The objective of ERA-PG is to contribute to the development of the European Research Area and to build a strong knowledge-base in Europe to strengthen the competitiveness in plant genomics. Under its joint research programme, transnational consortia are funded in which scientists from minimally three institutions from three countries are working together in innovative and really collaborative projects. Through the first call in 2006, ‘Structuring Plant Genomic Research in Europe’, 29 projects were funded with a budget of over 35 Million €. The first call was an initiative of twelve funding organisations from eleven countries. Universities and plant research institutes as well as many plant biotech and bioinformatics companies participate in the programme. As a result of the successful collaboration and the high response and quality of proposals in the first call a new joint call was initiated. This second call titled ‘Strengthening the European Research Area in Plant Genomics – integrating new technologies in plant science’ was launched in January 2008. It was an initiative of funding organisations from Austria, Flanders (Belgium), Canada, Finland, Germany, Israel, The Netherlands, Portugal and United Kingdom. Topics included yield improvement, resistance to biotic stresses, quality traits, adaptation to effects of climate change and sustainable agriculture. The outcome is a selection of 12 projects, out of 54 applications, which will be funded with a total budget of approximately 16 Million €. The overall quality of the proposals was very high and the call highly competitive (success rate 22 %). The projects will last three years and will start in the course of 2009. Selected projects are published on the ERA-PG website http://www.erapg.org.
Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Finland, Israel, Netherlands, Portugal