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Swindon, United Kingdom

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERA-NET-Cofund | Phase: LCE-18-2015 | Award Amount: 19.67M | Year: 2016

SOLAR-ERA.NET Cofund will bring together 15 national organisations owning and / or managing major solar power research and innovation programmes throughout Europe, covering photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP). According to the challenges addressed in the work programme on Low Carbon Energy, SOLAR-ERA.NET Cofund has different objectives: To implement a joint call on subjects of highest priority and European added value in line with the Solar Europe Industry Initiative within the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan To pool resources and to provide critical mass for transnationally highly relevant and innovative projects To mobilise 20 MEUR of public funding (national and EC funding), and, together with the resources provided by the private industry sector, a total of 40 MEUR. To enhance coordination, coherence and networking between national programmes SOLAR-ERA.NET Cofund will contribute to substantial cost reductions of solar power technologies, economic development of the European solar power sector and to reinforce Europes strong position in solar power technologies. Reducing technology cost and advancing manufacturing technologies, applications and grid / system integration are essential to increasing the deployment of solar power technologies. This way, SOLAR-ERA.NET Cofund will greatly contribute to: Acceleration of the time to market by advancing technologies Affordable, cost-effective and resource-efficient technology solutions Decarbonisation of the energy system Sustainable, secure energy supply and completion of the energy internal market Strengthening the European industrial technology base (growth and jobs in Europe SOLAR-ERA.NET Cofund follows on from SOLAR-ERA.NET project and network and previous PV-ERA-NET network, taking advantage of more than ten years of ERA-NET experience and expertise from all major key stakeholders in the solar research, innovation and industry sector.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: LCE-22-2014 | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2014

C-ENERGY 2020 is a 48 months Coordination and Support Action having the specific objectives to Ensuring high quality Energy NCP services for Horizon 2020 and related programmes applicants; Lowering entry barriers for Energy NCPs approaching EU Framework Programmes for R&I for the first time; Consolidating the network of Energy NCPs. C-ENERGY 2020 project will take into consideration the significant changes that Horizon 2020 has brought about the Energy NCP mandate. With its brand new approach to R&I Horizon 2020 demands Energy NCPs: a) to address their services to a wider target, b) to have specific multidisciplinary competences. C-ENERGY 2020, whose consortium is composed by experienced and less experienced Energy NCPs from 18 countries, will tackle these challenges building up the NCP capacity by organising benchmarking activities, at least 8 training sessions and 12 twinning schemes. The dialogue with energy participants will benefit of at least 2 enhanced cross-border brokerage events and 9 training sessions for stakeholders. The project will also take special care of outreaching activities by extending the collaboration with other NCP thematic networks, cooperating with EEN, working on partner search and cooperating on international relevant activities. Finally, communication within and outside the Energy NCP network and the dissemination of results will be ensured through the website, the development of promotion/information materials, the participation at major events and PR activities and an e-mail alert service/newsletter. Throughout the project special attention will be paid to the diversity of stakeholders in the energy sector, the gender dimension, as well as to establish links with other EU relevant initiatives, programmes and policies.

Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 372.08K | Year: 2014

Electrolysed water is a chemically simple method of generating hypochlorous acid from water, but requires advanced engineering to deliver effective application to target. Hypochlorous acid is a well known anti-microbial and biocidal agent which is capable of disrupting fungal and bacterial cell walls and preventing successful germination or establishment of infection in crop plants. Furthermore, there is evidence that the pathogen cell wall degradation products liberated during the process are capable of triggering plant immune systems and potentially stimulating a systemic acquired resistance (SAR) response, providing longer lasting protection against pathogens.This project will use novel electrochemical techniques to generate effective and non-phytotoxic concentrations of hypochlorous acid in the outdoor or indoor growing environment.The effectiveness of the system, integrated with conventional plant protection products, will be tested with a panel of key high value host crops which have major disease problems where standard control measures are inefficient, or under threat due to environmental and regulatory concerns. Such pressures will increasingly encourage the incorporation of novel approaches into crop protection programmes with the aim of reducing chemical active levels and providing methods of safe disease suppression close to harvest. This research aims to faciltate the entry of a novel crop protection agent, and the engineering system which enables its delivery, to salads and field vegetable production systems. It addresses major regulatory issues which are impacting on production and will take system development through from laboratory investigation to commercial demonstration of working equipment which is ready for sale.

Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 266.90K | Year: 2015

This project addresses the key challenges facing dairy goat milk production by using new genetic and genomic technologies to improve the quality of milk production and disease management. The main challenge is to breed healthy goats with resistance to bacterial infections leading to mastitis, and to identify sires with daughters that have lower susceptibility to mastitis and generate genomic predictions of merit for this trait. The wider goat industry in the UK and abroad will access genomic predictions of enhanced mastitis resistance via new molecular technology from the creatipon of a low density (LD), lower cost customised single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array for UK goats. This allows for the use of more cost-effective molecular technology to predict (impute) the information that was previously generated by the more expensive, more comprehensive SNP array and enabling more animals to be genotyped. The project will ensure sustainable breeding objectives for dairy goats in the long-term, by including routine collection of mastitis records as indicators of health and longevity, thereby helping to translate previous TSB-funded research into practice. It is estimated that mastitis affects up to a third of all UK dairy goats during their reproductive life. Even thoughthis hasnt been formally quantified in the UK, we anticipate that YDG loses around £286K p.a. in lost productivity and additional replacement costs. Mastitis is termed a complex trait in animal breeding terms, i.e. whereby many genes are involved in determining whether or not animals succumb to clinical (or subclinical) disease. For this reason, using well recorded goats, the overall aim of the project is to generate genetic (EBV) and genomic (GEBV) breeding values that will identify genetically more resistant animals to mastitis, irrespective of the causative organisms. Such approach is in line with the EU regulations, which are aiming to restrict the use of active compounds to control agricltural diseases, which increases the risk of pathogens developing resistance to current biological and chemical control measures. Breeding of animals with increased disease resistance and thus improved health will allow the animals to better realise their genetic potential for milk production. The use of EBVs and GEBVs will allow for accurate elimination of animals with high susceptibility to mastitis, thus acting as a measure of early identification of potential disease. This proposal is a collaborative project that will stimulate the production of high quality goat milk in the UK. This will be done through the exploitation of new genomic technology (a low-density (LD), single nucleotide polymorphism, (SNP) array that is tailored to UK goat breeds), to identify high genetic and genomic merit dairy goats for mastitis resistance, functional fitness, health, and longevity, whilst attaining high levels of milk production. This will result in a balanced breeding programme, which is necessary for sustainable intensification of goat milk production. The challenge is for the UK goat milk industry to become a leading international player in the supply of high genetic merit livestock for milk production, whilst building a reputation for the supply of animals of high disease resistance. The identification of sires with daughters with high mastitis resistance will greatly reduce losses due to veterinary costs and decreased milk supply. Breeding of goats with increased resistance for mastitis will become a unique selling point for the industrial partner. The routine inclusion of mastitis phenotyping for the goat selection index is likely to improve mastitis resistance, in a similar way to that which has recently occurred for fertility in the dairy cattle, initiated by the uptake of the new dairy fertility index.

Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 201.87K | Year: 2014

Globally, agriculture and horticulture accounts for approximately 70% of all blue water abstracted and abstraction rates in many crop production areas are unsustainable. Future water security will be achieved through a combination of more efficient use of water or reduction of water loss and wastage. In the UK, the horticulture and potato industries rely on irrigation water to deliver economic yields of high quality produce with good shelf-life. However, new economically and environmentally sustainable production methods are urgently needed if the provision of a safe, healthy and nutritious food supply is to be achieved against a background of dwindling natural resources. The UK strawberry industry is a vital part of the UKs rural economy, worth £225 million in 2012. Irrigation and the addition of fertilisers (fertigation) is essential to produce the high quality berries demanded by retailers and consumers. Many growers are advised to irrigate to achieve 10-25% run-off to prevent the accumulation of damaging salts within the substrate. Although over-irrigation and high fertiliser inputs can lead to excessive vegetative growth, increased disease susceptibility, lower marketable yields, poor organoleptic quality and a short shelf-life, many growers are reluctant to reduce water (and fertiliser) inputs due to the lack of suitable management tools and crop monitoring systems. Our aim is to develop and deliver a new innovative technology package that utilises a closed loop PID fertigation control unit and digital and multispectral imaging systems to inform management practices and aid decision-making for commercial strawberry growers. The PID function on the new GP2 Advanced Logger and Controller will be used to impose consistent water deficits on commercial strawberry varieties grown in substrate on table-tops at EMR. Traditional but intensive measurements of physiological responses to water deficits or high ECs will be compared to digital and multispectra imaging approaches to determine their potential to remotely monitor and detect very early physiological responses to rootzone stresses. It will be important to ensure that the novel water-and fertiliser saving fertigation strategy does not alter resilience to yield-depressing powdery mildew and the potential of thermal imaging to detect very early infection in inoculated plants will be determined. The potential of the novel combination of technologies to improve on-farm management decision making will be tested on five commercial strawberry farms in the UK. The GP2 will be linked wirelessly to commercial fertigation rigs at each site using shortwave radio so that the water- and fertiliser-saving fertigation strategies developed using the PID function at EMR can be integrated in to large-scale strawberry production. The components of a novel multi-detector imaging system needed to monitor crop responses under the water- and fertiliser saving regimes to identify any negative effects on plant water relations, photosynthetic performance and powdery mildew susceptibility, to predict Class 1 yields and quantify changes in berry phytonutrient content will be identified. The prototype imaging system will then be tested on commercial farms to determine its potential to provide real-time data to farmers on crop health and productivity. The outputs from this project will improve the economic and environmental sustainability of UK soft fruit production by delivering greater water, fertiliser and pesticide use efficiencies, improved plant health, higher marketable yields, better fruit quality and a reduction in waste.

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