2016 Cofunded Call on research for a sustainable animal production sector in Europe – 14 projects funded

The first Co-funded Call of ERA-Net SusAn was launched in January 2016.

In a two-step selection procedure a total of 14 research projects were selected for funding by 23 European Funding Parties. The Funding Parties pooled 16 million EUR including EU Top-Up funding.

Originally, 74 pre-proposals were received via the submission platform. 

After eligibility check and with a view to available national, regional and EU funds, an International Evaluation Committee (IEC) recommended 29 projects for full proposal submission. In November 2016, the Funding Parties finally selected 14 projects for funding following the ranking list of full proposals established by the IEC.

All research projects have started by October 2017 with a duration of 36 months. The project coordinators presented the projects in the initial seminar held in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain in November 2017.

The overall goal of this co-funded call is to mobilize resources and motivate different actors from the animal production sector to cooperate in transnational research consortia towards the development of a more sustainable animal production sector in Europe. This shall help to secure sufficient supplies of high quality animal products from resource-efficient, competitive and low-carbon primary animal production systems, that are valued by society, provide ecosystem services, and safeguard and further enhance the Environment.


Research and innovation on sustainable animal production co-funded in ERA-NET SusAn should seek synergies between a broad range of interests and approaches which address a number of high-level objectives, towards the development of Sustainable Animal Production systems in Europe, as presented below: 

  • To improve the competitiveness and resilience of the entire animal production chain; 
  • To make prudent and efficient use of natural and non- or poorly renewable resources (e.g. water, fossil fuels, land, nutrients and genetics); 
  • To make more efficient utilization of feed, taking into account land use and quality to achieve an optimum balance between the competition for food and feed production; 
  • To consider opportunities for converting non-edible feedstuffs into valuable human edible protein sources and other animal products; 
  • To produce animal products which are of high quality and represent good value for money for consumers and the processing industry; 
  • To minimize emissions to soils and water (e.g. nitrate, nutrients, pesticides and drug residues) and to the atmosphere (e.g. GHG, ammonia, aerosols, odors and dust);
  • To protect and enhance biodiversity and ecosystems, and provide public goods (e.g. soil protection, water and carbon and nitrogen cycles) and cultural services (e.g. natural landscape, local breeds and regional products); 
  • To develop systems meeting societal needs and values, for example high standards of animal health and welfare, including minimizing the use of antibiotics to limit the risk and development of antibiotic resistance, and avoid resistance to other therapeutics; 
  • To provide worthy livelihoods for current and future generations of animal farmers and farm workers, including training and up-skilling of managers and staff, as well as providing pathways for career progression within businesses over time.



This co-funded call for research is open to transnational research proposals which take a systems and interdisciplinary approach to research to address multiple objectives under the following three Research Areas: 

Research Area 1: Improve the productivity, resilience and competitiveness of European Animal Production 

Research Area 2: Improve and manage resource use to reduce waste and enhance the environmental sustainability of European Animal Production 

Research Area 3: Improve on-farm practices to enhance consumer acceptability and address societal challenges associated with animal welfare, product quality and safety, biodiversity and provision of ecosystem services.