The EU funded project Soils for Europe (SOLO) held its first consortium meeting between 17-19 January 2023 in Leipzig, Germany. The three-day event took place at iDiv where the project partners met face-to-face for the first time to discuss their future collaboration on the project and organise the plan of action for the short to long term goals of SOLO.
The first day of the meeting included an opening session that introduced SOLO, its connection to the EU Mission “A Soil Deal for Europe” and a presentation on the transdisciplinary vision for the future of European soil research and innovation. Furthermore, project partners discussed the Think Tanks that will be created to address the Soil Mission objectives, which will include:
Nature conservation of soil biodiversity (Lead partners: Lund University)
The first day concluded with a presentation on the evaluation of tradeoffs and synergies across Soil Mission Objectives where partners discussed the future of European Soil Research and Innovation.
The second day of the SOLO kick-off meeting included parallel workshops on some of the work packages of the project, including:
WP2 (Soil Mission Think Tanks) which will identify knowledge gaps and novel avenues for European soil research, innovation and other actions in the context of the Soil Mission objectives and through the implementation of participatory Think Tanks.
WP3 (Drivers of soil health) which will analyse the driving forces that induce changes both for soils and land management, to identify and understand emerging opportunities and challenges for soil health.
WP4 (Roadmaps Integration) which will 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.
WP5 (Operational Framework) which will identify and describe measurable R&I KPIs that can be smartly adapted to fit the different regional research, economic and social conditions across Europe.
The day concluded with a session for all project partners, lead by project coordinator Dr. Carlos António Guerra, discussing the integration between all work packages and what are the potential major bottlenecks that can be expected during the lifespan of the project.
The final day of SOLO’s kick-off meeting started with a presentation by Pensoft Publishers on the SOLO platform, which will be a fundamental tool for the success of the project. The SOLO platform will be developed by Pensoft Publishers for the purposes of the SOLO project and beyond it. It will be used for authoring, reviewing, publishing, hosting and archiving of documents (i.e. reports) created within the project. This will be attained by adapting the existing publishing and reviewing platform ARPHA, developed by Pensoft, which is an advanced tool, suitable for a range of research outputs, including open access journals, books, institutional documents and reports.
The day concluded with a session that was dedicated to connection of SOLO’s goals to the EU Mission “A Soil Deal for Europe”. The project’s kick-off meeting provided a platform for many interesting discussions, interactive workshops and productive collaborations which will be further developed in the lifespan of SOLO.