Ir Arriba

Specialists in innovation lay the groundwork for scientific cooperation in agrifood subjects between the European Union and LAC

The inaugural ceremony included the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Dacian Ciolos; and the Director General of IICA, Víctor M. Villalobos.

Cordoba, Spain, April 28, 2014 (IICA). The development of the agrifood sector calls for the design of a global strategy for scientific collaboration to meet the needs of producers and industry, and to move beyond knowledge transfer to the active sharing of knowledge among members of agrifood innovation systems.

That was the last conclusion to be drawn at the INNOVAGRO Seminar held in Spain that brought together more than 200 innovation and agrifood specialists from eight Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries and the European Union (EU).

The seminar, which took place in Cordoba, was organized by the Red de Gestión de la Innovación en el Sector Agroalimentario (Red INNOVAGRO), whose Executive Secretariat the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) operates, and the Campus de Excelencia Internacional en Agroalimentación (ceiA3).

The speakers in the inaugural ceremony included the Director General of IICA, Víctor M. Villalobos; the Chair of the Governing Council of ceiA3, José Manuel Roldán Nogueras; the President of the Red INNOVAGRO, Mauricio Lastra; the Mayor of Cordoba, José Antonio Nieto; agricultural advisor Elena Víboras; and the General Secretary of Universities, Francisco Triguero.

The activity was inaugurated by the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Dacian Ciolos, who was introduced by Isabel García Tejerina, General Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (MAGRAMA) of Spain.

Tejerina observed that MAGRAMA promoted innovation to achieve the sustainability and competitiveness of the agrifood sector, while Ciolos presented a paper on innovation and the sector’s role in the 2020 strategy of the European Commission.

The Commissioner also talked about the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) and congratulated Red INNOVAGRO “on being pioneers, because you are placing the emphasis on agrifood research and innovation.”

The Director General of IICA noted that, “The key for innovation is to make it part of State policies and involve the social actors. Coordinated action is needed to promote national innovation systems.”

IICA’s participation in the INNOVAGRO Seminar reflects the Institute’s interest in promoting agricultural innovation as a catalyst for growth, as the ministers of agriculture of the Americas called for at their meeting in 2011.

Villalobos gave a presentation on global agricultural policies and their implications for innovation. He outlined the strategies of the US, the EU, China, Russia, Brazil and Argentina, and explained IICA’s role in support of innovation.

During the seminar, Villalobos also signed a collaboration agreement with ceiA3 under which the Institute, through its Office in Mexico and Red INNOVAGRO, will develop materials and courses related to the management of innovation in the agrifood sector.

In Cordoba, the General Secretary of the network, Leticia Deschamps, presented the INNOVAGRO Awards and explained that, “The purpose of the awards is to acknowledge the contributions made by the institutions and organizations that belong to Red INNOVAGRO to the development or management of innovation initiatives in the agrifood sector.”

The awards were given for outstanding work related to technological, institutional and social innovation, and to private organizations.

The seminar also provided the backdrop to a meeting between the Director General of IICA and the European Commissioner for Agriculture. Villalobos explained to Ciolos the Institute’s work in its 34 Member States and the priorities of its 2014-2018 Medium-term Plan, many of which are geared toward the European Union’s Horizon 2020 strategy. He also urged the Commissioner to visit IICA, to learn more about its technical and institutional strengths.

“The participation of the European Commissioner for Agriculture in the INNOVAGRO Seminar marks a big step towards stronger links between IICA and the European Union,” Villalobos remarked.

For further information:
Inauguration of INNOVAGRO Seminar
Sign of the agreement IICA - ceiA3