MED-UÉvora Researchers in the first annual meeting of the project SOLO
Soil Health is essential for ecosystem services such as enabling the production of nutritious food, filtration of rainwater, and mitigation of effects of climate change. The SOLO project aims to create a knowledge hub for soil health research and innovation and supports the EU Soil Mission by developing Thematic Research and Innovation Roadmaps, an EU Research and Innovation (R&I) Roadmap, as well as different Key Performance Indicators for R&I.
On 5-7 December 2023, SOLO held its second consortium meeting in Barcelona, Spain, hosted by project partners LEITAT. The goal of the consortium meeting was to unite project partners, Think Tank members and other external experts and provide them with the opportunity to co-create solutions together. The meeting welcomed over 50 participants.
Day one of the meeting, held on World Soil Day, focused on the cornerstone of the project – the Think Tanks. The Think Tanks will co-develop the European Union Mission: A Soil Deal for Europe roadmaps, facilitate knowledge exchange and establish a solid connection to current and future EU and international soil health projects. Each Think Tank, each led by a different SOLO partner, corresponds to a Soil Mission objective and supports objective goals.
The University of Évora team involved in the SOLO project is dedicated to the objective of “Erosion Prevention” and is responsible for the respective Think Tank. This team includes MED-UÉvora researchers Isabel Brito, Maria Helena Guimarães, Sérgio Prats Alegre, Teresa Nóvoa and Teresa Pinto Correia.
The Think Tank workshops continued throughout the second day of the event and included many interactive sessions aimed to identify the knowledge gaps and bottlenecks in each Think Tank by working together to find possible solutions. Project partners NIOO-KNAW and Fraunhofer led a session on the strategy for establishing the European R&I roadmap followed by an interactive session on Think Tanks cross-cutting.
The last day of the meeting explored other aspects of SOLO – such as the Soils for Europe Publishing Platform, developed by Pensoft, which will be used by the Think Tank members to create and publish different documents.
After that, the project partner University of Évora led a session which focused on the 2024 “Soil Weeks” – events that all project countries will host annually to discuss the soil mission objectives and gather feedback at a national level and support the knowledge gaps identification process
The meeting concluded with a summary of the overall outcomes of each session by the Think Tank leaders, which laid the groundwork for the years to come. The event was a great chance for project partners to meet in person and establish collaborative relationships with various stakeholders from all over Europe.