The European Union has teamed up with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to provide more than €500 million over the next three years for research and innovation in agriculture. Both partners are going to work together on a joint initiative to drive research as well as technical and organizational innovations throughout the developing world. They consider that more science and innovation is needed to address some of the most imminent challenges posed by climate change. This joint venture will be tied to the outcomes of the Paris Agreement and the recent COP23 held in Bonn on the role of agricultural systems in the environmental agenda.
The European Commission and the Gates Foundation have already started identifying priority investments towards implementing research in real life, fostering innovation in farming and food system and ensuring their climate relevance. The research will focus on primary production, technology for processing, organization of value chains and on main activities leading to increase job creation and food security. Both sides also intend to help the beneficiary countries to develop their own research capacities conducive to innovation. This effort will also boost knowledge and evidence needed for policy making and investment.
The joint initiative also aims at stronger coordination of strategies and promotion of coordinated policies with a focus on pooling financial resources and human capital to leverage an increased response. The EU is the largest donor for development aid and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a major philanthropist organization active in this field. Bill Gates was also one of the leading philanthropists attending the One Planet Summit hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron on the occasion of the two-year anniversary of the Paris climate accord.