustainability, optimisation of costs and resources and an environmental impact.
It attempts to add value to this extremely important sector for the Spanish and Andalusian economy, helping to improve the activity and optimise the use of resources in three main areas, plus a fourth area of management and dissemination of the project and transfer of technology.
The arable and livestock sectors are of great importance and representative within the Spanish economy, and more specifically, in Andalusia. They are the traditionally-developed sectors in this region and directly or indirectly involve a significant part of its population.
Arable farming is the main source of employment for half of Andalusia. The population living off agriculture in Andalusia was around 9% in 2010, a figure that is double the national average and triple that of the European Union. The Andalusian agro-industry generates around 20% of industrial employment (approx. 50,000 people employed). However, the average rate of unemployment in agriculture recorded in 2012 was 35% while the total rate of unemployment recorded for the year was 30%.
Although various efforts and investments have been made to improve its production through technological innovations, there is still a possibility for a giant qualitative leap to occur in terms of the efficiency and productivity of the arable and livestock farming activities in Andalusia. The RECUPERA 2020 project proposes the research and development in different relevant areas of the sector, which favour the improvement of quality and sustainability.
The proposed initiative attempts to generate research, development and transfer of technologies to the agricultural sector and rural environment, to contribute to at least the following objectives:
- Development of advanced technologies applied to the farming sector, to increase their competitiveness, both in the primary production stage and also those of transformation, distribution and marketing.
- Improvement of financial, social and environmental sustainability in the Andalusian rural environment.
- Increase in the efficiency, productivity and competitiveness of the Andalusian farming industry, although the developments proposed will be transferable to other regions and areas of application.
- Creation of an auxiliary industry to the sector with high technological content and added value.
The project is divided into two different stages:
- DEVELOPMENT. As a result of the research activity prior to the project, carried out by the CSIC institutions and other research bodies and centres, on technologies and strategic techniques to improve the competitiveness of the Andalusian farming sector, there is the need to develop different products and services. This means new equipment and systems that respond to the needs of the farming industry and help in its modernisation. The project aims to boost the participation of Andalusian SMEs and micro-SMEs in this stage, to provide the region with a diversified industrial fabric of high technological content and added value.
- INNOVATION. Companies representing the Andalusian agro-industry, producers and transformers, will undertake the work of characterising, specifying and validating the technologies developed to ensure their functionality and use in improving the sector.
The project will be 80% financed by resources from the European Technology Fund, special FEDER funds from the European Union, dedicated to promoting entrepreneurial R&D&i in Spain. The CSIC will also co-finance 20% of the project with their own funds.
Scientific and technical objective of the project
This project can represent the seed of systematic approximation to knowledge generation by the CSIC and its transfer to companies by the business community, via the Innovative Public Procurement procedure (CPI) in its mode as Pre-commercial Public Procurement (CPI). It is also created in response to a series of problems and limitations identified in the farming sector, related to productivity, efficiency and optimisation of resources. The different CSIC institutions participating in the project have identified different lines of work which, applied to these sectors, may respond to their needs.
The problems attempted to be solved by this project are based on the potential for modernising management and use of the rural environment. The scarce introduction of new technologies in this sector has repercussions on efficiency, productivity, sustainability, optimisation of costs and resources and an environmental impact. This all weakens the competitiveness of the Andalusian business community compared to other more developed regions.
It therefore, aims at adding value to this important sector for the Spanish and Andalusian economy, proposing the development of high level technologies which help to improve activity and optimise the use of resources in three basic areas, plus a fourth area of management and project dissemination and technology transfer:
- New technologies to monitor arable and livestock farming.
- New technologies to improve environmental sustainability.
- New technologies to improve productivity in arable and livestock farming.
- Project management, social impact and technological transfer in positioning management and international leadership (exports).
Within each of these areas different lines of work have been identified which are considered strategic for the sector. The different CSIC institutions, as well as other research centres and companies participating in the sector collaborate in the activities to undertake. All actors will work together in the development of new products which improve competitiveness in the Andalusian agricultural sector.
RECUPERA 2020 aims to improve the productivity of the sector, developing techniques that optimise costs and resources, converting lagging farms into sustainable profit-generating ones, increasing crop performance and productivity in farms in genetic and biological studies, minimising the impact of viruses and pests which affect crops and animals.
The economic and social impact has been analysed for each of the work lines proposed, as well as the technology transfer and added value of the research results.
RECUPERA 2020 has come about from the desire to encourage collaboration between CSIC research centres and other technological centres, universities and companies in the region. It attempts to manage the greatest possible transfer of research results, supporting itself in close public-private collaboration. All the necessary resources will be deployed to achieve the greatest possible efficiency in transfer actions, so that the project facilitates the optimisation of the activity of arable and livestock producers and also the generation and strengthening of an auxiliary industry to the agricultural activity, formed by small and medium-sized enterprises with high technology content.
Dissemination to companies and creation of qualified employment
This project has been proposed and encouraged by different Andalusian research centres attached to the CSIC. The research activity of the institutions, in collaboration with other public bodies and research centres, will also include the participation of different types of small and medium-sized enterprises:
- Small and medium-sized technology-based enterprises, whose task it will be to develop and execute techniques and technologies researched and proposed by the CSIC institutions.
- Companies in the region, belonging to the arable and livestock industry that will act as a representative sample of end users of the technologies. Their role will be to analyse and advise on the specification and type, as well as facilitate and participate in validation trials of the proposed developments.