Aerial photo of a harvester driving down a grain field in Denmark

Innovation Fund Denmark implements its first green research mission, AgriFoodTure

Innovation Fund Denmark has granted DKK 201 million to the research and innovation partnership, AgriFoodTure. Thus, climate and sustainable agriculture and food production will be the first of a total of four mission-driven green research and innovation partnerships initiated by the Innovation Fund.

In 2021, the Danish Government and Parliament allocated 700 million DKK for investments in mission-driven green research and innovation partnerships to achieve Denmark’s ambitious climate goals of 70% reduction in 2030 and climate neutrality in 2050. Innovation Fund Denmark translates its investments into four partnerships, of which AgriFoodTure is the first.

“It is crucial that we get a boost in the green transformation of agriculture. With an increasing population growth in the world, the need for food will only increase. In Denmark, we have very good conditions for sustainable farming already, but if we are to seriously aim for the ambitious and necessary CO2 reductions we have decided politically, we must think new and develop new, groundbreaking green technologies. This requires us to bring together the strongest players in the field. Both to restructure our own agriculture and to inspire the rest of the world to the same thing by exporting our Danish green solutions,” says Minister of Education and Research Jesper Petersen.

Denmark to be a world leader

AgriFoodTure is a broad-based partnership that unites universities, knowledge and innovation institutions, SMEs and large, national and international companies, civil society actors and authorities in a common vision for Danish agricultural and food production.

The vision is for Denmark to become a world leader in innovative and disruptive green transformation of the agricultural and food production. This must be done by developing new and groundbreaking solutions and technologies that, in addition to contributing to achieving Denmark’s climate goals, must also be spread globally. The ambition is therefore that the green transition of Danish agriculture will create new export opportunities and more jobs nationally while maintaining a strong food production in Denmark.

“It is a great achievement to bring together all the many players from the industry around a common vision of really wanting to transform the food and agricultural area. The starting point is research, but with great emphasis on implementing the new knowledge and the new solutions – among other things by involving both small and large companies as well as the authorities that are going to play a role in fulfilling the ambitions. Innovation Fund Denmark has high expectations and will follow the mission closely,” says Anders Eldrup, chair of Innovation Fund Denmark.

Accelerating the green transition through partnerships

The agricultural and food sector has a goal of reducing what corresponds to 35% of Denmark’s total greenhouse gas emissions to become climate neutral in 2050. The green transition of the agricultural sector and the food production is therefore a very large and complex task, which can only be solved in partnerships and with broad societal support.

AgriFoodTure is to be the platform that creates the framework for more new partnerships and cross-cutting collaborations with actors from the entire value chain to flourish and thereby accelerate the green transition. So far, more than 40 partners are involved in the mission.

“AgriFoodTure is a very strong partnership because we bring together industry, academia, civil society and government to achieve a common vision. Our assessment is that the green transition of agriculture and food production in Denmark requires a research and innovation investment of around DKK 300 million annually until 2030. We therefore need even more partners and funding to achieve our common goals, and therefore we invite all interested parties to participate in the partnership,” says Peder Tuborgh, Chairman of the Board of AgriFoodTure and CEO of Arla Foods Amba.

11 projects ready for launch

AgriFoodTure is already set to launch 11 projects that will generate new knowledge and new solutions for the agricultural and food sector. These include the reduction of greenhouse gases from plant production with a focus on the use of fertilisers and livestock manure, the development of processes and cultures to produce plant-based foods and the development of completely new types of feed additives to reduce methane emissions from cows. The second round of applications within the partnership will be announced during the summer of 2022 with a view to launching several new projects.

Facts about AgriFoodture:

  • AgriFoodTure is a broad-based partnership that unites universities, knowledge and innovation institutions, SMEs and large, national and international companies, civil society actors and authorities in a common vision for the green transformation of the Danish agricultural and food sector. In April 2022, Innovation Fund Denmark granted DKK 201 million to the AgriFoodTure partnership.
  • AgriFoodTure is the result of a joint Roadmap, which was written and submitted by approx. 300 researchers and experts from all Danish universities and several development organisations in the Danish food cluster in connection with Innovation Fund Denmark’s Innomission 3 call in April 2021.
  • AgriFoodTure aims to deliver and implement knowledge and results generated from the partnership’s projects and activities, which together contribute to the green transformation of the agricultural and food sector and the ambitious climate goals.
    Currently, AgriFoodTure has 41 partners consisting of companies, organisations, universities and knowledge institutions. It is a clear goal that the group of partners is continuously expanded, and also fundraising from national and international funds, private funding sources etc. must increase the overall budget of the partnership significantly.
  • AgriFoodTure is headed by an interim Board of Directors chaired by Peder Tuborgh, CEO of Arla Foods. At the end of May, AgriFoodTure will hold its extraordinary general meeting, at which meeting the final Board of Directors will be elected.
  • In the course of the year 2022, a Mission Director will be hired, and currently Lisbeth Henricksen, Director of Innovation at SEGES Innovation, acts as interim Mission Director.

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