The Project


Soils are the keystone of healthy and vibrant ecosystems, providing physical, chemical and biological functions necessary to support life. However, the ever-increasing contamination of soils poses a significant threat to human health as well as to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. It is estimated that three million sites have been contaminated in Europe, with 250,000 in need of urgent remediation. The health impacts of soil on all species cannot be ignored, and measures must be taken to ensure soil protection and restoration actions.

Gathering 12 partners from six countries, the EU-funded EDAPHOS project aims to accelerate the land rehabilitation and ecological restoration of contaminated soils through innovative nature-based solutions. Coordinated by the University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté, an association of higher education and research institutions, EDAPHOS will deliver a holistic land management approach to contribute to the EU Mission "A Soil Deal for EU". The project will do so by developing risk assessment methods and metrics considering soil pollution sources, pathways, exposure, and effects making ecological restoration a mainstream business endeavour and demonstrating its potential to increase public well-being.

A Soil Deal for Europe

The main goal of the Mission “A Soil Deal for Europe” is to establish 100 Living Labs and lighthouses to lead the transition towards healthy soils by 2030.

Life on Earth depends on healthy soils. Soil is the foundation of our food systems. It provides clean water and habitats for biodiversity while contributing to climate resilience. It supports our cultural heritage and landscapes and is the basis of our economy and prosperity.

However, it is estimated that between 60% and 70% of EU soils are unhealthy. Soil is a fragile resource that must be carefully managed and safeguarded for future generations. One centimetre of soil can take hundreds of years to form, but can be lost in just a single rainstorm or industrial incident.

What is a Living Lab?

Living Labs are places where to experiment on the ground. Soil health Living Labs will be partnerships between multiple partners and different actors, like researchers, farmers, foresters, spatial planners, land managers, and citizens who come together to co-create innovations for a jointly agreed objective. Living Labs will be established at territorial, landscape or regional scale, with several experimental sites covered within each.

This is an innovative way to do research and innovation: in a Living Lab, experimentations happen in real-life conditions, operating with end-users i.e. commercial farms or forest exploitations, real urban green parks or industrial sites, and other actors such as NGOs or local authorities. Living Labs are key to ensuring that research and innovation find solutions to societal challenges in addition to those faced by land managers on the ground.


The ambition of the project revolves around five major axes:


Improve the monitoring of contaminated soils by remote sensing.


Improve and democratise ecological risk assessment methods and ecosystem services analyses for the survey of contaminated soils under remediation.


Implement and demonstrate the effectiveness of NBS on contaminated soils within the EU.


Make phytoremediation an opportunity for the society and a mainstream business endeavor.


Tailor an end-to-End Artificial Intelligence (AI) framework integrating mapping, field characterization, NBS-remediation and a spatial planning model.

Learn more about our work packages

Work Package 1

Land mapping at different geographical scales

Work Package 1 is led by ONERA. This initial phase is dedicated to harnessing the power of publicly available national contamination maps, with a primary focus on identifying pollution hotspots.

Work Package 2

Ecological risk & ecosystem services: NBS process

Work Package 2, led by INERIS, focuses on evaluating the ecological risk of contaminated sites during the remediation process using the TRIAD approach.

Work Package 3

Demonstrating the effectiveness of NBS

WP3, under the leadership of UBFC, aims to lay the foundation for a sustainable remediation strategy for contaminated lands that enhances the provision of Ecosystem Support Services (ESS).

Work Package 4

Environmental, economic & social performance

Work Package 4, led by GIG, is dedicated to tailoring socio-economic and environmental performance metrics for Nature-Based Solutions (NBS). economic viability of NBS within the EDAPHOS project's mission of sustainable soil management.

Work Package 5

Innovative business, spatial & financial models

Work Package 5, headed by EVO, is focused on transforming soil remediation NBS into a mainstream business. It plays a crucial role in advancing NBS in soil remediation, making it a viable and widespread business practice.

Work Package 6

Communication & dissemination

Work Package 6 (WP6), led by LGI, plays a pivotal role in ensuring the visibility and impact of EDAPHOS, aligning with its mission to advocate for soil health and restoration.

Work Package 7

General management & coordination

Work Package 7, overseen by UBFC, is essential for effective project management within the defined parameters of time, scope, and budget, while also addressing sustainability and equality concerns.