This open call, will support around 200 research projects
The first action within fields4ever consists in the monitoring of up to 1M acres (0.4M ha) in the next 18 months, which will result in a detailed insight into the soil health status. Specifically, the initiative pursues the following goals: to unravel the soil health status of agriculture fields and to restore their health; to sequester 0.5M metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions; to reduce by 5M pounds the nutrients loss to the environment; and to save 1M metric tons from soil erosion.
As its first contribution to fields4ever, Biome Makers has contributed with 10,000 of these monitoring tools, valued at €4 million that will be granted via this open call to researchers, besides additional open calls and initiatives involving agricultural players worldwide.
“We are really delighted to promote fields4ever; it is the best way to support our researcher colleagues by giving them open technology for their soils project. This will help them to provide important and specific data related to the soil analysed. The projects under fields4ever initiative will help to resolve our soil health problem, to improve the worldwide food quality and to prevent the effects of climate change” explains Alberto Acedo, co-founder of Biome Makers.
This open call is global open to any research institution, public or private, with preference to European institutions and will grant projects falling to one of the following categories:
- Carbon farming
- Carbon footprint in agriculture
- Soil carbon sequestration
- Soil-plant-microbial interactions:
- Plant nutrition
- Plant diseases
- Stressed agriculture management
- Types of soil and suitable crops
- Recover and maintain Soil Health
- Impossible soils
- Planting in space
- The economics of soil health
Farmers and agronomist from LATAM, Africa, India or Asia have already applied for this fields4ever call that will be active until 31st August. Lines of investigation are open to any kind of project related with soil health, for example:
- Explaining yield differences in soils under similar conditions
- Applying bioactive products in my field: Monitoring my soil status
- Measuring disease risks for more respectful soil management
- My soil is unique and alive (differentiation/terroir/regionality)
- Boosting soil bioactivity (including carbon sequestration)
- Projects in small farms in development areas (Africa / LATAM)
Open Call conditions and benefits
Fields4ever open call for researchers, farmers and agronomists grants free of charge services from the fields4ever partners. In this specific call, the research beneficiaries will access to BeCrop® tests, an advanced soil microbiome testing technology developed by Biome Makers. Researchers will also receive digital data coming from soil samples including full microbial profiles (bacterial and fungal species) and functional soil data in the form of different agronomic indexes to support their research and help to achieve their goals.
“I encourage researchers and research organizations, farmers and agronomist to participate in this initiative, not only because it will help in their projects but also because they will be part of a global community of soil specialists working to improve health of our lands and the food they produce.”, remarks Alberto Acedo.
Applications can be submitted until August 31st. A group of experts with scientific, industrial and agronomic background will evaluate the proposals in a continuous evaluation process during the application period to ensure the quality of the research carried out under this Open Call.
Unhealthy soil, a worldwide issue
Improving the soil health of agricultural lands holds the potential for achieving meaningful conservation and economic benefits, as well as mitigating the growing threat of climate change. Indeed, unhealthy soil is becoming a worldwide issue.
In order to provide a pragmatic and measurable approach and to homogenize soil quality assessment, we promote fields4ever that is involving relevant stakeholders in the global agriculture ecosystem such as farmers, agroinput providers, technical support service operators and regulators. The European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program has contributed to fields4ever initiative to impact European agriculture and soil positively.
Fields4ever initiative looks at the soil as a living ecosystem and utilizes the soil microbiome as biomarker for soil health and productivity. Soil is a precious natural resource inhabited by a community of microorganisms – the soil microbiome, a connected microbial network that reflects any modifications happening in-field. Indeed, the soil microbiome is the most powerful and natural biomarker of the soil bioactivity and its functionality. Furthermore, the soil microbiome plays an essential role in crops’ development and productivity and is being considered as the external plant immune system.
Open Initiative for partners in agro ecosystem
As a global initiative fields4ever, is looking for public and private partners and supporters to expand this action, to contribute by their coordinated actions to restore life in agriculture land, to promote sustainability across soil biodiversity, and to increase yield. Fields4ever has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 947084 . Any organizations can contribute to the initiative in different forms. Together, it is possible can expand the scope and goals of this initiative putting soil health in the center of the action.