SUPREMA should help close the gaps between expectations of policy makers and the actual capacity of models to deliver relevant policy analysis, addressing societal challenges towards European agriculture (climate change and low carbon economy, circular economy, land use, SDGs). The SUPREMA model family includes a set of ‘core models’ that are already extensively used in support of key European impact assessments in agriculture, trade, climate and bioenergy policies. The models are policy relevant and offer the perspective for improvements individually and especially as a linked system to cover a broad range of existing and newly emerging topics. The enhanced linked system of existing core models and some key applications melt down in a roadmap for future directions for agricultural modelling in Europe.
Several integrated model platforms are currently operational at the EU and global level (e.g. iMAP, AgMIP, MACSUR and GRA). While such platforms exist, there is insufficient modelling capacity and coordination to understand the challenges facing agriculture and the impacts of policies, including a lack of ground work on modelling alignment (i.e. rigorous comparison of model parameters and results) and streamlining of methods.
The objectives of SUPREMA are iterative in nature and involve strong engagement with policy makers, and interaction with the scientific community, at the different stages. Therefore, two key assets of SUPREMA to achieve the objectives are:
- active links to existing model platforms; and
- specific focus on key policy models in the field of agriculture and the bioeconomy.
The models included in SUPREMA cover different spatial scales of analysis (grid, farm types, regional, national, European and global), agricultural activities (e.g. arable crops, livestock, horticulture), representation of technologies, but also different aspects of its market environment (linkages to upstream and downstream sectors and bilateral trade) as well as multiple policies affecting agriculture directly or indirectly.
Overall SUPREMA concept underpinning the project
Past impact assessments in the areas of agriculture, sustainable management of natural resources, food or climate change have been frequently based on a set of models that also provide the corner stones of the meta-platform envisaged in SUPREMA. SUPREMA includes well-known models, because they are able to address several critical issues at the same time while also offering a full coverage of the European Union or of the whole globe.