The Polytechnical Institute of Coimbra is a public polytechnic institute of higher education in Coimbra, Portugal. It was created by decree of 1979, but its effective start up was only in 1988 through the creation and union of new and former schools. With an enrollment of 10,197 students, it is the third biggest polytechnic institute of Portugal. Wikipedia.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE-2009-1-2-04 | Award Amount: 7.82M | Year: 2010
SOLIBAM will develop specific and novel breeding approaches integrated with management practices to improve the performance, quality, sustainability and stability of crops adapted to organic and low-input systems, in their diversity in Europe and taking into account small-scale farms in Africa. SOLIBAM will: 1. Identify traits specific for adaptation to low-input/organic conditions over a wide range of agro-climatic conditions in Europe 2. Develop efficient phenotyping, genotyping and molecular tools to monitor heritable variation during selection. Molecular analysis of functional polymorphisms will increase accuracy in breeding methodologies and improve monitoring of genetic diversity and adaptation along generations. It will also increase the understanding of adaptive phenomena 3. Develop the use of within-crop diversity to stabilise yield and quality in the face of current and increasing variation in organic and low-input agriculture 4. Design, develop and test innovative arable and vegetable cropping systems based on integration of a high level of diversification in crop management with the use of genetically diverse populations or varieties 5. Compare the effectiveness of different breeding strategies under conventional, low input and certified organic farming to set up optimal strategies for the production of varieties suitable for organic and low input farming taking into account the traits which are avoided in conventional breeding 6. Develop methodologies for farmers participatory research that exploit SOLIBAMs advances in low-input and organic farming 7. Quantify the effects and interactions of breeding and management innovations on crop nutritional, organoleptic and end-use quality 8. Evaluate socio-economic and environmental impacts of SOLIBAM breeding and management innovations in order to identify farm business, consumer preference, food supply and legislation related issues that are likely to influence their adoption
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: KBBE-2008-2-3-03 | Award Amount: 1.18M | Year: 2009
The food and drink industry is the single largest manufacturing sector in the EU and is mainly comprised by SMEs and microenterprises (99.1% of European food and drink businesses). The European food industry is in the lower part of the innovation performance ranking, and is losing relative importance in the global food market. This situation was a primary reason for the initiation of the ETP Food4 Life, which seeks to stimulate and underpin innovation in the agro-food chain. TRACK_FAST is drawn from all geographic points of Europe, and its main objective is the identification of the training and career requirements of future European food scientists and technologists (FST), and implementation of a European strategy to recruit the next generation FST leaders. TRACK_FAST will achieve this goal through: Identification and definition of personal skills requirements in food job market; Developments for the regulation of food science and technology professions in Europe; Establishment of a framework for continual professional training and career development for the FST professional; and Motivation of young people to enter and pursue of a career in food science and technology in Europe. The project will therefore coordinate a programme of information and experience gathering, discussions with employers and employees, and with those responsible for providing academic and other training deliver awareness and experience in career development activities. Moreover, young students will be motivated to pursue a career in food area, thus promoting a new generation of skilled, flexible and enthusiastic food scientists and technologists. TRACK_FST will provide main stakeholders with a forum within which their main needs will be considered. Moreover, TRACK_FAST focus on the key factors to identify needs and guide future works, as well as the development of specific and effective measures to prompt changes. The consortium and work plan are framed in a strong engagement between stakeholders, thus TRACK_FAST will contribute to a more innovative and competitive food and drink sector, which is a key area for job creation, global competition and societal benefit in Europe.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-07a-2014 | Award Amount: 4.01M | Year: 2015
DIVERSIFOOD will evaluate and enrich the diversity of cultivated plants within diverse agroecosystems so as to increase their performance, resilience, quality and use through a multi-actor approach. By integrating existing experienced networks and using specific and relevant cases across Europe the project will strengthen food culture to improve economic viability of local chains resulting in a greater diversity of produce with a cultural identity. Thanks to the composition of its consortium, DIVERSIFOOD will cover the whole food chain from genetic resources to marketing, connecting and amplifying local existing actions. It will design specific concepts and methodologies for combining in situ experiments to ensure performance and quality. It will evaluate the genetic resources of a dozen underutilized and forgotten plant species for organic and low-input agriculture or marginal/specific conditions, including the association of various underutilized legumes with several cereals, and create new diversity by innovative breeding methods designed for more intra-crop variation. It will help to facilitate cooperation between participatory research networks and professional breeders as well as policy makers in connecting formal and informal seed systems in Europe in relation to international negotiations on Farmers rights with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Key-lessons based on the diverse experiences in the project will be shared to support on-farm seed production networks to guarantee high quality seed. DIVERSIFOOD will demonstrate the socio-economic value of on-farm seed systems, help at local and wider policy levels to increase food and environmental awareness, and improve multi-actor approaches to embed healthy and tasty local products in regional food chains. Demonstration and dissemination will take place at all stages, in collaboration with network organizations for a greater impact.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-04-2014 | Award Amount: 6.88M | Year: 2015
Knowledge regarding the complex interplay between agricultural land use and management and soil quality and function is fragmented and incomplete, in particular with regard to underlying principles and regulating mechanisms. The main aim of iSQAPER is to develop an interactive soil quality assessment tool (SQAPP) for agricultural land users that integrates newly derived process understanding and accounts for the impact of agricultural land use and management on soil properties and functions, and related ecosystem services. For this purpose, >30 long-term experimental field trials in the EU and China will be analysed to derive regulating principles for integration in SQAPP. SQAPP will be developed using a multi-actor approach aiming at facilitating social innovation and providing options to land users for cost-effective agricultural management activities to enhance soil quality and crop productivity. SQAPP will be tested extensively in 14 dedicated Case Study Sites in the EU and China covering a wide spectrum of farming systems and pedo-climatic zones, and rolled-out across the continents thereafter. Within the Case Study sites a range of alternative agricultural practices will be selected, implemented and evaluated with regard to effects on improving soil quality and crop productivity. Proven practices will be evaluated for their potential applicability at EU and China levels, and to assess the related soil environmental footprint under current and future agricultural trends and various agricultural policy scenarios. How the soil quality tool can be utilized for different policy purposes, e.g. in cross compliance and agro-environmental measures, will also be investigated and demonstrated. A comprehensive dissemination and communication strategy, including a web-based information portal, will ensure that project results are available to a variety of stakeholders at the right time and in appropriate formats to enhance soil quality and productivity in the EU and China.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-02b-2015 | Award Amount: 7.63M | Year: 2016
European crop production is to remain competitive while reducing environmental impacts, requiring development and uptake of effective soil improving cropping systems. The overall aim of SOILCARE is to identify and evaluate promising soil-improving cropping systems and agronomic techniques increasing profitability and sustainability across scales in Europe. A trans-disciplinary approach will be used to evaluate benefits and drawbacks of a new generation of soil improving cropping systems, incorporating all relevant bio-physical, socio-economic and political aspects. Existing information from literature and long term experiments will be analysed to develop a comprehensive methodology for assessing performance of cropping systems at multiple levels. A multi-actor approach will be used to select promising soil-improving cropping systems for scientific evaluation in 16 study sites across Europe covering different pedo-climatic and socio-economic conditions. Implemented cropping systems will be monitored with stakeholder involvement, and will be assessed jointly with scientists. Specific attention will be paid to adoption of soil-improving cropping systems and agronomic techniques within and beyond the study sites. Results from study sites will be up-scaled to the European level to draw general lessons about applicability potentials of soil-improving cropping systems and related profitability and sustainability impacts, including assessing barriers for adoption at that scale. An interactive tool will be developed for end-users to identify and prioritize suitable soil-improving cropping systems anywhere in Europe. Current policies and incentives will be assessed and targeted policy recommendations will be provided. SOILCARE will take an active dissemination approach to achieve impact from local to European level, addressing multiple audiences, to enhance crop production in Europe to remain competitive and sustainable through dedicated soil care.