Towards a safe and just operating
space for EU agriculture

Work packages

The BrightSpace project is managed through 11 work packages (WP), each of which oversees and/or are responsible for various parts of the five-year project. This is illustrated in the chart below. To view project outputs and deliverables, please go to Resources.

The main objective of WP1 is to define a conceptual framework for the identification of drivers and indicators in order to

  • obtain an enhanced concept for SJOS,
  • identify operational and valid SJOS indicators, including planetary boundaries, in the case of the EU food systems and at different spatial scales,
  • develop post-2027 science-based targets for European farming allowing the sector to remain within the planetary boundaries and a SJOS, and the conditions to achieve the targets.

The main objective of WP2 is to use a historical cross-country dataset to monitor and to provide evidence for the SJOS of the agri-food and bioeconomy. To reach this objective (1) a data collection and processing plan based on WP1 and requirements from WP3/4 will be developed; (2) the concept of the BrightSpace Data Platform will be developed and implemented; (3) data for the databases for the state of the SJOS empirical work will be compiled and gathered.

The main objective of WP3 is to study empirically drivers of non-policy processes, and how they are related to SJ outcomes, to enhance understanding of the process on the supply/demand side and their relation to SJ outcomes.

The main objective of WP4 is to analyse and measure the impact of past and current EU policies on the SJOS (SJOS) for EU food systems. The impact of (1) the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) tools (2) international and EU trade policies tools, (3) EU environmental and climate policy tools on the SJOS indicators will be evaluated. A synthesis and global judgement on the impact of policies on the SJOS indicators will be also concluded.

The main objective of WP5 is to operationalise the BrightSpace Toolbox and co-create the baselines with stakeholders. To this end the coordinated use of models in the BrightSpace Toolbox with linkage to research questions will be designed; medium-run and long-run baselines with direct stakeholder involvement will be developed; and a cloud-based IT infrastructure for internal and external communication will be designed and implemented.

The main objective of WP6 is to expand and enhance the capacity of the BrightSpace Toolbox to better model the safe space for EU agriculture, regarding relevant measures and policies, and indicators. Enhancements will include (1) representing solutions for staying within the safe operating space; (2) modelling indicators for water, nutrients and pollution; (3) modelling indicators for biodiversity; (4) modelling indicators covering other safe operating space domains.

The main objective of WP7 is to expand and enhance the capacity of the BrightSpace Integrated Modelling Toolbox to better model the EU agricultural just operating space (JOS) at the spatial-, micro- and macro-level. BrightSpace Integrated Modelling Toolbox capacity will be enhanced with JOS indicators related to (1) income, inequality and employment domains; (2) food, nutrition, health and other domains; (3) other domains.

The main objective of WP8 is to identify technological, institutional and consumption options which might have important potential to contribute to the achievement of the goals of EU and global SJOS. To this end (1) the key emerging technologies and innovations in the area of agriculture, food and biomass production relevant to SJOS will be scanned; (2) consumer preferences in respect to changing social norms with a particular focus on sustainability, resilience, (food) waste and health will be investigated. The most promising technological, institutional innovations and desired and feasible sustainable consumption patterns will be translated in a consistent way in the production/cost/profit and demand functions (respectively) used in the BrightSpace model toolbox.

The main objective of WP9 is to explore the impact of planned EU policies on safe and just outcomes, and the potential of innovative policies to narrow the gap to the SJOS. To this end models will be continuously update and EU policies covering a broad number of food systems domains (CAP, climate, biodiversity and bioenergy policies, food and health policies, trade policies) will be assessed. Novel policy options to bridge the gap between targeted and achieved safe and just outcomes, with a focus on trade-offs and synergies will be co-designed and tested.

WP10 seeks to roadmap a series of transition pathways for food and agriculture in the European Union within the SJOS. A series of transition narratives within the SJOS for EU agri-food production and distribution systems (AFPDS) across the member states of the European Union will be designed. The SJOS transition narratives for EU agriculture will be quantitatively characterised through the operationalisation of the different simulation models in the toolbox. The results will be critically analysed and policy recommendations for the SJOS will be concluded.

WP11 seeks to set up a BrightSpace stakeholder community, improve capacity building, and carry out project communication, dissemination and exploitation activities.

A continuous dialogue with the EC and stakeholders and other key actors will be maintained. Capacity building via model trainings will be coordinated.

The visibility of the project will be maximised to ensure that project results reach end-users in effective ways.

Communication activities include a clearly structured, well-designed and up-to-date website, networking with relevant projects, and the production and dissemination of project videos, posters, leaflets etc., as well as technical and scientific articles in magazines and journals, using Open Access journals and archiving platforms (e.g. OpenAIRE and Zenodo) for boosting impacts and effective dissemination of key findings.

Preparations for post-project exploitation will be coordinated to ensure that the exploitation of project results will be maximised.

WP1 coordinates activities to ensure (1) the project research and innovation activities are managed and coordinated effectively; (2) effective and efficient financial and administrative management of the project; (3) FAIR data management and high quality of the deliverables; (4) synergies and linkages with other relevant projects.