Representatives from the 13 Co-Innovation Case Studies (CICS) of IntercropVALUES will be gathering next 23-25 April at the premises of the University of Kassel, in a full-program event hosted by the IntercropVALUES team of this university.  This is the second time since the project started, that the 13 CICS leaders will meet with a dedicated program. In the CICS, which are based in 10 European countries and Mozambique, local stakeholders are grouped according to the objectives they express and work with researchers in a participatory approach to co-innovate in the development of processing technologies, production methods, and product valorisation.

Last year the CICS members met in Florence (Italy), in a 2-days reunion hosted by project partner Rete Semi Rurali, an Italian NGO and project partner that, representing over 30 national and regional organisations, leads CICS 11. At that time, the CICS leaders had the opportunity to meet for the first time after the project Kick-off, share their ideas on the work they would develop through the 4 years program, and inform each other about the species they would combine in the field.

Picture above: CICS leaders and other partners met in Italy one year ago.

Now a year has gone by, and other issues request their attention. Some of the topics that fill the agenda of the 3-day event are identifying the main problems encountered while developing intercrops-based value chains, ways to implement the multi-actor approach when holding workshops with stakeholders, or finding out whether the perception of these problems has changed since working with various stakeholders. All the CICS leaders will have the opportunity to present their achievements and constraints. They will gather around the table for an Interplay exercise. INTERPLAY is a board game designed to support practitioners in assessing the ecosystem services provided by a large range of cereal-legume intercropping options. It was created during a previous project on intercropping called ReMIX and is now improved and further developed with the contribution of IntercropVALUES CICS members and partners.

The University of Kassel is leading the CICS 5. This CICS aims at developing new intercropping-based products, including the technology needed as well as the adjustments and/or redefining of regulations. The CICS members gathered in Kassel will benefit from the presence of CICS 5 stakeholders taking part in a blind tasting of bread coming from intercropping, with differing pea fractions, by a group of individuals not specialized in the sensory tasting of bread. The agenda includes a field tour of the experimental station of the University and a visit to a local brewery. During the last day, participants will focus on monitoring the progress of their work, sharing work plans, and reviewing or proposing indicators.

If you want to know more about IntercropVALUES co-innovation study cases, watch this video.

This news item was writen by Sonia Olza (INI).

Picture on top by Philippe Baret (UC Louvain)