Research steps

IMPRESA will provide a comprehensive, multi-method overview of SRA in Europe, by acquiring, reviewing and interpreting agricultural research activity in a range of generic types, with science specific to agronomy and the agri-environment, together with science-derived innovations from other disciplines such as genetics, information technology and remote sensing. It will acquire and analyse data from initial primary research and the availability of farm financial data (FADN) and the Farm Structures Survey. IMPRESA is divided into four research and technological work packages (WPs), one work package for knowledge exchange and dissemination, and one work package dedicated to project management.

  • On an aggregate scale, analysis will be used to determine impacts on productivity, profitability, resource efficiency. In-depth case-study approaches, representing the broad diversity of agro-climatic conditions in Europe, as well as different types of innovation, will use both quantitative as well as qualitative analysis to explore research impacts on the resilience and sustainability of farming. The framework of interaction between different elements of the proposed project is shown graphically in the figure below.
  • IMPRESA WP1 and WP2 will clarify contemporary understandings of nature of agricultural and food-related research to establish the context for development of the investigational strategy of its pathways to impact, by exploring perspectives on the contemporary state and orientation of ASR. Through systematic review of literature and creation and management of an expert stakeholder panel, (to include practitioners, stakeholders and policymakers), a clear representation of the contemporary nature of SRA will be formed (WP1). Additional interaction with members of the expert stakeholder panel selected as subcontractors will provide scoping data on the level, form, nature and recent trends in SRA across the 31 selected countries, and also manage the collection and organisation of data required for further quantitative analysis (WP2).
  • IMPRESA WP3 and WP4 will perform the investigation and analysis required to understand the mechanism and scale of impact. The substantial complexities of the process will be addressed through exploration of the targeting of research activity and its alignment with the needs of particular segments of the agri-food sector, and the quality and relevance of results and their dissemination, against an overall background of political and cultural context in which the research system is embedded (WP3). On a more abstract level, this comparative case-study approach will inform a spectrum of quantitative analyses of the research system, yielding complementary insights about the macro- (econometric analysis of lag structures of productivity and efficiency impact), meso- (structural decomposition analysis of input-output tables) and micro-level processes (stochastic frontier estimation of research by commercial food processing companies) leading to impacts on farming, the food chain and the wider economy as a whole (WP4).
  • Inclusive participatory approaches are embedded across all WPs, and include structured and continuous consultation on strategy and prioritisation with practitioner, user and policy experts, comprising focus groups, case-studies, web-enabled seminars and workshops. These will guide the development of formal assessment tools: the living document created and managed by WP1 will evolve in response to inputs from WPs 2-4 and provide a vehicle for evaluating and disseminating the overall outcomes of IMPRESA (WP5).

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