SOLO aims to identify current knowledge gaps, drivers, bottlenecks, and novel research and innovation approaches to be considered in the European Soil Mission research and innovation roadmap.
Healthy soils are essential for life on Earth as they are the foundation of our food systems. They provide clean water and habitats for biodiversity while contributing to climate resilience and support our cultural heritage and landscapes and is the basis of our economy and prosperity.
Soils are under multiple pressures, including climate change, urbanization, pollution, overexploitation, nutrient mining and biodiversity loss with the European Commission estimating that under current management practices, 60-70% of our soils are unhealthy.
The EU Mission “A Soil Deal for Europe” aims to address these issues by:
funding an ambitious research and innovation programme with a strong social science component
putting in place an effective network of 100 living labs and lighthouses to co-create knowledge, test
solutions and demonstrate their value in real-life conditions
developing a harmonised framework for soil monitoring in Europe
raising people’s awareness on the vital importance of soils
Achieving those objectives requires a direct involvement of a wide range of stakeholders, bringing together multiple perspectives in ecological, environmental, economic and social contexts.
Engage users at regional, national and European level to support the co-design of comprehensive research and innovation roadmaps for the Soil Mission
Identify knowledge gaps and novel avenues for European soil research and innovation in the context of the Soil Mission objectives
Identify, describe and assess the drivers and barriers to soil health in Europe
Develop dynamic roadmaps as effective research and innovation agendas for the Soil Mission with a particular focus on the integration and synthesis across sectors, Soil Mission objectives, and European regions
Implement an operational framework based on the timeline provided by the roadmaps and Key Performance Indicators to track the fulfilment of the Soil Mission’s research and innovation portfolio
Project Management and Coordination
facilitate communication among the partners, ensure an efficient exchange of information among the WP leaders
coordinate and manage all scientific, administrative, legal, and political aspects of the project
deliver and coordinate all dissemination, exploitation and communication activities including the development of the SOLO platform, as well as data management activities.
Soil Mission Think Tanks
identify knowledge gaps and novel avenues for European soil research, innovation through the implementation of participatory Think Tanks
co-develop the Mission Objective roadmaps, facilitate knowledge exchange and establish a solid connection to current and future EU and international soil health projects
establish a dynamic workflow that allows constant communication between WP2 and WP3, WP4 and WP5.
Drivers of soil health
analyse the driving forces that induce changes both for soils and land management, to identify and understand emerging opportunities and challenges for soil health
develop a typology of soil health drivers across land-use types and European environmental regions to support the continuous update of the actionable roadmaps over the lifetime of the project.
integrate R&I options and priorities across all Mission objective roadmaps and across European regions to provide the Soil Mission with an integrated overview of the research and innovation priorities and other actions to reach the goal of improving soil health across Europe
ensure coherence across the individual roadmaps and European regions in order to guarantee that synergies will be identified and negative trade-offs avoided
integrate priorities across European regions and countries by implementing Regional Nodes where local roadmaps will be co-created together with national, regional and local stakeholders.
identify and describe measurable R&I KPIs that can be adapted to different regional research, economic and social conditions across Europe
integrate current or future reporting mechanisms and support the assessment, evaluation and correction of the Mission R&I portfolio towards the improvement of European soil health
produce a well-documented list of R&I KPIs that can be included in the reporting processes associated with national and European research funding schemes and allow monitoring progress towards R&I priorities for each of the specific objectives.