2016

Call: Food Crops and Biomass Production Technologies

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Closed for submissions

The overall aim of this call is to support scientific research to further our understanding of the various phenotypes of useful food crops and biomass (including also algae biomass) plant species under a variety of environmental conditions towards improved yield and quality/functionality of those species under changing global climate.

Background

Against a background of changing global climate and shifting arable land ranges, plant and soil sciences play an increasingly important role in finding solutions to the internationally shared challenges of ensuring stable, safe and sustainable agricultural and biomass production. Moreover, there are growing demands for high-value agricultural products with substantially improved quality or novel functionality. In order to effectively meet these challenges and demands however, knowledge obtained from basic plant and soil sciences must be connected to innovative application in agriculture and plant cultivation. Specifically, it is necessary to foster the development of sophisticated – and environmentally-adaptive – plant breeding and cultivation technologies by collecting and analysing various data from a new perspective, incorporating molecular biology, chemistry, genetics, synthetic biology, ecology, pedology, engineering, ICT, statistics and information sciences with basic plant and soil sciences. By analysing “big data” such as various omics data enabled by advances in sequencing and measurement technologies, quantitative phenomics data obtained via smart imaging techniques, as well as quantified environmental factors, it is possible to build predictive models of various plant phenotypes such as growth, metabolism, soil and micro-organism interactions, and environmental responses and to create systems for plant design on the foundation of these models for improved breeding and cultivation technologies verified and demonstrated in the field. If we can achieve this goal of enabling the design of food and biomass plants that are adaptable to environmental changes, have increased yields and quality or even novel functionality, it would contribute significantly to achievement of sustainable and highly productive agriculture.

Scope

The overall aim of this call is to support scientific research to further our understanding of the various phenotypes of useful food crops and biomass (including also algae biomass) plant species under a variety of environmental conditions towards improved yield and quality/functionality of those species under changing global climate.
Research proposals selected for funding in this call are expected to produce outcomes that will contribute to improved design, control of growth and increased production and quality of important food and biomass plants (solanaceous, cruciferous, leguminous and gramineous plants, etc., including also algae biomass), based on a comprehensive and either ex situ (mesocosms) or field-verified understanding of their various phenotypes enabled by advanced sequencing and measurement technologies as well as agricultural technologies taking into account the soil functioning.

Intensive research is required, for example, in:
1) Comprehensive omics analysis of plant and algal growth, metabolism and responses to environmental factors and biotic/abiotic stresses;
2) Better understanding of plant/soil/atmosphere interactions including nutrients transfers, importance of soil pedology and soil associated biodiversity;
3) Development of more sophisticated and high throughput quantitative analysis techniques (including imaging and sensing technologies) for plant and algal phenomics;
4) Construction of predictive models of various plant and algal) phenotypes based on the combination of omics and phenomics data using bioinformatics and statistical approaches;
5) Development and advancement of plant and algal modification and cultivation techniques, agricultural practices and design systems (i.e. genetic engineering and cross-breeding to realise desired phenotypes in response to certain environments) and demonstration in the field or with ex situ controlled conditions experiments.
This Joint Call in the field of Food Crops and Biomass Production Technologies is not exclusive to the above mentioned research issues, but is also open to any other issues addressing progress in this field of research. Proposals that are oriented towards emerging technologies and ideas based on unique and innovative concepts are encouraged.

Which countries and institutions are participating?

The following national and regional funding organisations have agreed to participate in this joint call, leveraging their national and regional R&D programmes and applying their respective funding regulations:

France: National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)
Germany: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Japan: Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)
Spain: Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO)
Türkiye: The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Türkiye (TÜBITAK)

How should project consortia be composed?

Each project consortium submitting an application should consist of at least 3 eligible beneficiaries (project partners), 1 from Japan and 2 from two different European countries participating in the Joint Call.

Partner Search Tool

In order to facilitate the process of forming research consortia, we offer applicants a Partner Search Tool – Partfinder available here: https://partfinder.ncbr.gov.pl/. This tool can be used by projects looking for partners and partners looking for projects.

Can researchers from other European institutions participate?

Researchers and research teams from other European institutions may participate as additional partners in a project consortium if they can prove that they have secured funding from other sources that allows them to fulfil their obligations within the consortium. A confirmation letter of the external sponsoring institution has to be submitted at the time of proposal submission.

What if I have questions?

If you have questions, please contact the EIG Concert-Japan Program Secretariat, Ms. Lea Debraux, at concert-japan-jcs@cnrs.fr, or the National and Regional Contact Person for your country or region.

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