HNV Link: A new project

Funded by the European Union

HNV Link: A new project funded under Horizion2020 strives to boost innovation in agricultural areas renowned for their outstanding natural and cultural values.

Boosting innovation in agricultural areas renowned for their outstanding natural and cultural values.

This April, the Society for Territorial and Environmental Prosperity - STEP is launching an international project called HNV LINK, which stands for High Nature Value Farming: Learning, Innovation and Knowledge. The project received a prestigious Horizion2020 funding of 2,2 million euros awarded to networks that bridge “the research and innovation divide” in agriculture, forestry and rural areas . Despite the continued generation of knowledge through scientific projects, research results are often insufficiently exploited and taken up in practice, and innovative ideas from practice are not captured and spread. Cooperation between research and extension services or farmers and other actors in the supply chain is crucial for innovation-driven research. Therefore, mechanisms and networks, which stimulate this interaction and knowledge exchange, should be developed in view of optimising resource use and enhancing the transition to innovation-driven research.

Projects should involve actors from science and agricultural practice and facilitate the exchange on existing knowledge on innovative approaches in agriculture, the supply chain, and rural areas. They should help to put existing research into practice and capture creative ideas from the grassroots-level.

High Nature Value farmland is threatened in Europe and Bulgaria

High nature value farmland encompasses areas in Europe where agricultural activities support, or are associated with, exceptionally high biodiversity. These farmlands are also important for cultural heritage, quality products and rural employment and are priority sites in European agriculture conservation.

Long-standing threats to these nature friendly farming systems include abandonment, degradation, economic and social marginalization. The challenge is to increase the socio-economic viability while maintaining their natural values, including ecosystem services they provide to the society.

Innovation is needed for farmland areas of exceptional heritage value

Dr François Lerin, network coordinator from the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies, France, states “I am very proud of our network’s commitment to keep strong links between agriculture and environment, on the one hand, and analytical and practical focus, on the other”.

HNV-Link is a 13-partner strong consortium. During 2016-2018, it will focus on collecting, developing, transferring and disseminating innovative solutions of all kinds for supporting high nature value areas through improving both socio-economic viability and environmental efficiency. HNV farmlands are a marginal farmland type in conventional research and development, and their innovation needs and solutions are rarely discussed in academic fora. This thematic network operates at both grassroots-based and transnational levels and aims to make a difference by connecting farmers, research, and innovation actors in line with the EU innovation vision.

For further information please contact:

Yanka Kazakova, email: yanka.kazakova [at]