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H2020

VegAlert Report Summary

Project ID: 725026

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - VegAlert (Low cost, early Phytosanitary monitoring and alert service for horticultural farmers)

Reporting period: 2016-06-01 to 2017-05-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

At present, throughout Europe, there is a general trend towards the use of plant protection products in horticultural crops. Most farmers treat the fields preventively with a large number of broad spectrum chemicals. Treatments are performed whether or not there is a real risk. This means that often applied treatments are not necessary, which translates into increased spending on chemicals and a negative impact on the environment:
- Spoilage of fertile soils due to eradication of soil biodiversity, there by reducing future yields.
- Increasing phytopathogen virulence and prevalence, as well as the development of pathogen resistance.
- Environmental and health studies demonstrate that the use of chemical pesticides generates human health and environmental costs estimated in tens of billions2.
- Inevitably killing a wide range of beneficial organisms.
VegAlert is not a simple diagnostic system, it is a complete tool that will allow to change the current form of use of the phytosanitary products, going from a generic weekly application to a directed application based on the real risk to which the crop is exposed to a disease. This reduces the use of chemicals and optimizes treatments, since knowing the specific microorganisms to be treated the farmer can choose the most appropriate product.
The ultimate advantages of using the VegAlert system are for both the farmer and the environment:
- Reduction of costs in phytosanitary treatments.
- Reduction of loss of production caused by phytopathogens.
- Soils with greater biodiversity.
- Richer and more durable soils, better future production.
- Final product with less chemicals, healthier product.
The work carried out to achieve each of the objectives listed is described and detailed in each work package.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

1.2.1. Work Package 1
Task 1.1: Selection of the appropriate Sampling kit for VegAlert:
Our objective was to design and test an appropriate kit so end-users farmers and technicians can collect, prepare and ship samples to analyse them.
Task 1.2: Writing of the Production system and User manuals:
Task 1.3: Manufacturing of DNA microarrays for piloting purposes:
During the project, it will be printed 4000 phytoarrays: 2400 for the validation phase of the sampling system (M6-M14), and 1600 for the field tests (M12-M23).
With the objective to test samples in activities of optimization and validation, to date we have print a total of 2380 phytoarrays in 900 glass slides making use of a new printing microarray robot (Table 1).
1.2.2. Work package 2
Task 2.1: Comprehensive review of European public and private platforms:
• Available platforms in Spain, France and Italy
Task 2.2: Scientific information and models recompilation (D2.3)
The total information is included in the deliverable 2.3
Task 2.3: Web-based Viewer
• Maps and Viewer developmental state
A Geographic Information System (GIS) has been developed and can be accessible via web.
An App has been developed for making the client able to acces to the GIS from their smartphone or tablets.
Task 2.4: Decision Support System Platform:
The cartographic and meteorological information have been geoprocessed in order to generate:
 Orientation maps of the parcel
 Mean Temperature maps of the parcel per day
 Variation of Temperatures maps of the parcel per day
 Humidity maps of the parcel per day
Three different input were used:
 Parcel Location
 Meteorological Stations
 DTM
Task 2.5: Validation and optimisation of the sampling method and recommender system:
With the objective to test the decision support system platform developed, we will carry out 3 field assays in commercial plots with a history of different diagnosed diseases.
a) Field assay in muskmelon crop
b) Field assay in tomato crop
c) Field assay in lettuce plot (In process

NOTE: The point "Task 2.XX" contains images that by limitation of the platform have not been able to be attached. The complete text with images can be consulted in the deliverable D6.3

1.2.3. Work Package 4
Task 4.1: IPR Management.
The Phytoarray design, this was protected by means of industrial secret protection, whereas in case of mathematical formulation, this will be protect by Copyright.
Additional information is included in the delivery D4.3: Plan for use and dissemination of results.
Task 4.2. Certification
The registration it will be carried out by means of National Agency ENAC following the ISO 9001, which establishes the requirements for quality management systems. ISO 9001 registration is being set up along with the company ICSA (Instrumentos científicos SA, Madrid, Spain).
1.2.4. Work Package 5
Task 5.1. Disemination activities.
Commercial and marketing-oriented dissemination have already started since it was considered of great importance to begin with these activities in order to stablish Vegalert brand in the market, and in this way preparing the market to exploitation phase, that it will be developed after experiments in piloting plots (WP3).
Task 5.3. Marketing Strategy.
This task should be developed as a marketing strategy that goes beyond those commercial contacts with which Microgaia already has some working relationship and identify those clients and markets where the company currently has no contact. Due to the importance of this task, marketing plan strategy has already started.
1.2.5. WP6. Project management
Task 6.1. Administrative, contractual, legal and financial management.
These aspects should deal with the agreement between team members and collaborators, so for this purpose, a project Handbook (delivery 6.1) was created. This book sets out responsibilities, procedures, and lines of communication necessaries to correct development of project. Besides, at the beginning of the project it was planned weekly meetings with members involved in the project to discuss the progress of the actions carried out, in addition to sharing the ideas and proposals.
Task 6.3. Scientific project progress coordination and management:
Good project progress coordination and management is the key to carry out in the best way and successfully the project objectives, since it is necessary that all project advances is reviewed to their improvement or endorsement. For that reason, project coordination is carried out by means of a project management program (Project Office), where it is defined the human and material resources to achieve the objective of each task. This file must be check by all members involved in the project, being the main tool to correct weekly meetings development.

In addition the work carried out during each year is collected in two annual deliverables, first and second Annual Review Report (D6.3).

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

This first year has been optimized all internal processes and tools for the launch of the Vegalert web platform.
The process It will be developed during the second year of the project when it will be possible to assess its socio-economic impact.

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