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Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: KBBE-2008-1-4-10 | Award Amount: 1.21M | Year: 2009

RURAGRI aims to improve coordination between on-going and future European, national and regional research programmes dealing with the new relationships between rural areas and agriculture in Europe and the challenge of sustainability. While the challenges and issues are mostly common, and despite of the historical coordination at the EU level for agricultural and rural development policies, research on agriculture and rural development is mostly carried out at a national level and remains fragmented. Research funding bodies from 19 European member states and associated countries have decided to set up an ERA-Net in order to develop a lasting focused network that will identify and open new research fields. They will work towards a common research agenda and coordinated research funding to enhance coordination of research in the field of agriculture and rural development. Throughout Europe, the strong urban movement leads to increased requirement for improved connectivity between urban and rural areas. The geographic, economic and human dynamics of all European rural areas is increasingly influenced by urban development, i.e. urban or semi-urban economic activities, infrastructures and habitat, patterns of human and material flows, etc. Observing, analysing and characterising how spatial dynamics triggered by urban development are changing agriculture is crucial to understanding the spatial dimension of sustainable development, within the diverse EU regions and between them at the European scale. The multiple functions expected from a sustainable European agriculture have to cope with these changes. A European approach will enhance understanding the institutional and governance approaches that will allow addressing these new challenges. In a context of deep modification of agricultural and rural development policies at a European scale, research on such topical issues is crucial to support decision-making processes.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2012.1.2-05 | Award Amount: 4.20M | Year: 2012

Healthy seed are key to high crop yields, underpinning European and global food security. A wide range of diseases and pests are carried by seed and as well as spreading and increasing old problems, new problems may be introduced into the European Community countries via this route. There are currently opportunities to improve seed quality control by implementing emerging novel methodologies. The TESTA project will develop a range of novel methods to underpin the control of these diseases and pests, including faster, more accurate methods to assess the mode of seed transmission, economic and practical sampling approaches for the detection of low levels in large seed lots, novel and efficient generic detection methodologies, non-destructive testing methods and improved, effective and sustainable disinfection methods. Target crop and disease/pest combinations have been identified in consultation with EPPO, ISHI-ISF and ISTA. Outcomes from the project will include a comprehensive electronic database of seed transmitted diseases and pests, validated detection methods for target species, a validation protocol for assessing the efficacy of disinfection, as well as many key scientific publications. These will provide supporting methods and sources for the EU seed testing laboratories and plant health services. The consortium comprises experienced researchers who have been involved in key previous research projects funded by the EU and national authorities, representatives of EPPO, ISTA plant health panel and ISHI working groups as well as seed testing laboratories and SMEs involved in seed production. The consortium includes a member from South Africa who is an international expert on seed production in non-EU countries and will provide insight into emerging risks. Involvement of these important players in the management of the project will guarantee that the project plans and outcomes are well-targeted and taken up in a practice so that the project legacy is ensured.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-03a-2014 | Award Amount: 7.00M | Year: 2015

Insects are the most diverse Class of life on earth, and different insects can be essential for, or highly damaging to, agriculture, horticulture and forestry. There is a pressing need, not just for new insecticides to combat resistance, but more specific, greener insecticides that target deleterious insects while sparing beneficial ones. This proposal aims to identify such insecticides by turning the insects own hormones against them, both by designing artificial neuropeptide mimetic analogs as candidate compounds, and by generating transgenic insects that carry deleterious neuropeptide payloads within them, that can propagate through a population and impact on survival at times of stress. We have assembled an international multi-actor consortium from EU member and associated member states, as well as a third country partner, with unparalleled experience in insect functional genomics, neuropeptide physiology, synthetic chemistry and synthetic biology, and in field-testing of candidates. Established links to agricultural, horticultural and forestry end-users, agencies/advisors and our SME partners ensure relevance to user need; and set out a pathway to exploitation and implementation of our results, for impact across three major economic sectors in the EU and globally. We will deliver novel, green neuropeptide-based insect pest biocontrol tools by: utilising beyond the State-of-the-Art technologies based on two approaches: rational design of neuropeptide hormone analogues; and development of genetically-encoded neuropeptides for translational insect synthetic biology in genetic pest management. bridging outstanding research and technology in neuroendocrinology and genetics to end user need, to ultimately produce neuropeptide hormone analogues and genetic pest management biocontrol tools. validating and demonstrating these novel insect biocontrol agents in laboratory, field and forest applications, based on user need and a market-driven approach.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2010.5.2-1 | Award Amount: 5.07M | Year: 2011

SiteChar will facilitate the implementation of CO2 storage in Europe by improving and extending standard site characterisation workflows, and by establishing the feasibility of CO2 storage on representative potential CO2 complexes suitable for development in the near term. Reasonable estimates of the theoretical capacities of storage sites have been undertaken in previous studies. We will develop a workflow to undertake site characterisation, assessment of risks and development of monitoring plans necessary to reach the final stage of licensing. We will perform detailed site-specific techno-economic analyses and evaluate injection strategies, based on credible and realistic sources of CO2. We will undertake in-depth activities to enhance public awareness. The SiteChar workflow will be tested at a range of onshore and offshore, open and structural traps and depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs, located across Europe. Site characterisation will be placed in an economic context. A key innovation will be the development of internal dry-run licence applications for 2 sites, tested by relevant regulatory authorities. This iterative process will refine the storage site characterisation workflow and identify gaps in site-specific characterisation needed to secure storage licenses under the EC Directive, as implemented in host member states. In addition, we will address critical points of the workflow, such as screening of multiple options, fault geomechanics, reactive flow simulation, the presence of geological heterogeneity, trapping mechanisms, a Framework for Risk Assessment and Management and sensitivity analysis. These studies will be conducted through a strong collaboration of experienced industrial and academic research partners. SiteChar will produce practical guidelines for site characterisation and advance a portfolio of sites to a (near-) completed feasibility stage, ready for detailed front-end engineering and design.

News Article | January 21, 2016
Site: http://cleantechnica.com

Analysis done by WWF Scotland has suggested the Scottish Government will soon reduce the amount of money it commits to climate change policies. According to WWF Scotland, funding is set to reduce despite commitments made by the Government to commit to climate change policies, and to make energy efficiency a National Infrastructure Priority. This last is of supreme importance in Scotland, where more than half of the country’s greenhouse emissions stem from heating homes and businesses, meaning energy efficiency improvements can have massive impact on the country’s overall emissions reductions. Specifically, according to WWF Scotland analysis, the Draft Budget currently includes a 9.12% decrease in funding. “These new figures undermine the Scottish Government’s claim to have embedded climate change in its draft budget,” said Lang Banks, WWF Scotland director. “With the Paris conference having demonstrated increased international commitment to tackling climate change, we should be stepping up our action not pulling back. If we’re to secure the economic and social benefits of being at the forefront of global action on climate change, the Scottish Government must invest in Scotland’s low carbon future.” Scotland spent 2015 as one of the highlights of Europe’s renewable energy industry, repeatedly making moves separate to that of the United Kingdom Government, breaking renewable energy generating records, and pioneering wind development. Earlier this month, WWF Scotland revealed the country’s wind industry had a “huge” year generating phenomenal amounts of wind energy and accounting for 100% of household electricity needs for at least six months of the year. “Without doubt, 2015 was a huge year for renewables, with wind turbines and solar panels helping to ensure millions of tonnes of climate-damaging carbon emissions were avoided,” said Lang Banks. “With 2016 being a critical year politically, we’d like to see each of the political parties back policies that would enable Scotland become the EU’s first fully renewable electricity nation by 2030.” However, that now appears to be a declining possibility.    Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”   Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10.   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.  

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