Thursday, 1 April 2021
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
The European Innovation Partnerships Initiative (EIP) under the current Rural Development Programme involves the establishment of Operational Groups to develop ideas, or take existing ideas/research and put them into practice. The ultimate aim of these innovation partnerships is to road-test new ideas and practices which can be used more widely by farmers and others to improve productivity, enhance resource efficiency and pursue sustainable farming practices. These EIPs are pilot projects and, as such, are restricted in the number of farmers that they can accept into their schemes.
The Department approved applications for funding, following a competitive open call for proposals under the EIP Initiative. In their application for funding under the open call, each project group indicated, based on their capacity, the level of funding required to carry out the pilot project including funding for the number of farmers that they planned to involve in each project. In successful EIPs, such as the one referred to, it may be the case that not all interested farmers can be accommodated within the pilot project.
Existing EIP groups have been working hard on the actions in their proposals and have built a deep understanding of the impacts these works are having on biodiversity and habitat quality. The results of this work to date will be invaluable in negotiating the next CAP and in programme design for these sensitive areas in the next CAP Strategic Plan.
We are currently making plans for new and expanded EIPs in the next CAP and we are engaging with stakeholders on the design of these through the CAP consultation process.