Innovation in farming and forestry: evaluating the European Innovation Partnership (EIP)
Wavehill was commissioned to provide an independent evaluation of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) Wales programme. Funded by the Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020, this fund provided support to 46 projects across Wales to trial innovative techniques and technologies within the farming and forestry sectors. The intent was to bring together experts from business, research, NGOs, and other stakeholders to work in collaboration to tackle common industry-wide issues and challenges and to improve practice through innovation across the sector.
The interim report shows the successful delivery of the EIP to date. Several projects have reported impacts such as of gaining new skills and knowledge, whilst others have noted cost savings or new income streams because of EIP funded projects. The interim report was primarily concerned with undertaking a process evaluation. This included an assessment of the business engagement approach, the application, assessment, and decision-making process as well as the overall design of the operation. It also reviewed the appropriateness of projects supported and the dissemination of findings. It found that the projects supported have been appropriate with a number potentially able to scale up and, thus likely to generate positive impacts at a broader industry level. This has been aided by a robust application and appraisal process and effective facilitation support.
You can read the eight recommendations from the interim report. These were made, based on the key findings from the evaluation and will be used to inform future innovation support for the farming and forestry sectors. A final report is due to be published in April 2023 which will have a greater focus on the impacts generated.