Regional Science and Innovation Week for Europe and Central Asia
Hybrid Event, 02/10/2023 - 05/10/2023
Regional Science and Innovation Week
Science-based approaches and innovations, including those that draw on local and indigenous knowledge, show strong potential for improving the resilient capacity of agroecosystems to respond to multiple crises and support the transformation to fairer and greener agrifood systems.
Technology, innovation and data are considered accelerators of the programmatic interventions within the FAO Strategic Framework 2022–31, which is centred on transforming agrifood systems to become more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all, leaving no one behind.
FAO’s first Science and Innovation Strategy, endorsed in 2022, lays the bases for enhancing the use of science and innovation in FAO’s technical interventions and normative guidance. It aims to strengthen FAO’s capacities through science and innovation to support the implementation of the Strategic Framework and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This strategy is complementary to and interlinked with the FAO Strategy on Climate Change, the FAO Strategy for Private Sector Engagement and the FAO Strategy on Mainstreaming Biodiversity across Agricultural Sectors.
Building on the outcomes of the 2021 Regional Science and Innovation Consultation, the FAO Regional Action Plan for the Science and Innovation Strategy for Europe and Central Asia 2022–2025 seeks to enhance capacities for science, technology and innovation while strengthening institutions and governance, enabling regulatory frameworks, and reinvigorating partnerships in the region.
To find solutions to the complex challenges facing agrifood systems in Europe and Central Asia, it is necessary to harness science, technology and innovation. Many existing participatory approaches, technologies and practices – including the knowledge of farmers, rural communities and Indigenous Peoples – are rooted in science and innovation and allow for the exploration of mutual learning and inclusive transformation.
The event is part of the FAO Science and Innovation Forum 2023, aligned with the World Food Forum theme “Agrifood systems transformation accelerates climate action” and within the framework of a project to reinforce regional capacities in science–policy interfaces, supporting the implementation of the FAO Regional Science and Innovation Action Plan.
In this event, FAO aims to provide a platform for governments, research institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector to discuss and share experiences related to the needs, gaps and opportunities for integrating science, research, innovation as well as the–policy interface mechanisms in accelerating the transformation to more sustainable, inclusive and resilient agrifood systems in Europe and Central Asia.
- Gaps are identified and needs assessed for relevant, legitimate, transparent and inclusive science–policy interfaces and for ongoing and effective dialogue supporting science- and evidence-based decision-making.
- Knowledge and experiences are shared to support the harnessing of science and innovation at regional and national levels to enable science- and evidence-based decision-making through context-specific, sustainable and systemic approaches. Internal technical capacities are strengthened in science–policy interfaces and science communication for policy purposes, with relevance to topics critical for the region.
- Collaboration and networking are enhanced to facilitate connections and synergistic actions and build and advance transformative partnerships on science and innovation for agrifood systems.
- Approaches are explored for integrating science–policy interfaces with the Regional Technical Platform on Green Agriculture.
- Representatives from national governments and development agencies for the region
- Representatives of research institutes, members of academia and scientists, including university students and young researchers
- Farmers, small-scale producers, Indigenous Peoples, civil society and the private sector
- FAO technical staff from the FAO Regional Office and the FAO Subregional and Country Offices
The event will be conducted in Budapest, Vienna, at least three FAO Country Offices, and in digital format.
The four-day Regional Science and Innovation Week will include:
- High-level regional dialogue on the science, innovation and policy interface. Discussions will bring together policymakers and scholars to explore policy implications, regulatory frameworks and strategies to foster an enabling environment for science and innovation to accelerate integrated climate change and biodiversity actions for resilient agrifood systems in Europe and Central Asia.
- Capacity-building workshop. Interactive sessions will delve into specific topics, allowing participants to engage in in-depth discussions, share experiences and develop practical solutions.
- Study tour. A visit will be held to the Joint FAO and International Atomic Energy Agency Centre of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture in Vienna, Austria.
- Science and innovation days at FAO Country Offices. During the week, a series of captivating events are scheduled to take place in various FAO Country Offices throughout the region, to shed a light on the transformative power of cutting-edge ideas and technological advancements. Bringing together thought leaders, policymakers, and experts from the agricultural and scientific communities, the event will shine a light on the latest scientific breakthroughs, innovative solutions, and forward-thinking approaches that are reshaping the agrifood systems landscape.
- Science and innovation marketplace. An exhibition area will allow researchers, startups and organizations to demonstrate their innovative products, prototypes and research projects. Marketplace exhibitors will introduce digital and non-digital innovations and solutions from various areas of agrifood value chains. The event will facilitate a discussion on topics relevant to green agriculture, introduce possible pathways to green agrifood systems and incorporate and support already available innovations and scientific results in decision-making processes.
- Posters' Exhibition. The Posters' Exhibition will showcase the remarkable work in the field of science and innovation, both within and beyond the FAO. The posters should revolve around the theme of Science and Innovation within the agrifood system. This can encompass various aspects, including but not limited to production, aggregation, processing, distribution, consumption, and the responsible disposal of food products derived from agriculture, forestry, or fisheries. Additionally, posters can touch upon how these innovations relate to the broader economic, societal, and environmental contexts.
Satellite events in the region: