Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRAIA-1-2014-2015 | Award Amount: 9.71M | Year: 2015
AQUAEXCEL2020 aims to integrate top class European aquaculture research facilities of very diverse nature, covering all relevant scientific fields for research and innovation in aquaculture, from genetics to technology through pathology, physiology and nutrition. It will put in place a user-friendly one-stop access to high-quality services and resources from 39 installations covering both established and new aquaculture species, all types of experimental systems as well as sequencing facilities. Giving a prominent place to EU aquaculture industry research needs through a strong involvement of the European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform, it will enable excellent research and sustainable innovation to both public and private sector. It will benefit from the support of the ESFRI infrastructures EMBRC (Marine Biology) and ELIXIR (Life Sciences data) and bring aquaculture research specificities to their agendas. AQUAEXCEL2020 will be a key vehicle in the improvement of aquaculture research practices to the benefit of industry through finalized research and innovation, and of excellent science through the development of highly innovative methods and approaches such as Virtual Laboratories, standardized experimental fish lines and nano-sensors. It will also benefit to society through the development of methods for sustainable aquaculture, such as the use of cleaner fish to control parasites or Integrated Multitrophic Aquaculture, and also through a better management of animal experiments for research according to the 3 Rs, Reduction (via e.g. capitalization of data and provision of stable experimental fish lines), Refinement (via a better control of experimental procedures) and Replacement (via e.g. Virtual Laboratories). As a whole, AQUAEXCEL2020 will provide a world-class platform for all types of fish culture research, from biology to technology, in all types of rearing systems, with all major EU fish species, including the most promising new species.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.87M | Year: 2015
The IMPRESS European Training Network will provide a new generation of researchers with the multidisciplinary skills and competences needed to oversee new stocking strategies for Europes most important and threatened freshwater fish species (Atlantic salmon, European eel and sturgeons) thus enabling conservation and growth in a sector of significant economic and societal importance. Freshwater fish populations bring many benefits to Europes citizens through leisure activities, and enhance rural employment through fishing and tourism. The species included in IMPRESS are sentinel species of clean, healthy freshwater ecosystems and of major historical, cultural and economic importance. Over-exploitation and anthropogenic activities have critically endangered wild populations of these fish groups, especially sturgeons. As the main flaw of past stock enhancement is high post-release mortality, the researcher training in IMPRESS will build upon recent scientific advances, especially in fish genomics and enriched hatchery techniques, to develop innovative production regimes resulting in increased survival rates of released fish. This paradigm shift in stock enhancement strategies will require changes at every level of the production cycle, from broodstock management and gamete quality to hatchery design. New in vitro and -omics technologies will be developed to solve current bottlenecks in the production cycle of sturgeons. IMPRESS will also verse young researchers on the social dimensions of this complex issue, including the need to foster closer dialogue with the important stakeholders responsible for national and regional stocking programmes. Further, through dissemination and public engagement, all IMPRESS fellows will work actively to increase public awareness on the importance of these key fish species to freshwater biodiversity, and on the major societal benefits of healthy fish populations, both for recreational activities and for supporting rural employment.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.2-10 | Award Amount: 7.96M | Year: 2014
Only about 10% of todays global aquaculture production use genetically improved stocks. In Europe, some breeding programmes consist of only the basic components of a breeding scheme. Hence, there is large potential to increase efficiency and profit by domestication and genetic improvement of farmed finfish. The main challenge of FISHBOOST is to realise this potential into economic and social acceptable breeding schemes, and advance these for each of the six target species. Acknowledging the different capacities of the species, the aim of FISHBOOST is: To improve the efficiency and profitability of European aquaculture by advancing selective breeding to the next level for each of the six main finfish species through collaborative research with industry. FISHBOOST considers the main components of breeding programmes for Atlantic salmon, common carp, European seabass, gilthead seabream, rainbow trout and turbot. Disease resistance and production efficiency are genetically improved through detailed phenotyping and advanced genomic technologies. The economic impact and producers perceptions will be assessed for the recommendations for each of the species. 14 well-recognised RTD participants in Europe on aquaculture breeding will collaborate in a five year comprehensive research project with 7 SMEs, 4 large industries and 1 NGO throughout Europe that are in the lead of the development of their species breeding programmes or are vectors between industry and RTD. A mixture of low and high-tech technological advances depending on current capacities of the species will be developed to move each species breeding program to the next level. This step-change advance will facilitate balanced and sustainable breeding programmes applying a wide set of traits, breeding tools and technologies. A dissemination program will deliver these results to SMEs and other end-users, thereby advancing existing and stimulating new aquaculture breeding programmes in Europe.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.2-11 | Award Amount: 2.15M | Year: 2014
The overall vision of the OrAqua project is the economic growth of the organic aquaculture sector in Europe, supported by science based regulations in line with the organic principles and consumer confidence. OrAqua will suggest improvements for the current EU regulatory framework for organic aquaculture based on i) a review of the relevant available scientific knowledge, ii) a review of organic aquaculture production and economics, as well as iii) consumer perceptions of organic aquaculture. The project will focus on aquaculture production of relevant European species of finfish, molluscs, crustaceans and seaweed. To ensure interaction with all relevant stakeholders throughout the project a multi stakeholder platform will be established. The project will assess and review existing knowledge on fish health and welfare, veterinary treatments, nutrition, feeding, seeds (sourcing of juveniles), production systems, including closed recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS), environmental impacts, socio-economic and aquaculture economic interactions, consumer aspects, legislations and private standards for organic aquaculture. The results will be communicated using a range of media and techniques tailored to involve all stakeholder groups. Further, Multi Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) and SWOT analysis will be used to generate relevant and robust recommendations. A wide range of actors from several countries will participate and interact through a participatory approach. The 13 OrAqua project partners form a highly qualified and multidisciplinary consortium that includes four universities, five aquaculture research institutes, three research groups in social science, a fish farmer organisation, a fish farmer and two organic certification/control bodies. The main outcomes of the project will be recommendations on how to improve the EU regulation, executive dossiers and a Policy Implementation Plan (PIP). Further the project will deliver recommendations on how to enhance economic development of the European organic aquaculture sector.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA | Phase: Fission-2013-3.1.1 | Award Amount: 10.26M | Year: 2013
Within the OPERRA project, it is proposed that the MELODI Association, as a well-advanced network, takes the lead in establishing the necessary structures able to manage the long-term European research programmes in radiation protection, also taking advantage of the valuable experience gathered through the DoReMi network of excellence. Whilst in fields adjacent to low-dose risk research (radioecology, nuclear emergency management) scientific issues would continue to be hosted by the sister associations, Alliance and NERIS, these associations are encouraged to join MELODI to establish an umbrella structure as equal partners. OPERRA will exploit the synergies of EURATOM and other EC programmes considering the most relevant joint program areas and mechanisms for funding joint activities. The project will also strengthen the links with national funding programs as well as the European education and training structures. Also, it will take steps towards a greater involvement of those new Member States who could benefit from increased participation in the radiation research programmes. Finally, OPERRA will take steps to further integrate the joint use of infrastructures in European countries, and to develop and facilitate an easier access to research infrastructures. The final objective of this project is to build up an umbrella coordination structure that has the capacity in a legal and logistical sense to administer future calls for research in radiation protection as a whole (including low-dose risk, radioecology, nuclear emergency management, and also research activities related to the medical uses of ionizing radiation) on behalf of the European Commission. OPERRA will prepare the organisation for a first competitive call by the end of 2013 for projects in low-dose risk research and a second competitive call in 2014 for broader projects in radiation protection research, subject to the approval of EC services, with the support of Go-between administrator operator and an external advisory entity.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: KBBE.2013.2.3-02 | Award Amount: 4.41M | Year: 2013
In the European Union, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) of the food sector are increasingly under pressure due to developing open markets, increasing demand of standardized and price competitive food products by the consumers, rising importance of large retailers and challenges in obeying governmental regulations. This raises the risk of losing many traditional foods as well as traditional processing techniques which are applied by SMEs using regional raw materials and often have a role in the cultural identity of regions. In urban centers in Europe, groups of consumers are increasingly demanding traditional, local and/or organic food productions as food poisoning cases and the dispute on GMO undermined public confidence on industrial food producing systems. To reach these markets, SMEs of traditional foods must extend their skills in modern as well as competitive marketing and production techniques to comply with existing European regulations and to promote the aspects of their products related to nutrition and health. To support these traditional SMEs, a knowledge transfer network shall be established with the focus on different food product sectors: Grains, fishes, fruits, vegetables and mushrooms. These food sectors are traditional, healthy foodstuffs which are essential for a balanced nutrition. To support traditional SMEs in these food sectors, a European network will interlink researchers, knowledge transfer organizations and associations of SMEs on European, national and region levels. The network will act as a mediator of information about innovations in production and marketing of traditional food, will foster entrepreneurship in the sector of traditional food producers and researchers as well as will develop strategic research and innovation agendas for the traditional food sectors to be competitive on future markets.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SiS.2012.2.2.3-1 | Award Amount: 5.35M | Year: 2013
ASSIST-ME is a high level research project with a societal impact that will investigate formative and summative assessment methods to support and to improve inquiry-based approaches in European science, technology and mathematics (STM) education. Based on an analysis of what is known about summative and formative assessment of knowledge, skills and attitudes related to key STM competences and an analysis of European educational systems, the project will design a range of combined assessment methods. These methods will be tested in primary and secondary schools in different educational cultures in Europe in order to analyse the conditions that support or undermine the uptake of formative assessment related to inquiry processes. The resulting synthesis of opportunities and restrictions for implementing an assessment culture using both formative and summative approaches will be evaluated and discussed in relevant forums in order to formulate guidelines and recommendations for policy makers, curriculum developers, teacher trainers and other stakeholders in the different European educational systems.
Sobotka R.,University of South Bohemia
Photosynthesis Research | Year: 2014
Chlorophyll (Chl) is an essential component of the photosynthetic apparatus. Embedded into Chl-binding proteins, Chl molecules play a central role in light harvesting and charge separation within the photosystems. It is critical for the photosynthetic cell to not only ensure the synthesis of a sufficient amount of new Chl-binding proteins but also avoids any misbalance between apoprotein synthesis and the formation of potentially phototoxic Chl molecules. According to the available data, Chl-binding proteins are translated on membrane bound ribosomes and their integration into the membrane is provided by the SecYEG/Alb3 translocon machinery. It appears that the insertion of Chl molecules into growing polypeptide is a prerequisite for the correct folding and finishing of Chl-binding protein synthesis. Although the Chl biosynthetic pathway is fairly well-described on the level of enzymatic steps, a link between Chl biosynthesis and the synthesis of apoproteins remains elusive. In this review, I summarize the current knowledge about this issue putting emphasis on protein-protein interactions. I present a model of the Chl biosynthetic pathway organized into a multi-enzymatic complex and physically attached to the SecYEG/Alb3 translocon. Localization of this hypothetical large biosynthetic centre in the cyanobacterial cell is also discussed as well as regulatory mechanisms coordinating the rate of Chl and apoprotein synthesis. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
Kalac P.,University of South Bohemia
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture | Year: 2013
Fruit bodies of about 200 mushroom species are consumed throughout the world, preferably as a delicacy. Knowledge of their chemical composition, nutritional value and health-promoting effects has expanded dynamically during the last few years. Dry matter (DM) is low: commonly about 100 g kg-1. The usual contents of protein, lipids and ash are 200-250, 20-30 and 80-120 g kg-1 DM, respectively. Various carbohydrates form the remaining DM. Nevertheless, great variations occur both among and within species. Energy is low, usually 350-400 kcal kg-1 of fresh fruit bodies. The nutritional contribution of mushroom protein derived from earlier data seems to be overestimated. Fat content is low with markedly prevailing in linoleic acid and oleic acid, while the proportion of n-3 fatty acids is nutritionally marginal. The main carbohydrates are chitin, glycogen, trehalose and mannitol. Information on fibre content and composition is limited. Health-promoting β-glucans are an auspicious group of polysaccharides. High potassium content is characteristic of mushrooms. Several species can accumulate very high levels of both detrimental trace elements, particularly cadmium and mercury, and radiocaesium isotopes if growing on heavily polluted substrates. Mushrooms seem to be a considerable source of ergosterol, provitamin D2, and phenolids with antioxidative properties. Hundreds of flavour constituents have been identified, particularly with eight-carbon aliphatic chains. Data on changes of mushroom components under various preservation conditions and culinary treatments have been fragmentary. Even more limited is knowledge of nutrient bioavailability. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-IF-EF-ST | Phase: MSCA-IF-2015-EF | Award Amount: 142.72K | Year: 2017
Increasing maternal age, a prevalent trend in developed countries, negatively influences oocyte quality and consequently female fertility 5% of all couples experience fertility problems arising from a physiological source in the women. To develop novel approaches to prevent or treat infertility, a more complete understanding of oogenesis is required. The host laboratory has recently identified the Socs3 gene, to date associated only with roles in the immune system, as a novel strong candidate regulating oogenesis. The project exploits a genetic approach to ablate the Socs3 gene from the female germ-line and addresses the role of Socs3 gene during mouse oocyte maturation and fertilisation, e.g. in correct chromosomal segregation, followed by further detailed and cutting-edge functional characterisation. The results could lead to the identification of novel therapeutic targets to treat female infertility. Dr. Veselovska, coming from a world-renown institute, is joining a well-established early mammalian development orientated host group, within the Department of Molecular Biology at the University of South Bohemia. Synergies arising from this multidisciplinary proposal will benefit both host and applicant. In particular, Dr. Veselovska is bringing a wealth of highly relevant mouse oocyte experience and bioinformatics skills for genome-scale analyses that are currently an underrepresented skills set in the host laboratory and host institution, as well as her network of UK based collaborators. She will receive training that is both complementary to her current knowledge and skills and novel and highly contemporary in relation to the experimental approaches used. Consequently, the fellowship award will substantially further the Dr. Veselovskas career ambitions to become an independent early mammalian developmental biologist within her native Central European region, and facilitate the under-represented exchange of ideas between Western and Eastern European countries.