Learning from frugal innovation in Water and Agro-food

During the PRIMA workshop on 21 November, CFIA's director Peter Knorringa provided a Keynote Speech at the opening of the international workshop, entitled Learning from Frugal Innovation in Water and Agro-food. This keynote was presented during the panel session Thinking the future: Scaling up social and frugal innovation in the Mediterranean Area. This keynote speech has been a follow-up with one of the new contacts made during the EU R&I workshop in Brussels hosted two months ago.

Workshop Synergies with EU, Regional & International Organisations

The 2 day workshop was organised by the General Secretariat for Research and Technology of the Ministry of Development and Investment, in the framework of PRIMA Initiative.

The workshop brought together stakeholders from EU and international initiatives to share information and best practices on the implementation of their funding programmes, in particular with regard to the adoption of innovation in developing countries.

A further aim of the workshop has been to foster dialogue and cooperation between different types of EU partnerships and international organizations addressing global challenges, thus connecting the dots in the European Research Area, while also paving the way for enhanced coordination and synergies in view of the next EU Framework Programme for R&I, Horizon Europe.

PRIMA Projects & Frugal Innovation

The 50 people present at the keynote were in particular people from the PRIMA program, their board of directors, their scientific advisory committee and a number of principal investigators of current projects funded by PRIMA.

The discussion in the group made clear that many of the PRIMA projects are involved in frugal innovations, but they do yet explicitly use this label. Participants agreed on the importance of a more systematic and explicit attention for frugal innovation, to ensure it becomes recognized as an important feature in innovation processes that aim to enhance resilience of more marginalized producers, users and consumers.  

Peter Knorringa has also been invited to work with the PRIMA secretariat to include a frugality lens in their upcoming call on water management and farming systems in the Mediterranean.

Learning from Frugal innovation in agro-food and water
Keynote on Learning from Frugal innovation in Water and Agro-food 


View the Powerpoint related to the key note speech

Euro-Mediterranean cooperation.

PRIMA, Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area, is a ten year initiative (2018-2028) aimed at building research and innovation capacities and developing knowledge and common innovative solutions for a more sustainable management of water and agro-food systems in a region heavily distressed by climate change, urbanization and population growth. The Partnership is co-financed by its 19 Member States (Algeria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey) and the European Union through Horizon 2020. The Partnership is characterized by a strong strategic dimension based on the principle of equal footing applied through co-decision, co-financing and co-management and a distinctive geographical focus on the Mediterranean region.     

Partnership for research and innovation in the Mediterranean Area
Partnership for research and innovation in the Mediterranean Area


R&I Agenda with a thematic focus: water, farming & agro-food

A Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda has been identified including three main thematic areas: efficient management of water resources; sustainable agriculture; food value chains as an engine for growth. In these fields, PRIMA aims to build research and innovation capacities, strengthen innovation potentials and develop concrete solutions in an area heavily distressed by climate change, urbanization and population growth.

CFIA supports PRIMAs vision towards an inclusive, healthy and prosperous Mediterranean societies through innovative solutions in agro-food and water systems, contributing to sustainable use of natural resources, economic growth and stability.

Stakeholders from EU and international initiatives
PRIMA Workshop November 2019: bringing together stakeholders from EU and international initiatives


Main objectives

  • The management of water; integrated and sustainable management of water for arid and semi-arid mediterranean areas
  • Farming system; sustainable farming systems under Mediterranean environmental constraints
  • Agro-food value chain; sustainable Mediterranean agro-food value chain for regional and local development.


Read the full R&I Agenda

More about CFIA's previous policy engagement activities





Powerpoint related to the Key Note Speech by Prof Knorringa during the PRIMA workshop in Athens Nov 2019 (3.35 MB)
More information
Program Synergies Workshop
Website PRIMA