BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — More than 300 stakeholders, researchers, academics and officials are meeting in Brussels, Belgium on March 7 for a conference on "Enhancing innovation and the delivery of research in EU agriculture.”

This conference will mark an important step in the discussions on the ways to enhance innovation and the translation of research results in the farming sector, as outlined in the Commission's CAP reform legislative proposals on Oct. 12, 2011, the E.U. said.

In his opening speech to the conference, E.U. Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Dacian Ciolo? said, "Fostering research, knowledge transfer and innovation in the agricultural sector is vital for improving productivity, sustainability and competitiveness. Today I would like to issue a general call for action on the question of agricultural research and innovation, a subject which has for too long been left to the relative obscurity of scientific laboratories and academic publications. It is an area in which the European Commission has tabled very ambitious proposals. We are going to double the funding available and to put in place a complete toolbox. Apart from the budget, we need to ensure that all stakeholders are working together in an integrated way and that good ideas do not remain confined to scholarly publications but are, instead, made available to all players."

The objective of the conference is to discuss the main building blocks of E.U. support to research and innovation for the agricultural sector after 2013. In particular, the role played by networks, advisory services, education and other actors in the translation of research results and in fostering innovative approaches will be discussed.

The conference is being webstreamed live (in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Polish and Danish) at