Intensify production, transform biomass to energy and novel goods and protect soils in Europe – INTENSE

Submission summary

INTENSE will respond to several of the “Great Challenges” for the 21st century, which are global food security, use of renewable raw
materials and production of energy from biomass, for which the agricultural sector is important. INTENSE will contribute to sustainable
increase in food production, novel products for agriculture and new perspectives for European rural landscapes. Future land use must
embrace efficient production and utilization of biomass for improved economic, environmental and social outcomes. In the “International
Year of Soils” at least 30 % of the agricultural soils in Europe need to be transformed to a state of higher quality. Accordingly, INTENSE will
contribute to reconverting poor, abandoned and polluted sites including grassland, set aside land, brownfields, and otherwise marginal
lands into sustainable agricultural production across Europe. Innovative systems-based tools for the development and implementation of
integrated food and non-food production serving for intensified land management of these land areas will be constructed. These tools open
up a wide range of novel products and services across farming communities in Europe. Thus utilizing and developing models characterizing
fluxes of matter, productivity and socio-economy, the INTENSE project responds to central questions of FACCE-JPI Core theme 3: Sustainable
intensification of integrated food and non-food systems of agriculture. Specifically, recovery of soils from pollution, drought or other reasons
for low productivity requires research on (a) identification of crucial soil components and processes (b) identification and assessment of
plant species producing high biomass on marginal and/or contaminated soil, (c) the optimum composition for composting and biogas
production, (d) degradation and absorption of pollutants by selected species and to demonstrate their potential. INTENSE will combine
cropping and soil amendment experiments, precision agricultural and crop modeling tools, experimental biomass conversion to energy, the
assessment of greenhouse gas and nutrient emission and other environmental indicators, as well as socioeconomic models. Stakeholders
including farms and farm associated biogas enterprises will be an integrated part of the project to serve to facilitate the implementation of
sustainable and financially attractive production alternatives. The holistic approach of the project will enable the identification of common
traits and at the same time enable the development and dissemination of production chains for sustainable intensification which are
adapted to the environmental and socio-economic diversity within Europe.

Project coordination

Arne Sæbø (Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


CIEMAT Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas
Martlhof-Tegernsee Martlhof am Tegernsee
UNIPR Universita' degli Studi di Parma
UHasselt Hasselt University
SGGW Warsaw University of Life Sciences
BIOGECO Biodiversité Gènes et Communautés
Helmholtz-Muenchen Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen GmbH
NIBIO Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research

Help of the ANR 144,000 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: January 2016 - 36 Months

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