The table below gives an overview of the Work Packages in the SoilCare project.

WP  Title Partner institute WP Leader WP Deputy
1 Project Management ALTERRA Rudi Hessel Erik van den Elsen
2 Review of soil-improving CS    ALTERRA Oene Oenema  Gerard Velthof 
3 Participatory selection of CS  NEWCASTLE Mark Reed  Liz Oughton 
4 Methodology to monitor and assess CS   UNIBE Gudrun Schwilch  Abdallah Alaoui
5 Monitoring and assessment of CS  KUL Guido Wyseure  Jan Diels
6 Upscaling and synthesis RIKS  Hedwig van Delden  Simone Verzandvoort 
7 Policy analysis and policy support   MILIEU Melanie Muro Robert Pederson
8 Dissemination and Communication GLOUCESTERSHIRE Jane Mills Julie Ingram




WP1 Project Management

The overall objective of WP1 is two-fold: 1) to ensure proper activity management of the project, 2) to streamline administrative, financial, legal and IP (Intellectual Property) issues in order to enable RTD partners to focus on their research activities. Specific sub-objectives are:

  • Activity management to facilitate smooth operation of the project objectives by supporting the coordinator, WP leaders and other partners, and compiling the periodic activity reports
  • To handle all the financial, administrative and legal matters of the consortium
  • Address gender equality issues in the project
  • To ensure good communication within the project, and to parties outside the consortium
  • To organize plenary project meetings and to facilitate the organization of Scientific Board meetings

WP2 Review of soil-improving CS

The main purpose of WP2 is to review and assess currently used soil-improving cropping systems and agronomic techniques in EU. Specific objectives are:
 To review soil-improving CS and their key driving forces, in Europe,
 To analyse the strong and weak points (SWOT analysis) of the identified soil-improving CS, using agronomic, environmental, and social-economic criteria,
 To develop and test a framework for classifying soil improving CS,
 To derive threshold values for soil quality, and to identify the need for soil-improving CS as function of pedo-climatic zones in Europe, and
 To develop and test a decision tool to be used for the pre-selection of key soil-improving CS.

WP3 Participatory selection of CS

 Create multi-stakeholder advisory panels to guide and co-produce research in each study site
 In collaboration with advisory panels, identify the most suitable ways and formats to disseminate project results within the study sites (in collaboration with WP8)
 Using deliberative multi-criteria techniques, work with local consortium partners to facilitate local stakeholders in each study site to select cropping systems and agronomic techniques
 Collect evidence about social factors influencing the adoption of soil-improving innovations (identified initially by case study partners in WP2, and to inform the development of        scenarios in WP6)
 In selected sites, collect and analyse qualitative data to consider how the dynamics of trust and other factors may explain the social acceptability and adoption of soil-improving    innovations such as new cropping systems

WP4 Methodology to monitor and assess CS

The main objective of WP4 is to develop a comprehensive methodology for assessing both benefits and drawbacks of different CS, which will serve for monitoring as well as evaluation purposes.
Specific objectives are:
 To develop and test a comprehensive assessment methodology for Study Sites
 To elaborate a monitoring plan for each Study Site in collaboration with WP5

WP5 Monitoring and assessment of CS

 Implement the soil-improving CS that were selected in WP3 for testing in collaboration with stakeholders
 Monitoring these CS for 2-3 years to be able to assess performance under different weather conditions
 Determine which soil-improving CS would be most suitable for each site
 Give demonstrations of CS to stakeholder to share and discuss monitoring and assessment results
 Building a common database which enables the comparison of the implementation, monitoring and assessment of the CS at the study sites

WP6 Upscaling and synthesis

The main objectives of WP6 are to:
 Synthesize and integrate the results obtained by WPs 3-5 in the different Study Sites in order to draw general conclusions for the application of soil-improving CS
 Develop and apply a quantitative, spatially explicit model to assess the impact of soil-improving CS at the European level under a set of future scenarios
 Develop an interactive tool to assess the potential for application of soil-improving CS throughout Europe.

WP7 Policy analysis and policy support 

To identify good policy alternatives to adopt the soil-improving techniques researched in the other WP’s. More specifically, WP7 focuses on the institutional (governance) aspects of achieving smarter and more sustainable agriculture and has the following aims:
 To review current policies with relevance for soil quality, soil degradation, and adoption of CS
 To select policy alternatives to enhance soil quality and prevent land degradation in agriculture at various scales (Europe, national, sub-national and local) and following a participatory multi-actor approach.
 To promote policies that can increase adoption of soil-improving CS, by translating scientific SOILCARE results into policy briefings

WP8 Dissemination and Communication

• Develop an advanced and easy accessible SOILCARE Information Hub
• Develop a Dissemination and Communication Strategy based on specified goals and objectives to raise the visibility of the project and to ensure project results reach the intended target audience
• Develop a suite of dissemination products from the research outputs suited to different categories of stakeholders at Study Sites, national and European levels.