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New agreement on research-based policy support

The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries and DCA – Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture – have signed a new agreement for the provision of research-based policy support.

[Translate to English:] DCA har tradition for tæt kontakt til erhverv og virksomheder og arbejder konstant på at udvikle samarbejdet. Foto: Jesper Rais

For the ninth time, DCA – Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture at Aarhus University and the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries (MFAF) have signed a new agreement for the supply of research-based policy support. In concrete terms this means that DCA will continue to advise the authorities on scientific matters relating to agriculture and food production.

The new agreement is a continuation of last year’s agreement and rests on a framework agreement that is valid for a four-year period from 2015. The contract is, as previously, divided into 13 key research areas that all support the three research pillars in the mission of MFAF to establish the framework for:

  • A development and growth-oriented food industry
  • Responsible management of natural resources
  • Food security, consumer choice and healthy eating habits

The agreement between DCA and MFAF involves an allocation of funds to DCA of 276.9 million DKK in 2015, reducing to 260.3 million DKK in 2018. This grant is intended to finance all the associated work involved, ranging from advisory tasks such as scientific statements in connection with the preparation of policy documents to actual research tasks that uncover and solve specific issues.

Director of DCA, Niels Halberg, is pleased with the new agreement:

- DCA and Aarhus University are very happy to have renewed the agreement with MFAF and we look forward to being able to continue the good relationship and to provide high-quality policy support based on the wide range of research topics that the agreement supports, says Niels Halberg, and continues:

- We are also very pleased to note that MFAF similar to DCA has emphasis in the agreement on supporting commercial relationships, which have traditionally been an important part of our research.

Commercial links

Besides the actual advisory work, the funds from MFAF are used for the research on which the policy support is based. Scientists at Aarhus University have in recent years been increasingly successful in attracting public and private research funds from sources such as the EU. The total amount of money used for research and development in the agrifood area at DCA therefore exceeds 700 million DKK. This is important for the provision of policy support and is a prerequisite for being able to deliver top-rate international research.

Sustainable growth in the agrifood sector is the cornerstone for the agreement between DCA and MFAF – and 55 percent of the funds in the 2015 grant have therefore been earmarked for policy support within the first pillar of MFAF’s mission: a development and growth-oriented food industry.

Collaboration with the industry plays a crucial role for this, and the new agreement allows DCA to carry out a number of research and development activities that involve partners from the sector. In this way the commercial sector will have access to the latest knowledge, to special test facilities and will have the option to develop innovative solutions in partnership with leading scientists.

- DCA traditionally has close contacts with industry and the commercial sector and is constantly seeking to forge links and contacts with new partners. With the new agreement, we can continue to bridge the gap between research and commerce and produce useful and applied knowledge that can support sustainable growth in Danish agriculture, says Niels Halberg.

DCA regularly publishes reports and other results of the research commissioned in connection with policy support – see the list of DCA reports (mostly Danish).

For further information please contact: Director of DCA – Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture, Niels Halberg, telephone: +45 8715 8037, e-mail: niels.halberg@agrsci.dk

Chief Consultant: Claus Bo Andreasen, telephone: +45 8715 1278, e-mail: clausbo.andreasen@agrsci.dk