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About InnovPlantProtect

InnovPlantProtect Collaborative Lab was an initiative promoted by Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, led by the research unit GREEN-IT from Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica, in cooperation with other research units from NOVA (CTS FCT NOVA, NOVA LINCS, and MagiC NOVA IMS), having as partners the Instituto de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária (INIAV), the Town Hall of Elvas, Bayer Crop Science, Syngenta Crop Protection, Fertiprado, Centro de Biotecnologia Agrícola e Alimentar do Alentejo (CEBAL), Associação Nacional de Produtores de Milho e Sorgo (ANPROMIS), Casa do Arroz and the Federação Nacional das Organizações de Produtores de Frutas e Hortícolas (FNOP). The title of CoLAB is attributed by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia.  After the constitution of Associação-InnovPlantProtect on the 24th January 2020, the University of Évora has also joined the Collaborative Lab.

This initiative started since alarming data is forcing a change in plant protection. About 40% of global crop production is lost annually to pests and diseases. The scenario will worsen with currently used phyto-pharmaceuticals being removed from the market, according to EU plans. Additionally, climate change is further restricting plant productivity and affecting the migration and severity of pests and diseases.

 The InnovPlantProtect Collaborative Laboratory (CoLAB) was created with the aim to tackle these challenges. This partnership between Academia and Industry focuses on the specific problems of Mediterranean cultures, mainly those resulting from the rise of new pests and diseases linked to the global increase in average temperature.

The concepts developed by InnovPlantProtect will result not only in the production of new bio-pesticides, but also in new plant varieties with characteristics that allow to face the challenges of production. The CoLAB will also develop risk and pesticide application models and implement a competence unit for risk modelling based on collected data for pest monitoring and diagnosis, using cyber-physical systems, robotics/drones, sensors, and artificial intelligence, among others. All the products are developed at least until the proof of concept phase and are then licensed for commercialization.

One of the most important impacts on a global point-of-view of InnovPlantProtect is the innovation in a field of enormous agronomic, economic and social impact. By combining emerging molecular, monitoring and modelling techniques and the increasing knowledge of genomics, new solutions will be designed to provide targeted protection in specific crops, reducing losses and contributing for increased yields in a frame of environmental responsibility.