Eighty million Euro for Agri-food system research for development: NL-CGIAR partnership
The Government of the Netherlands confirmed the new multi-year Netherlands-CGIAR strategic partnership to strengthen collaboration in agri-food system research for development. This partnership program has been prepared with stakeholders from the Netherlands and the CGIAR System Organization. The partnership includes a new financial commitment of the Netherlands to CGIAR’s work in agricultural research of EUR 79.9 million.
Elwyn Grainger-Jones, Executive Director of the CGIAR System Organization, welcomed on the CGIAR website the formal establishment of the partnership and the financial commitment:
“Today, we recognize the Government of the Netherlands for their commitment to CGIAR and their endorsement that agricultural research has a vital role to play in achieving the sustainable development goals. Partnerships like this are absolutely critical in the multi-stakeholder context of food and agriculture. With this multi-year contribution, The Netherlands has ensured that their contribution can be utilized in the most efficient way and that it is strongly aligned to CGIAR’s long term vision.”
Supporting research for development
The agreement focuses on collaboration in key strategic areas including food, nutrition and health; inclusive and sustainable agricultural growth with a focus on pro-poor value chains and market transformations that better link farmers to markets and ecologically sustainable food systems for climate-smart, resilient agriculture. The Netherlands contribution will support the following CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) and Platforms: Genebank Platform; Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH); Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS); Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE); Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) and Policy, Institutions and Markets (PIM) including the CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research. Productive partnerships are developed between the CRPs and Dutch knowledge providers. In total EUR 64.8 million (2017-2019) is allocated towards Window 1 (unearmarked funding to the CGIAR system) and Window 2 (multi-donor financing of a single CRP) funding, which supports these programs and platforms.
Promoting the partnership
To stimulate a more intense collaboration between the CGIAR and Dutch partners, including research institutes, private sector, civil society and government, several instruments are being developed. An additional EUR 15 million (2017 – 2021) has been made available to strengthen these partnership opportunities:
- Support for public-private partnerships and research uptake
The Netherlands has a specific interest in furthering Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) involving CGIAR, in order to enrich research programs with the expertise of the private sector and vice versa, to become more demand driven and to improve on enabling and scaling. “Private” in this context include both Civil Society and Business (the co-called “Diamond” approach).
- Senior Expert Programme (SEP)
SEP will support the participation of Dutch knowledge institutes in CGIAR by matching a significant part of personnel costs of around 8 to 12 Dutch seniors from Dutch knowledge institutions participating in management teams of the CRPs or Flagship programmes.
- Co-financing fund for CGIAR related calls
The co-financing instrument will enable Dutch knowledge institutes to participate in CRP launched calls or in partnering with CGIAR Centers/CRPs in European Union (EU)-Calls, and when co-funding is required from the applicants.
- Research Call on Enabling and Scaling Genetic Improvement and Propagation Materials
This call will contribute to strengthening breeding and propagation material value chains in joint priority countries. It will invite joint high-quality research proposals from consortia with partners from a CGIAR Research Program (CRP) and a Dutch knowledge institute, and with a third for profit or not-for-profit private partner from the Netherlands and/or from the targeted country or region.
NWO-WOTRO will be the implementing partner for supporting the Netherlands Ministries of Foreign and Economic Affairs to implement the partnership instruments. The Food & Business Knowledge Platform will join NWO-WOTRO in organizing joint activities and supporting the research teams in achieving impact.
A consultative process was started in 2015 to achieve a stronger focus on the thematic priorities of Dutch policy and to actively facilitate partnerships between CGIAR and Dutch knowledge institutes, private sector and civil society organizations. A primary objective for these partnerships was scaling and enabling the translation from research outputs to development impact. The development of the partnership was endorsed by a Memorandum of Understanding in September 2015.
In the meantime, several collaborative activities are already implemented:
- In September 2015, a public-private sector event was planned in the Netherlands to enable the private sector and its partners and CGIAR research leaders to engage more meaningfully together:
- The Young Expert Programmes Water & Agrofood (YEP) offers young Dutch and local professionals the opportunity to take their first steps in the international Agrofood or Water sector. YEP has offered positions for young researchers to gain experience within collaborative projects between a CGIAR centre or CRP (CGIAR Research Program).
- In January 2017, a joint Call on Scaling Climate Smart Agriculture was launched by NWO-WOTRO in collaboration with the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). This call specifically focuses on contributing to business models, incentives and innovative finance for scaling CSA.
- The secretariat of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) relocated to Wageningen University, The Netherlands in February 2017.
- The Netherlands hosted the CGIAR System Council meeting in Amsterdam in May 2017.
The Netherlands joined CGIAR in 1971 as a founding member and sharing a longstanding and fruitful partnership through which they have contributed financial, scientific and technical resources and expertise. CGIAR Research Centers and Research Programs have a long history of collaboration with leading Dutch universities, advanced research institutes and development organizations.