What is RISE ?

RISE is an independent public utility Foundation. Our vision is for a sustainable European agriculture.  We support the transition to an agricultural system that engages fully with the circular economy, provides safe, nutritious and healthy food whilst protecting and restoring our natural capital; supports Europe to reach its climate targets, creates jobs and encourages investment in rural areas whilst conserving our traditions and cultural heritage.

RISE works as a think tank, bringing together experts to address some of the greatest environmental-climate-agricultural challenges we face in Europe today. We develop high quality accessible research reports with clear recommendations for policy makers and draw on the Foundation’s extensive network of stakeholders to access ideas and research from across the spectrum.   

As an independent non-profit organisation, RISE holds a rare position that it is entirely impartial. The neutrality of the Foundation’s work is ensured by its independent Board and a series of multi-skilled advisory committees that are established for the development of each piece of work.

The history of the RISE Foundation

The RISE Foundation was established in 2006 by the former European Union’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, Franz Fischler and his Chief of Staff Corrado Pirzio-Biroli with the support of the European Landowners’ Organization (ELO) and the Friends of the Countryside (FCS).

The aim of the Foundation was to inject new ideas and innovation into agricultural and rural development policy to improve European agriculture, the environment and the future prospects of rural areas.

The Foundation was among one of the very first organisations to promote the public goods concept for European agriculture in its report Public Goods from Private land (2009) which was later strengthened by a second report in 2011 for the European Parliament, What tools for the European agricultural policy to encourage the provision of public goods. These reports launched a new direction for the Foundation which has since worked on topics such as collaborative agreements for water conservation, habitat banking, landscape biodiversity, nutrient recovery, sustainable intensification, CAP reform and livestock. These topics have been developed through the Foundation’s reports, workshops, platforms and through the Forum for the Future of European Agriculture of which it is a partner.

In 2015 former European Union Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potocnik, a strong advocate of the Circular Economy (and indeed the initial architect of Europe’s circular economy strategy) took over the role of Chairman from Franz Fischler and continues to lead RISE in its efforts to create a more sustainable European agriculture.

Since 2020 we are members of the Belgian Federation of Philanthropic Foundations.

Want to know more ? Check out our annual activity reports.