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Contract No: 031499

Project acronym: ENDURE

Duration of the project: 1st January 2007 - 31st January 2011

Contract type: Network of Excellence

Specific programme: Integrating and strenghtening the ERA

Thematic priority: Area 5 (FOOD) - Food quality and safety (5.6 - Area: safer and environmentally friendly production methods and technologies and haelthier foodstuffs)

Network coordinator: Pierre Ricci (INRA, Sophia-Antipolis, France)

Coordinator from IHAR: Edward Arseniuk (Director of IHAR-PIB)

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ENDURE is the acronym of European Network for the Durable Exploitation of Crop Protection Strategies, which has been established among European Commission and 16 partner organisations (such as universities, research centres and biocontrol companies) from 10 European countries gathering over 130 researchers in agronomy, biology, ecology, economics and social sciences.

It was established to last for four years (2007-2010) and it is financed under the EU Sixth Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration Activities, priority area 5: Food quality and safety.

ENDURE is a Network o Excellence (NoE) - one of the Sixth Framework Programme's instrument, which was designed to strenghten scientific and technological excellence on a particular research topic trough the durable integration of the research capacities of the participants. The aim is to overcome the fragmentation of European research by gathering the critical mass of resources and gathering the expertise needed to provide European leadership. NoE also has to spread excellence beyond the boundaries of its partnership.

ENDURE at the Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute provides important opportunity for IHAR to build up networking activities between Polish scientists and leading research centres in EU countries and to enhance involvement of IHAR in joint European research programmes. IHAR contribution will focus on collaborative research on genetic plant improvement and genetic protection of major arable crops against pathogens of major economic importance.

Network of Excellence objectives:

The Network of Excellence (NoE) project aims at following general objectives:

  • to contribute to further development of IHAR as an internationally recognized research centre in plant improvement, biotechnology, germplasm conservation and enhancement,
  • to contribute to sustainable development of the Institute in three complementary areas: basic research, education and training, as well as biotechnology and crop improvement research,
  • to build up networking activities of IHAR with leading European countries,
  • to enhance involvement of the Institute in joint European research programmes, mostly within FP6 anf FP7, and to disseminate its results with commercial breeding companies and biotechnology centers,
  • to build up the IHAR capacity as a potential research partner for breeding and seed production companies in Poland and for Polish farmers as well.

Specific objectives:

To achieve the above general objectives, the following specific objectives must be attained:

  • to strengthen the international position of IHAR by:
  1. organizing international conferences of general scope in the field of advanced crop improvement technologies in order to disseminate new ideas and promote new achievements,
  2. organizing series of specialized workshops and seminars with keynote lectures provided by internationally recognized experts, enhancing the international cooperation of IHAR with European universities and research centres by exchange of visits in order to set up cooperation programmes and initiate joint research,
  3. to improve skills of the PGR (Plant Genetic Resources) management staff and to stimulate, develop and coordinate exchange of information on PGR in ex situ collection,
  4. re-organizing and expanding the Promotion and Publishing Department of IHAR,
  5. re-organizing and expanding the PR activity,
  6. disseminate information on the Centre in order to have a better link to practice, stimulating participation of Polish researchers in 6FP.
  • to increase the number of highly qualified young researchers at IHAR by:
  1. studies and highly specialized training at international level,
  2. organizing advanced courses and inviting top European specialists to provide lectures in selected areas oriented towards advanced methods in crop improvement, biotechnology, germplasm conservation and enhancement,
  3. organizing medium-term visits of young researchers from IHAR to cooperating European universities and research centres in order to learn about modern methodologies and to initiate joint research projects,
  4. attracting young scientists to specific research projects in preparation of their Ph.D. dissertations.
  • to expand co-operation with plant breeding companies and biotechnology centres by:
  1. creating joint research projects aimed at improvement of specific crops, stimulating involvement of Polish breeding companies and organizations of Polish farmers in international research projects,
  2. disseminating ideas of Sustainable Agriculture among Polish farmers,
  3. stimulating a market-oriented research conducted by IHAR.

The relevance of the research work and problem orientation

All programmes carried out by IHAR and the Network are relevant to the needs of Polish agriculture. The experimental basis of the Institute includes recently modernized and very well equipped laboratories for molecular, cytogenetic, cell engineering and transformation research. The unique library serves scientists from Poland and abroad with extensive literary coverage of crop improvement and biotechnology.

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