What’s it like to apply for LIFE funding? How much time will you need? How do you find the best partners? We asked 3 recently successful projects for their insight. Here, LIFE Resilience explains how they applied for their climate change adaptation project.
Can you briefly describe your project?
LIFE Resilience is demonstrating sustainable best practices and technologies that increase resilience for intensive Mediterranean olive and almond production systems. We will work in 3 countries, covering 150 hectares in Spain, 50 in Italy and another 50 in Portugal.
Given the high risk of Xylella fastidiosa spreading across important agricultural areas of the EU, LIFE Resilience will crossbreed olive varieties, evaluate the offspring and select potential new varieties resistant to X. fastidiosa, a bacterium that causes quick decline syndrome. These can be options for olive producers in potentially infected areas, and can minimise the risk of losses from this pathogen.
The consortium led by Galpagro is composed of 9 partners including 5 small and medium businesses, 1 private non-commercial organisation, 2 public research institutions, and 1 large commercial private company.
How did you find out about LIFE funding and what led you to apply to this programme in particular?
LIFE was chosen as the best funding mechanism for this project because of its demonstrative character and focus on policy.
How long did it take you to prepare the full proposal?
It took over 5 months to prepare the full proposal. Given the innovation and demonstration character approach of the project, different experts participated in the preparation including plant pathologists, agronomists, biologists, entomologists, plant geneticists, water specialists, communications professionals and financial managers. For the actual writing process, 4 people compiled the final proposal.
How did you find your project partners?
Some of the project partners are companies that Galpagro had worked with before. Others we found while researching Xylella fastidiosa, so we contacted them because they are among the most relevant actors in the search for a solution to this pathogen. It was also important that we involved the groups who would be directly affected by any outbreak in each country – the farmers. During the evaluation stage one of the partners withdrew, and we had to find a new associate beneficiary in a short period of time that was willing to take on the responsibilities of the former partner.
What are your 3 lessons for future applicants?
· submit the proposal one day before the deadline to avoid complications with the submission portal
· create a back-up list of potential partners in case of last-minute withdrawals or changes to the partner structure
· double check the consistency between the budget and the proposal