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InnovPlantProtect receives the Minister for Science and the Minister for Agriculture

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Visit to the CoLAB headquarters took place within the celebrations of the Farmers Day

The Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor, and the Minister for Agriculture, Luís Capoulas Santos, visited the headquarters of the InnovPlantProtect CoLAB, in Elvas. The visit was part of the celebration of Farmer’s Day, organized by INIAV. The Ministers participated in a meeting with all the partners of the CoLAB, visited the field plots and spoke at the closing session of Farmers Day. Margarida Oliveira, Lab Head at ITQB NOVA, was responsible for presenting the CoLAB to the Ministers.

The InnovPlantProtect CoLAB will develop innovative bio-based solutions for the protection of Mediterranean crops, and new methods for pest and disease detection and monitoring. In a scenario where about 40 percent of the world's agricultural production is lost to pests and diseases every year and crop yields are further compromised by climate change and by the intent to remove from the market many of the phytopharmaceuticals currently used, as planned by the European Union, the Collaborative Laboratory will tackle the need for more sustainable solutions, with a smaller impact on agro-ecosystems and biosafety, while specifically targeting Mediterranean agriculture.

The Collaborative Laboratory was approved by FCT in 2018, and gathers national and international public and private institutions to do market oriented work. The CoLAB will hire about 50 scientists in five years, contributing to environmental sustainability and the competitiveness of the national agricultural sector, creating highly qualified jobs at Post-Doc level and supporting the socio-economic development of the region.

InnovPlantProtect CoLAB is a partnership between the research unit GREEN-IT “Bioresources for Sustainability”,  coordinated by ITQB NOVA, three other units of the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (NOVALINCS, UNINOVA-CTS and MagIC), the INIAV State laboratory, the companies Bayer CropScience, Syngenta Crop protection and Fertiprado, the City Council of Elvas, Universidade de Évora, including the CEBAL  research centre, and several associations of producers, namely Anpromis (maize and sorghum), ANPOC (Protein, Oilseed and Cereal crops), FNOP (fruits and vegetables) and Casa do Arroz (the rice interprofessional association). The CoLAB has its headquarters at the INIAV National Plant Breeding Centre in Elvas.

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