Since 2011, Fondazione Cariplo has partnered up with Agropolis Fondation and other international foundations to support agri-food research, and in particular projects promoting sustainable growth and delivering a positive impact also on less developed countries. These initiatives have involved scientists from both Europe and developing countries.
In 2012, the call titled FIRST - French Italian Rice Science Technology was launched to select and fund worthwhile research projects geared to qualitatively and quantitatively bolster rice production via sustainable practices and capable of yielding benefits also for the poorest countries in the Mediterranean and globally. The four projects funded under RICE ended in 2016, and included, among others, studies on rice genome as well as research on the interactions between plants and pathogens.
In 2013, another call, CERES, was issued to promote research that would help enhance cereal crops production in sustainable, environmentally-friendly ways and step-up food security in low-income countries as well. Under CERES another four projects got funded with 2 million euros in total from the two foundations. These projects focused on sorghum, pearl millet, corn and wheat, and were completed in 2018.
In 2015, the Fondazione Cariplo-Agropolis Fondation partnership was expanded to include also Fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso. The three foundations joined forces to generate and share new insights and develop novel research models under a participatory approach capable of directly engaging scientists, producers and consumers.
The three foundations have jointly backed six projects investigating agricultural production sustainability factors in different crops and in different areas of the world. URBAL - Urban-driven Innovations for Sustainable Food Systems, one of the six funded projects, is worthy of special mention for its exploration of how urban centers can contribute to the transformation of food systems.