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Skierniewice, Poland

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.3-02 | Award Amount: 7.76M | Year: 2014

Global apiculture is facing an unprecedented crisis of increasing parasite pressure and a loss of hon-eybee biodiversity. SMARTBEES unites a team of experts with the necessary skills to build a bright and sustainable future. The SMARTBEES concept is low risk and high impact, using established protocols and state-of-the-art methods. Including world leading researchers from outwith the traditional honeybee sphere (e.g. acarology, genetic breeding and insect immunology). We will identify crucial facets of honeybee resistance to colony losses, Varroa and viruses. We will provide a step-change in the current mechanistic understanding of these traits, and will characterise the genetic background of the resistance mechanisms in honeybees. We will develop breeding strategies to increase the frequencies of these valuable traits in local honeybee populations, considering the variable need of both common and endangered subspecies and local beekeeping practises. Breeding efforts concentrating on very few races may endanger genetic diversity, to avoid this SMARTBEES will promote multiple local breeding efforts, to conserve local resilient populations and will develop molecular tools for describing and safeguarding future populations. SMARTBEES recognizes responsibility to protect our natural honeybee heritage. SMARTBEES will commission extension science, and work in cooperation with stakeholders to attain conservation by utilisation. SMARTBEES will establish a network of apiaries for performance testing, to encourage local uptake of resistant traits. These will be run mainly by beekeepers, thereby improving the local acceptability and dissemination, and support the long-term sustainability of the apicultural sector. SMARTBEES recognises the need to horizon scan for new threats, and the consortium includes the current EU reference laboratory to that end. SMARTBEES is an opportunity to make a lasting difference to the health, resilience and genetic diversity of our honeybees.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: KBBE.2012.2.4-03 | Award Amount: 1.18M | Year: 2012

Guaranteeing the long term availability of safe foods is a global concern that has initiated a large number of activities, including research, policy development and implementation, legislation and training. Extensive information is generated about food safety, but it is fragmented, and not internationally disseminated. The Collab4Safety consortium will establish a global network on food safety with the aim of developing a sustainable coordination platform for exchange of food safety information about research findings, capacity building and policies and facilitate the control and mitigation of existing and emerging food risks. Tried and tested methods will be used to identify problems and gaps in knowledge, resulting in generation of outputs valuable to research managers and interested stakeholders globally. Establishing a permanent structure will contribute to the development of trust between key players and institutions, which is needed to create an international forum for exchange of information and opinions on matters pertaining to food safety in the food and feed chain

The main objective of the EUBerry project is to provide the necessary knowledge and tools to facilitate development of high quality, consumer-desirable fresh berry fruits of high nutritional quality optimal for human health at a competitive cost. The further objective is the development and validation of a set of tools to improve competitiveness of European berry production and consumer accessibility to berry fruits. The EUBerry platform will be developed and validated by using strawberry and raspberry and blueberry as model crop species. Additionally, specific critical points related to improvement of berry fruit quality and reduction of production costs will be considered also for currants and blackberries. This project will apply the most recent technical advances in: a) Identifying germplasm of the main berry fruit genera appropriate for sustainable production throughout the EU, with respect to fruit quality and environmental adaptation and expanding use of modern breeding strategies to accelerate the release of new berry fruit cultivars into the future; b) Ensuring and expanding high-quality production systems to improve availability of high-quality fresh berries for consumers by focusing on the modern cultivation techniques for berry season extension, on adaptation to different cultivation conditions and systems, as well as to climate change, and on reducing the impact on environment in different European regions; c) Developing and applying validated methods to control and maintain fruit nutritional quality, improving shelf-life of fresh berries and increasing their availability to consumers; d) Developing economic studies to verify the impacts of the new technologies in increasing berry economic viability, farmer and consumer attractiveness; e) Disseminate and communicate the results to research scientists, academia, technical services, growers, market organizations, consumers, food industries, health authorities and regulatory and legislative authorities.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: WATER-4b-2015 | Award Amount: 3.00M | Year: 2016

In European countries, the cultivation of fertigated crops experience scarcity of water, and the intensity of cultivation poses significant risks to water quality. The main objective of the FERTINNOWA thematic network is to create a meta-knowledge database on innovative technologies and practices for fertigation of horticultural crops. FERTINNOWA will also build a knowledge exchange platform to evaluate existing and novel technologies (innovation potential, synergies, gaps, barriers) for fertigated crops and ensure wide dissemination to all stakeholders involved of the most promising technologies and best practices. A multi-actor integrated approach will be used through the FERTINNOWA platform which will involve various stakeholders (researchers, growers, policy-makers, industry, environmental groups etc.) at several levels including the socio-economic and regulatory level (national and European) with a special focus on the EU Water Framework Directive and Nitrate Directive. Information will be gathered at national level to feed a European benchmark study that will evaluate and compare existing technologies used at various horticulture sectors, including vegetables, fruit and ornamentals in different climate zones. All tools, databases and other resources generated will be shared within the consortium and the stakeholders group and will be made available to the broader scientific community, policy-makers, the industry and the public at large. FERTINNOWA will help the growers to implement innovative technologies in order to optimize water and nutrient use efficiency thus reducing the environmental impact.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.2-04 | Award Amount: 8.53M | Year: 2014

The DROPSA consortium will create new knowledge and understanding of the damage and losses of fruit crops resulting from pests and pathogens, with a specific focus on the new and emerging threats due to Drosophila suzukii and quarantine pathogens Pseudomonas syringae, Xanthomonas fragariae and X. arboricola. The project will deliver a cost effective approach that can be widely implemented by the EU fruit industry. The aims and objectives are to: Determine the pathways of introduction and spread of D. suzukii and pathogens into the EU and develop preventative strategies and recommendations against the introduction of other dangerous fruit pests and pathogens. Determine the biology, ecology and interaction of these pests and diseases in different regions of Europe. This will involve a comprehensive evaluation of the life cycles, host ranges, capacities to disperse, the identification of natural enemies, plant-pathogen interactions as well as the semiochemicals involved in the behaviour of D. suzukii. The biology will provide the platform to develop practical solutions for sustainable pest control. Develop innovative and effective control options using approved chemicals, semiochemicals, novel antimicrobial compounds and biological control agents as well as cultural practices, sterile insect techniques and new mode of action compounds. The most reliable and effective control options will be combined to optimise an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy. Develop forecasting and decision support systems and risk mapping as a component of IPM. The economic viability of proposed strategies for fruit crop protection will be evaluated and used to support decision making in the implementation of IPM strategies to protect the EU fruit sector. To protect intellectual property (IP) and to undertake dissemination and exploitation actions to maximise the impact and up take of the recommended IPM by commercial fruit growers.

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