Co-creating solutions for soil health in Living Labs

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Open Call Reference: HORIZON-MISS-2023-SOIL-01-08

While not being a new concept, living labs are currently receiving considerable attention as they accelerate the translation of research into practical application. For the purpose of this mission, “Soil health living labs” are defined as “user-centred, place-based and transdisciplinary research and innovation ecosystems, which involve land managers, scientists and other relevant partners in systemic research and co-design, testing, monitoring and evaluation of solutions, in real-life settings, to improve their effectiveness for soil health and accelerate adoption.”. Each living lab is a collaboration between multiple partners working together at regional or sub-regional level, typically comprising 10 – 20 sites. These sites can represent all types of land uses and be for example farms, forest stands, protected areas, green sites or industrial sites in urban and rural areas.

-Establishment of a cluster of (at least) five living labs as the basis for embarking into participatory research and innovation on a common soil health related challenge
-Carry out participatory and transdisciplinary research and innovation in living labs, bringing together relevant stakeholders such as scientists, farmers, advisors, consumers, agencies, NGOs, industries, public authorities and citizens to work on a common, context-specific problem
-Co-create, test, and implement solutions for the identified soil health challenge(s) by proposing experimentations in real-life settings which shall be designed and executed in conjunction with research organizations and universities
-Develop monitoring methods to be applied at the level of the various sites and help assess and compare progress and result of work across the various sites and living labs under a project
-Develop training material and carry out training sessions

-Improved soil health in different regions within the EU and AC where the selected living labs projects are operating with a measurable contribution to the specific objectives of the Mission ‘A Soil Deal for Europe’ and its overall goal of setting up a network of 100 living labs ad lighthouses by 2030
-Increased and accelerated uptake of good practices and methodologies by land managers or other actors in and beyond living lab areas, tackling specific soil health challenges
-Policy-makers are more aware of local needs with regard to soil health and can use this knowledge in the design and implementation of more effective policy instruments

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