Director Inanna Hamati-Ataya awarded €150,000 European Research Council 'Proof of Concept' grant, NOAH

We are thrilled to announce that gloknos Director Inanna Hamati-Ataya has been awarded a €150,000 European Research Council grant for her new project, A New Noah’s Ark: Securing the Transfer of Ancestral Agricultural Knowledges Across Europe’s Changing Regions of Environmental Suitability.

The Proof of Concept grant scheme is open only to researchers who are or have been previously funded by the ERC. The grants are part of the EU's research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe.

NOAH will explore how climate change is affecting Europe's agricultural map, by warming up its ancient agricultural regions in the Old World Mediterranean (OWM) and creating New World Mediterranean (NWM) regions farther north. Climate change is also disrupting historical patterns of agricultural innovation and transfer, which require time for trial-and-error processes to bear their fruits, long-term socio-geographical stability, and safe inter-generational transmission structures. The collapse of these parameters threatens the preservation and transfer of Europe's ancestral agricultural knowledges precisely when she most needs them, undermining her heritage and future socio-economic security.

No systemic knowledge-transfer provision currently exists, either in the public or private sector, to address this problem and support European family farming, which the FAO considers to be the core and foundation of sustainable development. As a result, small- and medium-sized producers in regions losing optimal suitability for agricultural production are left with no realistic adaptation strategies, and no long-term security for their cultural and productive assets. Their counterparts in increasingly suitable regions of production concurrently lack the traditional know-how required to fully exploit their productive capacities and attract investments, and the market advantage that certified designations afford their global competitors.

To solve this problem, NOAH will develop and test a new and holistic producer-centred service that combines anthropological mapping, value-certification, and licensing-based knowledge- transfer, to mediate the protected, rapid, and mutually beneficial transmission of ancestral agricultural know-how across environmentally changing areas of production. The service will be provided through the incorporation of a social enterprise that aims to support endangered family farmers across Europe and help them protect their productive and cultural assets.

ERC grantees use Proof of Concept (PoC) funding in several ways, for example to verify the practical viability of scientific concepts, explore business opportunities, or prepare patent applications. Proposals from the social sciences and humanities (SH) domain won 11% of all grants, and among the winners, there were 92 female grantees. The proportion of women among both applicants and grantees increased from last year.

The NOAH project will receive funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s 'Horizon Europe' research and innovation programme, grant agreement number to be confirmed.

Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Council. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.


Image: ‘The Entry of the Animals into Noah’s Ark’, Jan Brueghel the Elder, 1613. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.