Transplantation, cultivation, harvest and regrowth of a short rotation coppice (mixed stand of willows and black poplar) implemented on the copper-contaminated soil of a brownfield (former wood preservation site). © INRA, M Mench)

INTENSE Project: Intensify production, transform biomass to energy and novel goods and protect soils in Europe

At least 30% of the agricultural soils in Europe need to be transformed to a state of higher quality. Accordingly, INTENSE will contribute to reconverting poor, abandoned and polluted sites including grassland, set aside land, brownfields, and otherwise marginal lands into sustainable agricultural production across Europe.

Updated on 07/29/2016
Published on 07/26/2016

INTENSE will respond to several of the “Great Challenges” for the 21st century, which are global food security, use of renewable raw materials and production of energy from biomass, for which the agricultural sector is important. INTENSE will contribute to sustainable increase in food production, novel products for agriculture and new perspectives for European rural landscapes. Future land use must embrace efficient production and utilization of biomass for improved economic, environmental and social outcomes.

In the “International Year of Soils” at least 30% of the agricultural soils in Europe need to be transformed to a state of higher quality. Accordingly, INTENSE will contribute to reconverting poor, abandoned and polluted sites including grassland, set aside land, brownfields, and otherwise marginal lands into sustainable agricultural production across Europe. Innovative systems-based tools for the development and implementation of integrated food and non-food production serving for intensified land management of these land areas will be constructed. These tools open up a wide range of novel products and services across farming communities in Europe. Thus utilizing and developing models characterizing fluxes of matter, productivity and socio-economy, the INTENSE project responds to central questions of FACCE-JPI Core theme 3: Sustainable intensification of integrated food and non-food systems of agriculture.

Specifically, recovery of soils from pollution, drought or other reasons for low productivity requires research on:

  1. identification of crucial soil components and processes,
  2. identification and assessment of plant species producing high biomass on marginal and/or contaminated soil,
  3. the optimum composition for composting and biogas production,
  4. degradation and absorption of pollutants by selected species and to demonstrate their potential.

INTENSE will combine cropping and soil amendment experiments, precision agricultural and crop modeling tools, experimental biomass conversion to energy, the assessment of greenhouse gas and nutrient emission and other environmental indicators, as well as socioeconomic models. Stakeholders including farms and farm associated biogas enterprises will be an integrated part of the project to serve to facilitate the implementation of sustainable and financially attractive production alternatives. The holistic approach of the project will enable the identification of common traits and at the same time enable the development and dissemination of production chains for sustainable intensification which are adapted to the environmental and socio-economic diversity within Europe.

The INTENSE project is coordinated by the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), funded by the ERA-NET FACCE SURPLUS (Sustainable and Resilient Agriculture for Food and Non-food Systems) in the framework of the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI), H2020 European program. The project brings together partners from 7 European countries: Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen GmbH and Martlhof am Tegernsee (Germany), Hasselt University (Belgium), CIEMAT (Spain), INRA (France), Universita degli Studi di Parma (Italia) and Warsaw University of Life Sciences (Poland).

ERA-NET FACCE Surplus logotype

Contact(s)
Scientific contact(s):

ERA-NET FACCE kick-off meeting

The ERA-NET FACCE kick-off meeting will be held in Denmark on 14 September 2016.

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