EU agriculture and arable crops in particular are suffering from competitiveness deficits compared to other producers in the world economy. One potential strategy to cope with competitiveness challenges is to focus on research and technological innovation. The objective of this paper is to present the results of the project EUROCROP (Agricultural research for improving arable crop competitiveness – EUROCROP -, aimed at the identification of research priorities for arable crop competitiveness. The project adopts a definition of competitiveness based on a combination of economic competitiveness and social/environmental sustainability. Furthermore, the project utilises both a crop chain and a horizontal issue perspective, and develops research priorities through the interaction of the scientific level (expert group approach) and the stakeholder level (scenario analysis). The main result of the project is the elaboration of approximately eighty research topics. Among these, the main areas for research identified are A: Risk management and adaptation of arable farming; B: Innovation in cropping systems for high environmental and economic performances; C: Limiting the impact of arable crop cropping systems on green-house gas emissions; D: Better understanding of public concern about arable crop production and products and communication with global and local societies. The project confirms that a number of well established research topics retain their importance (e.g. yield improvement, plant protection). However, they require cautious coordination with an increasingly complex system of short term priorities.


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