The Hub for Human Environmental Agrifood Leap to Transform Health

#agrifood #agritech #environment #regenerate #microbials #nutrition #health

Human activities, population growth and consumer behavior have a tremendous impact on the ecosystem of our planet. Societal challenges are interacting with climate change, our health, food production and consumption patterns. As a society we are seeking ways to increase crop yields to feed “the next billion”, while striving for more animal-welfare in the current husbandry systems, and more locally and sustainably produced crops with lower impacts on our land-use, biodiversity, and soils. These multifaceted interests are opposed by increasing weather extremes, soil degradation and decreasing intensification in the agricultural sector. Knowing how food systems are deeply interconnected with biological, economic & societal systems, the challenge at hand is not a small endeavor, but together and idea by idea, we strongly believe that we can make a difference.

Therefore, we called to action H-HEALTH as Hub for Human Environmental Agri-food Leap to Transform Health. Together as a transdisciplinary community, to explore how the wellbeing of human society ultimately depends on the combination of healthy soils, healthy plants, healthy animals, and a healthy environment. 


H-HEALTH, acts as an enabling platform, brings together the capabilities of academia, organizations, and industry partners to create ideal conditions for innovation and groundbreaking impact to spring into action.

To start with, we defined the following multi-systemic focus areas: 

1. human well-being, incl. nutrition and its effect on human microbiome; medicinal properties of plants and natural compounds.

2. smart & digital applications, including precision & smart agriculture; AI and Big Data applications in smart agriculture; supply chain; future of crop protection.

3. regenerative food production, including climate change and its relation to increased plant resilience; effects of soil microbiome on plants and their nutritional content; sustainability and carbon storage.

Together with our community we have gathered first ideas to consolidate and focus on, during the first H-HEALTH engagement workshop that took place earlier this year. These ideas include:

  • Farmers, health & nutrition by better "chemistry" less pesticides and smarter agriculture, e.g. microbiome approaches.
    FOCUS: farming techniques impact on health (directly) and on nutritional value of food (indirectly). 

  • Soilscore - measure production systems and soil quality to provide added value to farmers (sustainability, carbon capture, yield optimization) and up to the consumer.
    FOCUS: measure effectiveness, sustainability, economics of production systems + soils

  • Evidence Driven, data sharing approaches to optimise the adoption of new/improved solutions for farmers, involving farmers in the evaluation process.
    FOCUS: validating practices and technologies with data-driven approaches that enable data safety, security and confidentiality.

We will continue to organize workshops and discussion platforms to find solutions and ideas together as a community as well as enabling these ideas to take shape and accelerate.

Keep informed about the upcoming events trough this website, follow us on LinkedIn and reach out to sophie.schumacher@unibas.ch or alessandro.mazzetti@unibas.ch

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Click on one of us to open our LinkedIn

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Sophie Schumacher

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Project Manager, Univ. Basel - Innovation Office

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Claudio Screpanti

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Senior Team Leader, Syngenta Fellow - Syngenta Crop Protection AG

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Alessandro Mazzetti


Manager Innovation Alliances, Univ. Basel - Innovation Office

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David Thaler

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Researches, Univ. Basel Biozentrum

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Benjamin Gräub

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FiBL and Farmbetter

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