Health, Agri-food and Bioeconomy
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Health, Agri-food and Bioeconomy

Research and innovation in Health, Agri-Food and Bioeconomy has become a driving force in this new period both in the Spanish Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation 2021-2027 and in Horizon Europe.
In the case of the European Framework Programme, the European Commission has already announced that it will finance research and innovation (R&I) activities, distributing a total budget of 95,500 million euros between 2021 and 2027, allocating more than half of the budget to R&I related to “Global challenges and European industrial competitiveness.” This budget will be divided into six groups, or clusters, two of which are closely related to the Agriculture, Food and Bioeconomy and Health branch.

Health, agri-food and bioeconomy What are the challenges we face in this area?

Firstly, building fair, healthy and sustainable food systems, covering the entire food chain. This objective is linked to the Green Deal’s “Farm to Fork” strategy, which has already set out the EU’s broad lines of action to support the transition to a sustainable food system. A good strategy in this direction will help to establish innovations to develop healthier diets. It is not enough to guarantee food security and supply; it is also necessary to ensure that these safe and nutritious foods are accessible to the entire population.

Another objective in this area is the design of circular economy solutions at the territorial and sectoral level, for important material flows and product value chains, as well as in key sectors of the bioeconomy, such as sustainable bio-based systems, sustainable forestry, small-scale rural bio-based solutions, biotechnology innovations and aquatic value chains.

The social component is a constant in all projects, both at European and national level. Understanding the impact of these environmental and socioeconomic changes on communities may be the way to build resilient, inclusive, sustainable and greener urban, rural and coastal communities.

The promise of healthy living also involves health challenges. At a time when the COVID19 pandemic is taking centre stage; chronic and infectious diseases, pandemic threats and antimicrobial resistance are some of the fronts on which the sector is most involved. In addition, the side effects of an aging population must be addressed: the number of people over 65 years of age in the EU will have grown by 70% by 2050.
With this scenario, innovation in health, as an investment, becomes more important; in preventing diseases, developing better diagnostics and therapies; building new healthcare models and new technologies, and collaborating between the different member states to promote health and wellbeing.

We must also emphasize the fight against cancer, one of the 5 missions set out by Horizon Europe. If urgent action is not taken, the number of diagnoses in Europe will reach 4.3 million by 2035. Working together, we could diagnose earlier, develop new treatments and provide the affected populations with a better quality of life after treatment.


Horizon Europe's cancer-focused mission aims to save 3 million lives by 2030


ZABALA participates in health projects, such as HIVACAR: 7M€ budget and 14 partners


of the most important Bioeconomy projects, PROBIO and RUBIZMO, have been managed by ZABALA.

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