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Grant
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.


Grant
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.


News Article | March 16, 2016
Site: http://cleantechnica.com

The UK Committee on Climate Change has concluded that Scotland should maintain its high ambition toward reduction of greenhouse gases moving forward. In a new report published this week by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), Scottish emissions targets 2028-2032, the authors concluded that the Scottish Government should attempt to maintain its high ambition pathway towards greenhouse gas emissions reductions of at least 80% by 2050 to stay on track to reduce emissions by 61% by 2030 over 1990 levels. This would go beyond the UK ambition for that period. It is achievable and in line with the Act and the global shift towards higher ambition implied by the Paris Agreement. The authors of the report note that “Scotland has more ambitious climate targets than the UK as a whole” — as has been quite clearly seen over the past two years, in which Scotland has distanced itself both in language and action from Greater Britain’s woefully inadequate policy shifts and reworkings. The recommendations made in the report “reflect the requirement in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act for targets from 2020 to fall by at least 3% each year,” and differ by 4% from the recommendations made in the UK’s fifth carbon budget. The Committee also recommended that Scotland revise its targets for 2017-2027 to better reflect the latest scientific evidence, and to align them with new accounting rules for the European Unions Emissions Trading System. And though, as the authors note, “these are stretching targets,” Scotland’s past progress puts the country in good stead to achieve these recommendations. In 2013, emissions in Scotland had fallen by 38% from 1990 levels, and the country is currently on track to exceed the target 42% reduction from 1990 levels by 2020. Nevertheless, Scotland will have to stretch to push beyond expectation, and require strong action, such as the following points laid out by the CCC: “Scotland is leading the UK in its ambitious approach to tackling climate change and is to be commended for doing so,” said Lord Deben, Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change. “There is a lot of positive action already underway in Scotland, driven by both its vibrant renewable sector and its bold policy approaches. This must now be accelerated. New policies will be required to meet these ambitious but achievable carbon objectives. With these actions Scotland can continue as an example to the rest of the UK in its approach to address climate change.” “We welcome the UK Climate Change Committee’s clear advice that Scotland must reduce its carbon emissions by 61% by 2030,” said Jim Densham, from Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, who commented on the news. “However, the Committee’s report spells out that if we are to hit these new targets we will need to see strong action and new policies from the Scottish Government.”    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.  


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.  


News Article | January 13, 2016
Site: http://cleantechnica.com

After what is being described as a “huge year” for Scotland’s renewable energy industry, experts are calling for the country to commit to a new 2030 target. WWF Scotland revealed figures earlier this week that showed an incredible 2015 for Scotland’s renewable energy industry — finishing with a record December. According to WWF’s analysis of figures provided by WeatherEnergy, wind energy generated enough power to supply the electricity needs of 97% of Scottish households during 2015, and generated enough to supply over 100% of Scottish household needs during six months in the year. Total wind energy output in Scotland for 2015 was up 16% compared to the year before, providing around 10,392,439 MWh of electricity to the National Grid, with January and December topping out as the year’s biggest generating months. Solar did its own job as well, meeting half or more of the household electricity or hot water needs during a total of seven months in 2015. “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, WWF Scotland’s director. “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.” Hot on the heels of the release of these record-breaking statistics, Scottish Renewables, the country’s renewable energy industry trade body, made the bold claim that “Scotland should set an ambitious new target of generating the equivalent of 50% of its total electricity, heat, and transport demand from renewables by 2030”. According to the trade body, such a goal would require a threefold increase in green energy generation. This isn’t all that out of the realm of possibility, however, with new figures showing that Scotland is already on track to be more than halfway to that goal by the end of this decade. “Scotland’s ambitious climate change and 2020 renewable energy targets have signalled a clear intent for the country to lead the way in the transition to a low-carbon economy,” said Niall Stuart, Scottish Renewables Chief Executive. “But with only four years to go, it is now time to look beyond 2020 and for Scotland to set a stretching target for renewables to produce the equivalent of at least 50% of all energy use across electricity, heat, and transport by 2030.” “Achieving this new target will require strategic leadership from the next Scottish Government,” Stuart added. “The development of a comprehensive and joined-up energy strategy will allow the sector to maintain its competitiveness as well as spearheading the development and deployment of new technologies.” Specifically, Scottish Renewables is calling on the next Scottish Government to:   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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