You are here: ILREconomic and Agricultural PolicyResearch SUSTAg, FACCE SURPLUS (2016-2019)


SUSTAg: Assessing options for the SUSTainable intensification of Agriculture for integrated production of food and non-food products at different scales (2016-2019)

The project starts on April 1, 2016.


The broad EU public expects agriculture to provide food security, protect the environment and biodiversity, and sustain rural communities and landscapes. Beyond these expectations, agriculture must be highly adaptable in the face of climate change and volatile market and political conditions, in which the demand for industrial and bioenergy crops is set to increase. The creation and support of a competitive European bioeconomy offers an opportunity to simultaneously address food security and bioenergy demand through their consideration within an integrated systems analytical framework. In addition to enabling better accounting of synergies and tradeoffs between food and non-food crops, such an integrated systems’ view can facilitate the identification of options for the sustainable intensification (SI) of production across different sustainability dimensions (ecological, economic and social).

By simultaneously considering food and non-food production from both the local/regional and European/global levels, parallels between farm entities, regions, and countries can be identified such that production and processing are developed to enable the greatest economic and environmental benefit at a European level.

Within this context, the overarching aim of SUSTAg is to identify both generic and location-specific SI pathways and options at the global/European and case study level to build a competitive European bioeconomy. The feasibility of actually operationalizing the generic and location-specific SI options will be evaluated in a series of three regional case studies. The study will make use of innovative cross-disciplinary (e.g. crop science, farm systems, supply chain, economic) and multi-scale (global, European, regional, farm) integrated modelling analysis, with global and European scale analysis setting economic and political boundary conditions regarding the relative competitiveness of case study regions for food and non-food production. The ultimate outcome of SUSTAg will be a set of stakeholder relevant options for sustainably increasing food and non-food production within an emerging European bioeconomy.


Contributions of ILR

Our team contributes to the following work packages with the indicated number of person months:

  • WP1: Modelling framework and scenarios (9 PM)
  • WP3: Sustainable intensification metrics (9 PM)

Staff at ILR working on the project:

Last updated: Monday, September 23, 2019