CORDIS - EU research results

Breeding European Legumes for Increased Sustainability

Project description

Tools for improving legume competitiveness

The legume industry requires improved varieties tailored to various regions and applications to address existing challenges. The EU-funded BELIS project aims to enhance competitiveness in legume breeding by refining methodologies and governance structures. Additionally, it facilitates the dissemination of genetic advancements to industry players and farmers, ultimately boosting biodiversity and ecosystem services. The project focuses on 14 versatile crops used for feed and food for ruminants and monogastric animals, as well as ecosystem services. BELIS is actively developing cost-effective breeding programmes and tools, providing breeders with proofs of concept, and navigating economic and regulatory environments. The BELIS platform has a goal of promoting innovation transfer, fostering connections among breeders, researchers and industries, and offering training opportunities.


The aim of BELIS is (i) to increase the competitiveness of the EU and Associated Countries legume breeding industry by improving the methodologies and the governance structures of the breeding sector; (ii) to design conditions that allow an efficient delivery of the achieved genetic progress to the breeders and seed industry, and to the other actors (registration offices, extension services, feed and food industry, farmers). The project will focus on seven forage crops and seven grain crop that are currently grown to produce feed (for ruminants – cattle, sheep, goat and monogastric animals – pig, poultry), food (as is or after processing) or to deliver ecosystem services. BELIS has three main objectives: (1) To develop tools and methodologies for cost-effective breeding programmes and deliver proofs of concept, with and for breeders, (2) To facilitate the economic and regulatory environment: variety registration, variety recommendation and business models, (3) To implement an efficient, ambitious and durable transfer of innovation through the BELIS platform that includes a network of breeders and actors from scientific research, extension services and seed, food and feed industries, as well as a training portfolio. By enabling the creation of improved varieties in many species, adapted to different areas and uses in Europe, this project is relevant for the destinations towards “Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services”, mainly contributing to “Access to a wider range of crops and breeds with a broadened genetic base is improved in line with global biodiversity commitments”. It also supports the “Practices in agriculture and forestry support biodiversity and the provision of other ecosystems services”. In addition, BELIS will have a positive input on natural biodiversity, reduction of air and water pollutions and farming system sustainability.


Net EU contribution
€ 1 573 386,25
75007 Paris

See on map

Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 1 573 386,25

Participants (30)

Partners (3)