CORDIS - EU research results



Executive Summary:
EUPHRESCO is a Network of Phytosanitary Research Programme Funders and Managers. Its aims are to: underpin European Plant Health policy and its implementation; sustain European Plant Health science capability; optimise the use of limited resources and produce the best research outputs.
EUPHRESCO-I ran from 2006-2010 and was composed 23 partners from 17countries. It aimed to coordinate plant heath research at the European (national and EU) levels for the first time and to develop and test the funding mechanisms, processes and tools for implementing transnational research projects. EUPHRESCO-II ran from 2011-2014 and was composed of 31 Partners from 22 countries. It had an emphasis on broadening and deepening the Network’s activities and ensuring a strong, durable Network emerged. An external evaluation of EUPHRESCO (as a whole from 2006-2014) has identified current and expected future impacts, as well as improvements in processes and operation.

Broadening: EUPHRESCO-II has become enlarged in the following ways:
• Membership – The Network expanded to 31 Partners from 22 countries, and 14 Observers. Some key partners missing from EUPHRESCO-I were added and 4 observers subsequently became members after the project ended. The European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO) joined during the course of the project to facilitate transfer of responsibilities and tools to EPPO to implement the long-term Network. EPPO will provide the future coordination for EUPHRESCO.
• Scope – The Network strengthened regional representation, especially in the Nordic-Baltic and the Balkan and South-East European areas. Workshops explored the need and opportunities for more regional cooperation, concluding that this was not specifically needed. Increased geographical scope within and outside Europe will be further expanded via EPPO. Scientific scope was also expanded to try and ensure better coverage, e.g. increased coordination in the forest plant health.

• Two new rounds of transnational research commissioning have been delivered, resulting in 27 new projects totalling about €6.3 Million (12% of total national budgets). A third round is being implemented.
• Almost all new and old partners (29/31) were involved in resourcing research.
• The website has been developed as a platform for research coordination via new on-line tools. New types of projects have been trialled, e.g. clustering of existing national projects, and a pilot Plant Health Fellowship Scheme. Some progress has been made on improving links with key stakeholders and on processes for initiating research in response to emergencies; these will now be strengthened via EPPO.
• Barriers to research collaboration have been better identified and some changes to national policies have already been made to better enable participation.

• A self-sustainable ERA-Network has emerged, via EPPO, with a Modus Operandi.
• Membership includes 28 Partners from 22 counties, with others seeking to join.

Project Context and Objectives:
2.1. Context
The rate of introduction and establishment of new, economically or environmentally damaging plant pests and diseases has increased steadily over the last century as a result of expanding globalisation of trade in plant material. This is potentially exacerbated by climate change, by EU expansion creating new borders and pathways, and by a recognised decline in the resources supporting plant health activities. Although the legislation that underpins phytosanitary (quarantine/statutory plant health) policy is determined at the EU level (via the European Commission’s DG SANCO and its Standing Committee on Plant Health), the research that supports Plant Health policy development and implementation, especially for specific pests of statutory importance, is mostly done at the national level. Current trends indicate that, with the continued enlargement of the EU and much increased global trading (both in terms of volume, diversity and new trade pathways), threats from exotic plant pests (which includes diseases and invasive species such as non-native weeds) are likely to increase. Therefore, improved coordination and collaboration in the area of European phytosanitary research is vital to the following outcomes and benefits:
• To ensure effective underpinning of EU policy and its implementation (i.e. operations by plant health inspection services)
• To sustain European phytosanitary science capacity in the light of the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organisation’s (EPPO) statement (2004) which declared that the phytosanitary basis (science and inspection services) was being eroded and that ‘Plant Health was endangered’ ; concerns are still on-going, as recently highlighted by the European Academies Science Advisory Council’s (ESAC) Report on Plant Health .
• To optimise and make best use of limited national plant health research budgets to achieve the best research outputs.

At an EU Council Working Party Meeting of the Chief Officers of Plant Health Services (COPHS: Council Group F14) on 6 December 2004, a Presidency Note (SANCO 15479/04) on action to revive the scientific basis of the phytosanitary field was unanimously supported. This included a proposition to develop an ERA-NET for phytosanitary research, as well as other measures, such as ways to increase collaboration between diagnostic laboratories and develop thematic domains for EU support to Plant Health in Framework 7.
In 2005, a proposal was submitted to the European Union’s 6th Framework Programme for a Phytosanitary (statutory plant health) ERA-NET. The proposal was successful and the EUPHRESCO (European Phytosanitary Research Coordination) ERA-NET began in May 2006; it is due to end in July 2010. It aimed for the very first time to coordinate plant health research at the European level and was composed of 23 Partners from 17 countries. It also involved six Observer member states who did not then have defined phytosanitary research programmes. The EUPHRESCO ERA-NET (EUPHRESCO-I) was also supported by an Expert Advisory Group composed of the following key stakeholders: The European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO); The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) plant health panel; and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Consumer Protection (DG-SANCO) that has policy responsibility for statutory plant health.
EUPHRESCO-I’s main aim was to develop, test and build confidence in mechanisms, tools and processes for trans-national research and, for the first time, coordinate research and begin delivering transnational projects. EUPHRESCO-I (2006-2010) successfully:
• Mapped and analysed the national plant health research programmes of existing partners
• Developed mechanisms, tools and processes for implementing trans-national research
• Tested three different funding mechanisms (virtual common pot, real common pot, and a novel non-competitive funding mechanism) through the commissioning of trans-national pilot projects (learning by doing)
• Identified barriers to trans-national collaboration
• Coordinated national, trans-national and EU-funded research to optimise research outputs
• Developed a common research strategy and common research agendas
• Developed a model long-term network structure and modus operandi.

2.2. Aims and Objectives of EUPHRERSCO-II (2011-2014)
The overall aim of EUPHRESCO-II was to produce a strong, durable and self-sustainable network that: fully incorporates existing and new members; coordinates national, transnational and EU funding for plant health research; implements joint, transnational research that best supports EU plant health policy (Community Plant Health Regime), operations (inspection services) and phytosanitary science capability.
The main objectives of EUPHRESCO-II were as follows:
• To strengthen the basis for a self-sustainable network through the testing of a model network structure and modus operandi such that a strong and fully self-sustainable network will emerge after 2013 with a critical mass and network structure that ensures a permanent dialogue and cooperation between funders.
• To consolidate, develop and deepen current activities that build on the successful cooperation and collaboration between national plant health research programmes in the first EUPHRESCO Project. This would be done through the following: improved process, platforms and linkages that are fit-for-purpose in the context of future self-sustainability; continued trans-national research that further demonstrates and builds confidence in the mechanisms, processes, added value and benefits of trans-national research for supporting Plant Health policy, operations (inspection services) and science; continued optimisation of limited (in many cases declining) national resources for plant health research.
• To enlarge the network to include additional partners, both geographically and in terms of scope and commodity areas, e.g. an expansion of the representation of Forestry Plant Health and of players at a more regional level (e.g. Baltic/Nordic countries; Balkan and SE European countries), and potentially outside Europe (more international linkages with third countries and trading partners).
Compared with the first EUPHRESCO Project (2006–2010), EUPHRESCO-II’s objectives and outcomes can be summarised to highlight how EUPHRESCO-II will deepen and enlarge the cooperation, as follows:

See annex document for table
Project Results:
WORKPACKAGE 1 – Coordination, Reporting, Communication and Administration

To Coordinate and Administer the EUPHRESCO-II Project.
Main Objectives
• To provide effective Project administration, including contractual, financial and project management aspects.
• To ensure effective communication with the Commission and other oversight bodies (e.g. the COPHS EU Council Working Party, EUPHRESCO-II Governing Board) through formal reporting.
• To provide effective communication of the projects aims, activities and outputs to other relevant stakeholders.
• To maintain links to other ERA-NETs and EC ERA-NET activities

Sub-WP 1.1 – Meetings (Deliverable 1.4 and 1.5)
• The First Project Management Group (PMG) was held on 25 February 2011 to discuss the project’s workplan and to make arrangements for the kick-off meeting.
• The First Project Meeting (Kick-off Meeting) was held on 24-25 March 2011 in Copenhagen with partners (new and old) and observers. Additionally, a representative from Poland (NCBRI) attended the meeting; they are a prospective partner and we are continuing to explore the possibility of them joining EUPHRESCO. The Second PMG met on 23 March and EPPO attended.
• A specific WP5 “new partner and new observer” workshop was held on 27 after the project meeting; with the main aim of welcoming and integrating them into the project. Funds were made available for the observers.
• The Third PMG meeting was held on 28 September 2011.
• The Second Project Meeting was held in Rome on 14-15 February 2012 with partners and prospective new partner. The PMG met on 16 February 2012.
• EUPHRESCO held a special workshop on 15 May 2012 at JKI in Braunschweig involving 4 volunteer members of the PMG to discuss EUPHRESCO’s long term sustainable network beyond EU funding.
• The Fifth PMG meeting will be held at the EPPO HQ in Paris on 9 October 2012.
• The Third Project Meeting will be held in February 13-15 March 2013 in Lisbon.
• The Sixth PMG meeting will be held after the Lisbon Project Meeting.
• The Seventh PMG meeting will be held at the EPPO headquarters in Paris on 14-15 October 2013 and incorporated a workshop on research priorities for Horizon 2020 (the EU Research Programme) under EUPHRESCO’s COPHS mandate.
• The Final PMG was held on 26 March 2014 after an open Governing Board Meeting.
• An Open Governing Board Meeting was held alongside the Final Conference. Others could attend this GB Meeting as observers. The meeting was held on 25 March 2014. The WP Leaders presented the progress and final outputs of their workpackages (uploaded as additional evidence against Deliverable 1.1 and 1.9). The Coordinator presented progress against the success criteria/indicators. The modus operandi was accepted by the GB. There was then a hand-over ceremony in which: the modus operandi was handed to Martin Ward (Director General) of EPPO as part of the transfer of the coordination and secretariat functions; a ‘baton’ was passed from the Fera EUPHRESCO Project Office to the new Coordinator (Baldiserra Giovani, EPPO) of the long-term EUPHRESCO Network; EUPHRESCO paintings were handed over from the EUPHRESCO Coordinator and Project Office to EPPO Staff.
• The Final Dissemination Conference and Launch Event for the Long-term, Self-Sustainable Network’ was held near Paris on 26 March 2014. Presentations are available on the website and uploaded as Deliverables. The event was ambitious but successful, focussing on: perspectives on EUPHRESCO from a range of actors (old partners, new partners, funders, policy makers, researchers with experience of different types of projects) so that lessons could be learnt and future operation of Network improved; overall progress made with EUPHRESCO (EUPHRESCO in Action); the future research landscape for Plant Health and future prospects and opportunities via EPPO Coordination and Secretariat functions.
• Two parallel workshops were also held on 27 March 2014 immediately after the Final Conference: (a) a small workshop of invited attendees as part of the EUPHRESCO Impact Evaluation (as part of WP2), but also; (b) an EPPO-led workshop exploring issues, with other conference attendees, on how EPPO might best build on EUPHRESCO-I and EUPHRESCO-II experiences. Overall, the meetings held between 25-27 March 2014 raised awareness of the benefits of EUPHRESCO and the prospects for further future improvements to its operation and its expected impacts.

Sub-WP 1.2 – Reports
• The 6-month and 12-month informal reports for the Commission were produced (Deliverable 1.2). The Commission then advised that interim reports were not needed.
• The 18-month periodic technical report (RP1) was submitted to the EC Desk Officer; the financial reporting and amendments were delayed, but eventually accepted by the Commission. (Deliverable 1.7). The 39-month RP2 technical report was drafted and provided to the Commission by 30 June 2014; the financial reporting will be done once partner amendments have been completed by the Commission. (Deliverable 1.8).
• DG Research advised that that formal project reviews were not needed for ERA-NETs.
• The Final Report (Deliverable 1.10) was produced and submitted soon (3-months) after the end date of the project (draft provided to commission on 2nd June 2014; final version with dissemination table added provided on 30th June 2014).
• A report to the COPHS was produced for their meeting 7-8 June 2011 meeting. Other reports and inputs were also subsequently produced for the COPHS’s 6-monthly meetings, including a special presentation of EUPHRESCO’s Progress (including a poster session) and future long-term prospects on 7-8 June 2012.
• Various ERA-Net-related survey returns were made by the Coordinator for the Commission.

Sub-WP 1.3 – Communication
• The project website was re-launched at the start of the EUPHRESCO-II Project. Project details were updated from EUPHRESCO-I to EUPHRESCO-II. At the end of the EUPHRESCO-II Project, the website of the long-term Network was re-launched by EPPO after its transfer across to them (as part of WP4).
• The first electronic newsletter (Deliverable 1.3) was produced in October 2011 and a link emailed to over 500 stakeholders. The website front page invited on-line registration for newsletters.
• We publicised the newsletter, the launch of EUPHRESCO-II and the outputs from EUPHRESCO-I via The European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO) website in summer 2012. The second newsletter was produced after the EPPO Council meeting in April 2013, allowing their decision on the future of the EUPHRESCO secretariat to be included. The Final Newsletter was produced in conjunction with EPPO immediately after the Final Conference and Launch Event of the long-term Network at the end of March 2014.
• EUPHRESCO posters displaying the aims of EUPHRESCO-II, the successes of EUPHRESCO-I and some key research project outcomes were made available from Fera. They were loaned for meetings and conferences, e.g. the posters were used at the Dutch Phytopathological Society annual meeting in Amsterdam and at the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM), held at the FAO in Rome in March 2012, as well as the previously mentioned COPHS meeting.
• A brain storming workshop between FACCE and ERA-NETs held in Paris in October 2011 was attended by Sylvia Blümel (EUPHRESCO PMG member).
• The Coordinator attended the PLATFORM KO meeting in Brussels on 1-2 February 2012. Two members of the EUPHRESCO PMG will be attending the first PLATFORM ERA-NET meeting in June 2012 in Copenhagen. EUPHRESCO continues to participate in PLATFORM.
• EUPHRESCO, via the PMG, contributed to the FACCE (Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change) consultation on “key priorities and areas for research to contribute to the goals of food security and sustainable agriculture in the face of climate change”. EUPHRESCO’s contribution was submitted on 28 March 2012.
• EUPHRESCO representatives attended a meeting of the EU-funded ISEFOR project (links to WP5 and building research opportunities in the area of forestry plant health).
• The Coordinator attended a workshop on ‘Diagnostic Reference Laboratories’ organised by DG-SANCO and ANSES (France) in Paris on 26-27 March 2012 as an invited speaker presenting EUPHRESCO’s contribution to research and support for diagnostics. Travel & accommodation costs were reimbursed by DG-SANCO/ANSES.
• An updated EUPHRESCO Leaflet was produced ((Deliverable 1.6) for partners to use.

Sub-WP 1.4 – Project Administration
• The contracts were signed by all partners and by the Commission.
• The first advance payment was received from the Commission and was distributed to all project partners in accordance with the conditions of the EU Contract.
• The second payment for PR1 was received and is being distributed in accordance of the conditions of the contract. The final payment will be distributed according to the conditions of the EU Contract and the final report of EU contribution distribution will be entered onto the Portal.
• The virtual Governing Board (GB) membership was established (Deliverable 1.1). Although it was a ‘virtual’ Governing Board, it did meet once, at the Final Dissemination Conference, where it agreed the final modus operandi and accepted verbal reports from the Coordinator and Workpackage Leaders on EUPHRESCO’s final progress and achievements.
• The Project Advisory Board (PAB) membership was confirmed. The PAB was composed of representatives from EUPHRESCO-I’s previous Expert Advisory Group (EPPO, EFSA and DG SANCO) and 4 nominated members of the virtual GB.
• The Project Management Group (PMG) has now met to discuss Technical, management, communication and governance issues (see ‘Meetings’ above).
• A consortium agreement (CA) was completed and signed by all Partners.
• A forward job plan (FJP) was produced for each workpackage as a management tool for WP leaders and updated periodically, e.g. in relation to PMG and Project Meetings.
• The Coordinator logged various partner changes (e.g. organisational names) for amendments to be made at the appropriate time, e.g. in relation to reporting periods. During the project three partners underwent a partial transfer of rights and obligations and the new legal entities were added to the project, Partner 7 NSPP rights and obligations were taken over by partner 33 AA, Partner 9 DFIA rights and obligations were taken over by Partner 34 DASTI and Partner 23 INRB rights and obligations by Partner 35 INIAV I.P; and EPPO was added as a New Partner (32).
• The Coordinator and partners made entries into NetWatch on topic rounds.

Handover Ceremony at the EUPHRESCO Governing Board Meeting (25 March 2014) Picutre in annex file

WORKPACKAGE 2 – Implementing, testing and refining the long-term self-sustainable network structure
WP2 aims to implement, test and refine the proposed model network structure and modus operandi from the current EUPHRESCO project. The overall aim is to ensure that the EUPHRESCO network can continue in a durable and self-sustainable way after 2013, in order to deliver effective transnational research coordination and collaboration in support of the Community Plant Health Regime. Further, it aims to build confidence and experience in the network’s management structures, modus operandi, processes and tools that are needed to implement transnational research, thereby demonstrating the added value and benefits of involvement in the network. The work will consolidate and build on the success of previous EUPHRESCO-1’s outputs and establish a culture of collaboration and a regular network routine.
Main Objectives
• To implement and establish the proposed (from EUPHRESCO-1) structure and modus operandi of the long-term self-sustainable network.
• To evaluate and refine the structure and modus operandi of the long-term network of funders to ensure that a strong, long-lasting and self-sustainable network emerges.
• To maintain ongoing core network activities that underpin transnational research coordination and collaboration, e.g. mapping activities and database updating; dissemination of transnational research outputs; advising on plant health research priorities in FP7; maintaining linkages to key stakeholders; maintaining the EUPHRESCO toolbox.

Sub-WP 2.1 – Implement the long-term network leadership & management structure
• The ‘first draft’ Network Management Group (NMG) was established. It comprised the previous EUPHRESCO-1 workpackage leaders (AT-AGES; DE-JKI; FR-DGAL; NL-EL&I; UK-Defra) for continuity. NMG Portfolios of responsibilities (Deliverable 2.1) were outlined in the proposal and individual members of the NMG assigned to lead them as shown below:
- NMG 1: Coordinator and secretariat – with responsibility to lead the NMG (led by UK-Defra) = identical with WP 1
- NMG 2: Processes and tools (led by DE-JKI, supported by NL-EIZ, NL-PPS)
- NMG 3: Network linkages (led by DE-JKI, supported by FR-DGAL)
- NMG 4: Implementation of joint activities (led by AT-AGES, supported by NL-EIZ, NL-NPPS, FR-DGAL) = identical with WP3
• The portfolios were partitioned into more concrete tasks for which partners' contributions were asked. An internal timetable for these tasks was developed and circulated to all partners. NB. The contribution of partners to the portfolios is voluntarily.
• EUPHRESCO’s longer-term network sustainability and financial support was considered further during the course of the Project. The two avenues explored were:

1. Involvement of DG SANCO
• As previously reported, part of the Review of the EU Plant Health Regime, DG SANCO asked EUPHRESCO to outline (with costings) ways in which DG SANCO might support EUPHRESCO activities in the long-term, if resources were available as part of the new plant health regime.
• In a COPHS Meeting in June 2012 participants from WP1 and WP2 formulated the request to consider support from DG SANCO.
• A letter on this matter from the COPHS presidency to DG SANCO was sent.

2. Involvement of EPPO
• One EPPO member (Austria) proposed that the EPPO Executive Council discuss, in its meeting in September 2011, whether the coordination of European research might fit within EPPO’s portfolio and whether the EPPO Secretariat could provide the structures for the secretariat functions of a long-term sustainable EUPHRESCO network. Both EPPO and all EUPHRESCO partners noted the potential benefits of such a relationship.
• A specific workshop was held on 15 May 2012 at JKI involving members of the PMG and other interested parties to discuss the details of such a relationship. The tasks expected from EPPO when taking over the secretariat function were defined and a summary paper sent to EPPO, DG SANCO and COPHS.
• EPPO’s Coordination and Secretariat function for EUPHRESCO was approved by the EPPO Council. EPPO will provide these functions over at least the next two years from 1st April 2014. This is based on small subscriptions from those partners wishing to remain in the long-term Network. This is considered an interim position, bridging the gap between the end of EUPHRESCO-2 and potential co-funding of the EUPHRESCO Secretariat in EPPO with the Commission’s DG-SANCO.
• A new Coordinator has been appointed: Baldiserra Giovani (new EPPO Scientific Officer) starting in June 2014. The EUPHRESCO website has also been transferred to EPPO.
• The modus operandi for the long-term network was adapted to reflect EPPO’s role and the MO signed-off by the Governing Board (see Sub-2.3).

Sub-WP 2.2 – Maintain on-going network activities
Routine on-going activities that fall to individual NMG portfolios include:
Advising on FP7 Plant Health research priorities: This was done under a mandate from the COPHS (EU Council Working Party of Chief Officers of Plant Health Services). Two topics were put forward in 2011 and one of these (‘Development of seed testing methods for pests and pathogens of plant health concern’), with the support also of DG SANCO, was included in the 2012 Workprogramme. Contact was established with the new officer in DG Research (Juli Mylona, replacing Jean-Francois Maljean for Plant Health FP7 issues).

From the topics supported by EUPHRESCO for 2013, two were included in the FP7 Workprogramme (‘Control of pests and pathogens affecting fruit crops’; and ‘Improved coordination and collaboration for European reference collections’). EUPHRESCO also advised on Plant Health text in the first two-year programme in Horizon 2020, at both the topic and the specific text levels. The call on ‘Practical solutions for pests and invasive alien species affecting plants’ has reflected the advice from EUPHRESCO, ensuring that plant health is considered as part of the continuum that also includes wider crop protection and integrated pest management. This ensures two-way synergies between plant health and crop protection issues.
• Implementation of transnational projects: – see WP3 and WP4 reports.
• Mapping activities: the PMG agreed that the timetable for mapping national programmes in WP2 should be aligned with that in WP5. The questionnaire originally developed in EUPHRESCO-1 was adapted for use in EUPHRESCO-2. All partners new and old were asked to complete the survey by the end of August 2012.
• Linkages (European): EUPHRESCO has joined the PLATFORM ERA-NET, a new Coordination Action linking together KBBE ERA-NETs. The main focus of activities are mutual learning and understanding between KBBE ERA-NETs such as self-sustainability, assessing impacts of ERA-NETs and their projects, drawing together common tools, processes and best practice and exploring opportunities for collaborations (ERA-NETs, JPIs, ETPs); inputs were on-going in RP2. EUPHRESCO attended and presented at the ‘Continuing ERA-NETs’ workshop organised by the Commission in November 2010 and the PLATFORM ERA-NET kick off meeting at the beginning of February 2012.
• EUPHRESCO also attended the MIRRI kick off meeting in November 2012.
• Linkages (International): Since the beginning of the project, EUPHRESCO has made contact with some potential non-European collaborators in Canada, who are part of a the larger QUAD that includes USA, NZ.
• Updating of the Common Strategic Research Agenda – (Deliverable 2.5): A light-touch review of the Agenda was made and it was updated and then reviewed by all partners at the following annual meeting in March 2013. A further review was delayed with regard to the revision of the plant health system of the EU, as the expected changes will affect the future needs of the EUPHRESCO partners to a significant extent.

Sub-WP 2.3 – Evaluate and refine network model and its modus operandi
• The modus operandi for the future self-sustainable network was presented at both the KO meeting in March 2011 and the first annual meeting in February 2012. A questionnaire for EUPHRESCO partners was prepared and the MO reviewed (Deliverable 2.2). The second review was also completed in reconcilement with the other workpackage leaders and the Project Management Group, as the future involvement of EPPO was already under discussion; the draft was presented to the partners at the project meeting March 2013 in Lisbon (Deliverable 2.3).

• For the third and final review of the modus operandi (Deliverable 2.4) two activities were done: (1) adaptation of the MO to reflect the newly established role of EPPO in providing the coordination and secretariat functions for EUPHRESCO from 2014 (e.g. through defining tasks that the governing board subsequently signed-off); (2) an impact evaluation of EUPHRESCO which aimed to highlight areas where EUPHRESCO could improve its operation in the future. This second task took two main forms: a formal external evaluation through questionnaires to key players and a small targeted workshop, and a more informal but open workshop led by EPPO immediately after the EUPHRESCO Final Dissemination Conference on 27 March 2014.

• The key conclusions from the impact assessment of the EUPHRESCO-I and –II were:

(a) EUPHRESCO has effectively facilitated the coordination of transnational phytosanitary research across a significant part of Europe and substantially raised the profile of such research amongst scientists, research funders and policymakers and provided enhanced opportunities for interactions between these groups.
(b) EUPHRESCO has facilitated the funding and delivery of a suite of disease specific projects which has fed directly into changes in plant health measures and operational procedures. This included the potential to fund projects relating to emerging threats more rapidly.
(c) There has been the opportunity to ring test existing and new diagnostic methods so that there is now greater confidence in their international use.
(d) Various phytosanitary topic networks of scientists have been established across Europe, some of which have become self-sustaining beyond initial projects.
(e) EUPHRESCO has acted and continues to act as a conduit of influence on the format and content of EU Research Programmes (specifically FP7 and Horizon 2020).
(f) It has created opportunities for researchers and policy makers to make better use of European wide plant health science resources rather than rely solely on their own national capability and capacity.
(g) It provided the opportunity for some development of research capability and capacity for the underpinning of plant health policy in the EU.
(h) The structure and governance of EUPHRESCO was regarded as being generally effective although the Secretariat was clearly stretched at times and much of the project management fell on the shoulders of a few very committed individuals.
(i) A number of funding mechanisms were tested and some partners have changed their own national approaches to funding transnational research as a result.
(j) EUPHRESCO-II succeeded in broadening and deepening the cooperation the activities of EUPHRESCO-I.
Overall, the analysis showed that EUPHRESCO had successfully achieved its aims and objectives and had had a significant impact on phytosanitary research in the EU.

• In the future, as EPPO takes on the role of hosting the EUPHRESCO ERA-Network, the reviewers recommended that EPPO and the EUPHRESCO ERA-Network consider:
(a) How it can become a proactive knowledge exchange hub for the collection and dissemination of research findings across Europe which is accessible to and effectively utilised not only by scientists but also by practitioners, policy makers and stakeholders.
(b) How to develop a funding model whereby there is maximum flexibility for funding ongoing applied research into specific pests and pathogens and, where appropriate, the ability to provide rapid response research to emerging plant health issues.
(c) How to build on the initial mapping work of EUPHRESCO-I in order to audit and monitor phytosanitary science capability and capacity across Europe and use EUPHRESCO to sustain and develop it.
(d) How to ensure that EUPHRESCO continues to influence EU thinking on phytosanitary issues and indeed beyond in the wider international arena so that policymakers articulate and accommodate research priorities.
(e) The need to develop some interdisciplinary research approaches.
(f) How to improve the engagement and commitment of EUPHRESCO Partners so that the financial and management load is more equitably spread.

WORKPACKAGE 3 – Deepening through transnational research projects
This workpackage aimed to deepen the European plant health research network cooperation by delivering new transnational research activities, especially coordinated or jointly-funded research projects. These will further support the development and implementation of plant health policy and improve the phytosanitary science base in Europe. Such joint research activities will build additional confidence and experience in joint transnational research commissioning and demonstrate the added value and benefits that result.
Main Objectives
• To identify, prioritise and select transnational research topics suitable for cooperation and collaboration, especially jointly-funded projects, including consultation with current key stakeholders and advisors.
• To initiate transnational research collaborations to support EU plant health policy, operations and science capability.
Sub-WP 3.1 – Identify, prioritise and select topics and mechanisms for transnational research activities (Deliverables 3.1 3.2 3.3)
Within EUPHRESCO II three annual rounds of research initiation were established from 2011 to 2013. While WP3 of EUPHRESCO-II, supported by the Project Management Group (PMG), arranged for the establishing of the initiation phases, the Topic Coordinators (TC) were responsible for the administrative efforts in the implementation phases.
The timetable and procedures for the of research initiation rounds were developed and established with assistance from PMG and by adapting and implementing the ERALEARN toolbox cycle phases for research call planning and implementation (DLs 3.1 3.2 3.3). The EUPHRESCO-I recommendation to improve the topic suggestion and topic selection process with regard to increased transparency and participation of all interested partners led to an iterative procedure of applying agreed eligible criteria subsequently to topic finding workshops for all 3 research rounds. While the more complex criteria were used for the evaluation of the topic suggestions by the topic reviewer in all research rounds, those criteria that were easier to be automated in an online procedure were included in the online processing tool for automatic selection on the EUPHRESCO website. The timetable and the newly developed online topic suggestion and processing tools were placed on the EUPHRESCO website with access to more detailed information for EUPHRESCO users with a member’s login. In the subsequent phase “Joining of listed topic suggestions” partners added their potential interest, potential funds, preferred funding mechanisms and potential project duration to the listed topic suggestions, thus providing input for a first topic selection. To avoid major overlaps of topics in the topic suggestion list, topics were merged through an automatic online procedure after request and agreement by the concerned partners. WP3 provided detailed “Reviewer-comments” on all suggested topics including information about potential overlaps with completed or ongoing EU-FPs, EUPHRESCO or other European research projects, the pest status as harmful organism of actual phytosanitary concern (listing in the 2000/29 EC Annexes or EPPO lists) and links to websites with further relevant information. Subsequently a long list of topics was arranged and the second topic selection step (TC-assignment) was prepared.
Overall the development and use of the newly developed online tools resulted in a facilitation of the process administration (DL3.4 for time requirements).
For the funding of topics the originally developed “pure” funding mechanisms non-competitive (NC), virtual common pot (VP), real common pot (RP) as well as a newly developed mixed funding mechanism (NC & VP) were applied. Thus the recommendation from EUPHRESCO-I to use funding mechanisms to provide more flexibility with regard to the need and potential for competition, i.e. topic dependent was realized by the development and successful use of a new mixed funding mechanism, despite starting problems due to the higher complexity of the process.

Combined graph of ERA learn cycle (blue) and EUPHRESCO initiation and implementation phases in annexes

Sub-WP 3.2 – Implement joint research activities (Deliverables 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4)
Within the three annual rounds of research initiation EUPHRESCO-II from 2011 to 2013 partners (+ one observer) participated in 179 research funding activities within 30 topics selected for funding. All EUPHRESCO-I partner countries participated in at least 1 project as well as 84% of the new partners. 50% of the partner countries provided the 14 TCs for 30 funded topics. In total the amount of decided funds in all 3 research rounds accumulated to about 6.8 mill €.

EUPHRESCO II - Participation in transnational research activities per partner country (€) in annexes

The top three primary topic areas covered with regard to crops were related to potatoes (& solanaceae), fruit crops and forestry, whereas the major secondary topic area was diagnostic methods.

EUPHRESCO II – Funded topics per (primary and secondary) topic area in annexes

As new collaboration mechanisms both regional and crop related workshops and topic related workshops were carried out successfully.

WP3 Implementation of joint research activities

Table3 in annexes

WORKPACKAGE 4 – Deepening through improved processes and tools for transnational cooperation
This work package contributes to the joint research programming and commissioning in the phytosanitary domain by providing tools, analysis and concrete directions to better organise and administer the cooperation.

Main Objectives
As previously indicated in our 12-month report; during 2011, the first year of the EUPHRESCO2, Workpackage 4 was confronted with the prolonged absence of the French co-coordinator of this Work Package DGAL due to changes in both Ministry responsibilities and job roles. As a consequence a number of the proposed deliverables could not be worked on at all. Also, since the project proposal for EUPHRESCO 2 was elaborated, certain components of the Description of Work have become obsolete. Various activities have been undertaken by third parties, i.e. EPPO, EFSA and others and various activities have lost their urgency owing to changes in both scientific and ministerial priorities.
For these reasons, the EUPHRESCO Project Management Group, on 28 September 2011 in Paris, decided to review the content of Workpackage 4 to ensure its outcomes would better fit EUPHRESCO’s remit. The Plenary meeting in Rome, on February 15 2012, endorsed these proposed changes. The changes fall into three categories: (1) proposal for delay of some deliverables, (2) proposal for deletion of some deliverables and (3) proposal for a merger of some deliverables that are overlapping in purpose and content.
This revision consists of the merger of activities with which overlap already existed, and the withdrawal of activities that have lost their meaning. In the remaining activities strong emphasis is laid on the development of the ‘market place’, directly assisting the process of identifying topics of common interest, pooling of financial resources and the organisation of common research commissioning, i.e. the whole process supporting the ‘common calls’.
The following text reflects a revised DoW for Workpackage 4, taking into account EUPHRESCO PMG deliberations in Berlin (15th May 2012) and Paris (9th October 2012).
The overall aim of this work package is to develop and enhance approaches for a ‘market place’ for funders that better facilitates and strengthens trans-national cooperation in phytosanitary research. On this platform information is exchanged between funders and/or scientists. It should facilitate faster identification of common priorities, faster coordination of joint expertise and better exploitation of both reference material and specialised facilities. Outputs of this work package will feed directly back into WP3 and support and facilitate on-going trans-national activities. Specific objectives are as follows:
• To develop improved technical possibilities (platforms and processes) for operating and enhancing the virtual phytosanitary ‘market place’ where common research needs of funders are identified and prioritised and where easier access to specialised expertise, reference material and specialised facilities is realised. Funders with similar needs join forces and trans-national research projects can then be initiated to better address these needs. This will include improving, adapting and developing the existing use of the EUPHRESCO website as a key tool for the market place.
• To facilitate easy exchange and rapid access to information and knowledge between National Plant Protection Organisations, the research establishment, EU bodies, e.g. SANCO, EFSA, and other relevant international institutions, e.g. EPPO.
• To create more opportunities and to explore new and creative ways of delivering trans-nationally funded research that addresses plant health policy, operations and science questions. One particular motivation to develop such enhanced possibilities is the need to react quickly to problems (creation of an emergency track for initiating plant health research, both with regard to the procedure and the funds available).
• To enhance the potential for trans-national research commissioning by identifying specific national barriers to funding collaborations and by exploring strategies to overcome these barriers.
• To explore and enhance linkages to other key stakeholders (both at national and trans-national levels) for improved agenda setting and research collaboration, and enhance linkages to plant health activities and coordination mechanisms.

A leading philosophy for the activities developed in WP4 is that all approaches must signify simplification and financial efficiency, i.e. be fit-for-purpose within the context of the future self-sustainable, long-term network. This holds for the ‘market place’ too.
Sub-WP 4.1 – Strengthening platforms and processes for the phytosanitary market place and for information exchange
• A workshop, uniting IT-experts and EUPHRESCO representatives took place on 27th September 2011 at the EPPO HQ in Paris. The outcome was an extensive and prioritised list of functions (Deliverable 4.1.1) that the website should provide, and are feasible and affordable. In the proposed design for the website, absolute priority is given to those functions assisting the activities of Work Package 3 who organises the joint calls for research projects.
• A great deal of progress has been achieved to develop online tools to assist the initiation of collaborative research. These tools were tested in EUPHRESCO-II topic rounds and will be used for future rounds of research calls (Deliverable 4.1.2). A further workshop to progress the website was held later in the year at EPPO in Paris in September 2012.
• Intensive contacts between IT-experts from EPPO and DEFRA, with significant content input from the Call Secretariat (WP3) based on their practical experiences, resulted in a vastly improved automated topic selection mechanism on the EUPHRESCO website. This IT-module includes pages and tools for topic contributions, funding commitments, deadlines and cut-off dates, registration of project coordinators and topic coordinators, selection criteria (number of contributing countries, final financial commitments, etc.), submission of partner names, project descriptions, etc. etc. (Deliverable 4.1.2)
• One thorny issue laid in the fact that the original website, hosted by UK-DEFRA, was written in a proprietary computer language for which annual license fees need to be paid. As EPPO was to take over from DEFRA the maintenance and management of the website, and because EPPO was using an open-source computer language for its website, a project was undertaken to ‘translate’ the static and dynamic components and contents of the EUPHRESCO website to EPPOs standard, executed and supervised by the EPPO IT expert. A welcome side-effect of this exercise was that in the newly written website all redundant and obsolete computer language could be shaken off, and the presentation of the website, including user-friendliness, was completely modernised (Deliverable 4.1.3). The website has now been successfully transferred to EPPO ( with archived web-content still accessible ( (Deliverable 4.1.4).
Sub-WP 4.2 – Creating more opportunities for transnational funding collaboration
• Identifying and addressing barriers to cooperation: EUPHRESCO-II partners received a questionnaire with which they reported their national barriers to increased cooperation in research programming and commissioning. The work in this task was executed by the Flemish and Federal Belgium EUPHRESCO partners with input also from our French partners. On the basis of the responses received a report was produced as a Deliverable (Deliverable 4.2.1).
• Amongst other things, the application of the ‘Real Common Pot’ mechanism, also in EUPHRESCO-II, has progressed with expression of serious interest to join, by various partners, notably the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, whereas others were interested but put forward political, financial and legal restrictions on their contribution to real transnational funding of research.
• Key characteristic of this deliverable is that ERA-nets can engage in, and show more in their collaboration in the area of research and innovation that merely being a ‘call machine’ based on the ‘Virtual Common Pot’ funding mechanism. One of the key drivers for the creation of ERA-net EUPHRESCO was, and is, the noted decrease of science capability, especially in the conventional disciplines that make up most of the relevant science infrastructure, e.g. entomology, bacteriology, etc.. This erosion of expertise can be addressed by commissioning relevant research projects, but it can also be addressed by linking the training of new specialists to those relevant research projects. And so a ‘fellowship’ scheme was devised, with a real common fund of over 600.000 euros, which was competitively tendered and awarded to the five highest quality and most creative projects (Deliverable 4.2.2). To a large extent these projects are directed at students, at the MSc-level, to PhD-students and post-docs. Students and staff in these projects will work in both countries funding the projects, alternating between the two. This addresses on-going concerns about phytosanitary science capability and capacity in Europe (highlighted in the EPPO ‘Plant Health Endangered’ Madeira Declaration of 2004, since reflected in the EASAC Report on Plant Health, 2014) – See Footnotes 2 and 3.
Sub-WP 4.3 – Improve engagement, sense of urgency and responsibility with stakeholders
• The deliverable in this task is a report with analysis, strategy and recommendations to NPPOs on how to collectively better deal with emergency phytosanitary problems, focussing on joining nationals resources for better, quicker and more efficient science (Deliverable 4.3.1). It takes into account work already done, resulting in a most practical flow chart starting with the identification of a research project and ending with the creation of a funded applied research project.
• This is fundamentally different from work done so far, which was mostly limited to the identification of a phytosanitary emergency situation, and which may include systems and processes of rapid notification. It would then be up to the receiver of the notification to, unilaterally, take decisions on the establishment of a research project.

Picture in annexes

WP5: Enlarging the Network Cooperation
WP5 aimed to increase and encourage the involvement of additional organisations with an interest in transnational research collaborations (e.g. new partners, observers and others). It will broaden the potential cooperation of the network, especially regionally within Europe, more internationally (third countries) and in some previously under-represented sectors (e.g. forestry plant health). Expanding EUPHRSCO’s links more internationally will provide research opportunities that will help support the Community Plant Health Regime. In particular, wider international cooperation would enable research on quarantine pests to be done in their countries of origin. International cooperation may be both at the programme level (between national funders) or at the project level (inclusion of more reseArch providers from non-European countries within transnational projects).
Main Objectives
• To attract and integrate more EU member states, associated countries and third countries, e.g. selected International Cooperation Partners Countries (ICPC’s) into the EUPHRESCO network.
• To explore opportunities and, if relevant, implement regionally-based transnational plant health research (i.e. on specific regionally-based crops or pest issues) and sector-based (plant production sectors, e.g. forestry plant health) under-represented in EUPHRESCO-1.
• To explore possibilities and implement, as appropriate, collaborations with third countries, including some ICPC’s and developed countries, with similar plant health problems as EU to EUPHRESCO-2.
• To explore possibilities and, if possible, implement collaborations with certain third counties (e.g. ICPC’s) which are currently sources of plant quarantine pests of concern to the EU.
Sub-WP 5.1 – Integrating new European Partners, engaging with European Observers and outreach to other European and Mediterranean countries
• A specific workshop to welcome and integrate the new partners and observers to the EUPHRESCO 2 project was held alongside the first Kick Off meeting in Copenhagen on 27th March 2011 (Deliverable 5.1). The meeting provided a great opportunity for new partners and observers to learn about EUPHRESCO; they heard the success of EUPHRESCO-I, the benefits of being part of EUPHRESCO and the aims and aspirations of EUPHRESCO-II. The workshop had time allocated for each new partner to introduce themselves, to speak about their institutes and the national plant health programmes as well as to share their expectations of the benefits of being part of EUPHRESCO consortium.
• New partners chose mentors from the ‘old’ EUPHRESCO-I partners. New partners were again specifically welcomed at the first annual meeting in Rome in February 2012 and were encouraged to take full advantage of their mentors past experiences of being in the network both in terms of research project participation and project administration in relation to finance requirements.
• The PMG agreed that the timetable for mapping national programmes in WP2 should be aligned with that in WP5.
• Hungary, Latvia, Sweden (Observers) have joined the long-term ERA-Network (success criteria); the USA is exploring membership for mutual research benefit. EPPO joined as a partner, facilitating the longer-term Coordination and Secretariat function of EUPHRESCO. In addition to the 9 Observers, Poland NCBIR attended project meetings; some 3rd Countries (Algeria, Morocco, NEPPO) engaged in workshops.

Sub-WP 5.2 – Exploring regionalisation of specific plant health problems and increased inclusion of plant-producing sectors under-represented in EUPHRESCO-I (Deliverable 5.2)
• A workshop exploring regionalisation of specific plant health problems in the region of the Baltic Sea and Nordic countries was held in Tallinn 1–2 December 2011. The main conclusion from this workshop was that there was some limited under-representation of some plant sectors or crops (e.g. strawberry and Vaccinum species) but otherwise no other crops were under-represented in the EUPHRESCO initiated projects to date.

• Concerning specific plant health problems the conclusion was that the unique Nordic-Baltic regional problems have been covered in a more satisfactory way under EUPHRESCO-2 than under EUPHRESCO-1. The recommendation is to include much more general plant health topics as for example the influence of climatic changes and import of plant products for energy production on plant health in the future call rounds.

• A workshops exploring EUPHRESCO partners mandates to fund forestry research and important forestry plant health threats was held in Vienna 17–18 January 2012. The main conclusions from the forestry workshop were:

There has been an increase in forestry plant health threats both in number and impact over the last decade, which hopefully will result in more EUPHRESCO initiated projects in forestry in the future. EUPHRESCO was recommended to:
- NOT to set up a permanent forestry working group under EUPHRESCO
- To invite national forestry research funders, who at present are non-EUPHRESCO-partner, to join or be associated to EUPHRESCO.
- To consider including more general topics in future topic call rounds.
- To consider arranging a European stakeholder/funder workshop on forestry plant health in cooperation with ISEFOR.

These conclusions were confirmed by the EUPHRESCO General Assembly at the first Annual Project Meeting 14–15 February 2012 in Rome.
A reminder was sent by WP5 to all EUPHRESCO partners and observers at the start of the 2nd topic identification round in 2012 to remember to contact national forestry research funders, who at present are non-EUPHRESCO-partner, and inform them of the 2nd topic initiation round and invite them to suggest and fund forestry topics.
A workshop exploring regionalisation of specific plant health problems in the region of Balkan and Eastern Europe was held in Sofia 28–29 February 2012. The main conclusion from the Balkan-Eastern European workshop was that there are no specific regional plant health problems in the Balkan-Eastern European region making a regional approach irrelevant (unnecessary) for EUPHRESCO. On this background no further recommendations were worked out.
Sub-WP 5.3 – Association of third countries with similar plant health problems as the EU
• International Cooperation Department in Warszawa, Poland represented by Mrs Ołesia Witowska has in October 2011 delivered an official request to join EUPHRESCO-2; the Polish candidate partners were invited to attend the first annual meeting in February 2012. Unfortunately, they were not able to join in the end, though remaining in contact with the Project. Polish membership will explored further in the long-term Network via EPPO.
• WP Leader Steen Lykke Nielsen invited Dr Yuval Eshdat, The Chief Scientist, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Israel to join EUPHRESCO-2, but until now without success.
• WP- leader Steen Lykke Nielsen has since June 2012 contacted an Israeli scientist (V. Soroker), who has expressed high interest in collaboration with EUPHRESCO to contact an Israeli funder for further progress. No response has yet been obtained.
• Furthermore B. Stephenson in the Science Policy team in the Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry of New Zealand has been invited to explore EUPHRESCO and the possibility to be associated partner. No response has yet been obtained.
• A merging plan for associating 3rd countries has been developed and adopted by the EUPHRESCO’s General Assembly at the First Annual Project Meeting 14–15 February 2012 in Rome and by the PMG at the following PMG-meeting 16 February 2012 in Rome (Deliverable 5.3). The merging plan was adopted (for EUPHRESCO-2) and included in the Toolbook on the EUPHRESCO web-site as follows:

- 3rd countries will be offered status as observers
- 3rd country observers will have to fill in a Letter of intent
- 3rd country observers will have full access to topic proposal lists but only access to results from the projects they participate in
- 3rd country observers are expected to raise funding for participation in at least one round of research topic market place
- 3rd country observers are expected to respond and deliver material to requests and questionnaires from the different WPs

Sub-WP 5.4 – Association of third countries who are the source of quarantine pests of concern to the EU
• Steen Lykke Nielsen and several other EUPHRESCO-II partners active in WP5 participated in the EFSA Scientific Colloquium XIV on Emerging Risks in Plant Health 9–10 June 2011 in Parma, Italy and in an EFSA and Finnish Food Safety Authority seminar on Risk Assessment in Plant Health 1-3 October 2012 in Helsinki, Finland. The themes of the Colloquium and seminar are very relevant for the WP5 topics: regionalisation and import of plant health problems from third world countries.
• Steen Lykke Nielsen met with Head of Business Development Europe Janny Vos and Business Development Director Philip Abrahams from CABI (who are an Observer in EUPHRESCO-II) at Aarhus University the 29 June 2011 to discuss activities in EUPHRESCO-II’s WP5 with focus on activities in third world countries to prevent import of plant health problems.
• The main challenge to develop a concept associating 3rd countries “which are the source of quarantine pests of concern to the EU”, is that EUPHRESCO does not hold a specific grant for that purpose. Therefore the concept must build on the principle to involve 3rd countries in the research topic initiation rounds, so the participation of 3rd country partners can be financed by the EUPHRESCO initiated transnational projects. In fact, in the 2nd topic round, a project on plant health risks of wood chips imported from 3rd countries was proposed, which demands participation of an exporting firm or a plant inspection service authority from a 3rd country; the resulting project achieved this. If the concept is widened also to include EUPHRESCO partners housing a quarantine pest under eradication and not yet spread to other EU members, another topic was proposed involving activities with the pine wood nematode in Portugal by other EUPHRESCO partners. The same is the matter with a running EUPHRESCO project on Asian long horned beetle, where some of the activities are carried out in an infested district Lombardy in Italy and a project on potato flea beetle with activities in an infected district in Portugal. The project has also included a study visit to an infested district in the USA, making contact with the US authorities and a research institute, even though those are not officially associated the project. A concept for affiliating project partners from 3rd countries to EUPHRESCO-2 initiated research projects has been worked out and included in the Toolbook on the EUPHRESCO web-site. (Deliverable 5.4).

At the First Annual Project Meeting 14–15 February 2012 in Rome the General Assembly decided to ask WP5 to arrange a workshop with representative from a North African NPPO (the Near East Plant Protection Organization) and other North African countries to be invited to participate in the next Annual Project Meeting to discuss plant health problems related to import of plant products from that region and possibilities of association to future EUPHRESCO initiated projects. This resulted in a workshop titled workshop “Exploring plant health problems of concern with special emphasis on Mediterranean partners of EPPO and EUPHRESCO” held 13 March 2013 in Portugal with participation of representatives from NEPPO and Algeria.

A comparison of the Partner (light grey) and Observer (dark grey) coverage by country in the previous EUPHRESCO-I project and in EUPHRESCO-II project ion annexes


Table in annexes

Potential Impact:
4.1. Actual and Potential Impact

The following key impacts were anticipated and these have been broadly realised:
• Impact on National Research Programmes and Science Programmes
• Impact on EU Plant Health Policy
• Impact on EU Exports and Competitiveness

EUPHRESCO-II has had significant impacts on national phytosanitary research programmes, phytosanitary science programmes/services (estimated at being over €100 million per year across partner countries) and research providers, as follows:
• Optimisation of national programme funds by preventing duplication and by pooling of national resources to achieve best research results.
• Building national research capacity and scientific expertise through collaborative trans-national research projects and support for other plant health initiatives and coordination mechanisms, thereby helping to reverse the recognised erosion of the scientific base in the plant health area.
• Contributing to the increased cooperation between diagnostic laboratories (e.g. contributing to European standards), national phytosanitary science programmes and inspection services through the implementation of collaborative trans-national research and the sharing of research outputs , .

EU and national Policy makers have benefited from:
• Customised and rapid answers, e.g. providing the evidence on which to base regulatory decisions for new and emerging quarantine pests, including evidence for EFSA ‘opinions’ on risk assessments.
• Tools for inspection services dealing with regulated and emerging pests, thereby enabling more effective implementation of policy, e.g. diagnostic tools for use in the field or laboratory, and management tools for dealing with introductions and outbreaks of quarantine pests.
• Involvement in the process of identifying and prioritising research needs, i.e. setting the science questions that help achieve policy goals.

EU Competitiveness and trade has benefitted from:
• Better trade facilitation by helping to prevent the introduction and establishment of new pests and diseases in the EU.
• Provision of diagnostic tools to facilitate the export of plant material, reinforcing essential quality assurance standards, which will enhance EU competitiveness against other major blocks that trade significantly in plant material.
• Reducing the socio-economic impacts of quarantine plant pests by helping prevent their introduction and spread with the EU and Europe.

As part of its activities EUPHRESCO undertook an external evaluation of its impacts. This is published as a Deliverable of EUPHRESCO-II (DL2.4). Impacts were considered within the following conceptual framework that sets out five types of impact or outcome:
(a) Instrumental impacts (e.g. actual changes in policy or practice);
(b) Capacity building impacts (e.g. training of students or professionals);
(c) Conceptual impacts (e.g. broad new understanding/awareness raising);
(d) Attitudinal or Cultural impacts (e.g. increased willingness in general to engage in new collaborations across sectors);
(e) Enduring connectivity impacts (e.g. longer-term collaboration by involved individuals in follow-on interactions such as joint proposals, reciprocal visits, shared workshops).
The evaluation covered both EUPHRESCO-I and EUPHRESCO-II and considered the overall current and future impacts of both projects.

The conclusions and future recommendations are presented under Workpackage 2 (see above) and the full report is available at Annex 2.
Overall, the analysis showed that EUPHRESCO had successfully achieved its aims and objectives and had had a significant impact on phytosanitary research in the EU.
EUPHRESCO’s impact, as measured by its success criteria, is also detailed above (see Section 3).

4.2. Main Dissemination activities

The main dissemination activities centred on:
1) Raising awareness and providing information about EUPHRESCO to a range of target groups via: newsletters, articles, leaflets; national, European and international conferences and meetings; the website (now
2) Making outputs publicly available for current and future use, including: the tool box for use by the future long-term Network (available on the website); sharing experiences with other ERA-Nets (e.g. through the PLATFORM ERA-Net composed of a range of ERA-Nets from across the Knowledge-Based Bioeconomy (KBBE) area; providing results from the commissioned transnational research projects available via the website or direct to scientific and operational end-users (e.g. Pest Risk Analysts, inspectorates within National Plant Protection Organisations, EPPO Panels concerned with standards and protocols) and policy makers or advisers (e.g. The European Commission’s (DG SANCO) Standing Committee on Plant Health; and the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Plant Health Panel that produces opinions on pest risks).
The Table (Annex 1) at the end of this report summarises the main dissemination activities across all the Partners and across all the Workpackages of the Project:

4.3. Exploitation of Results

Exploitation of results by can be summarised across all the linked Workpackages:
4.3.1. Network Governance, Structure, Membership, Linkages and Operation

• Governance structures established within EUPHRESCO-I and EUPHRESCO-II form the basis of the long-term Network’s governance via an agreed modus operandii. The website should be further exploited within the long-term, self-sustainable Network coordinated via EPPO to support governance and operation of the Network. The website has already been transferred to EPPO successfully.
• Contacts made with potentially new Partners will be exploited further via EPPO. Observers and other potential partners will continue to consider becoming full partners in the new long-term, self-sustainable Network and some have already joined (e.g. Hungary, Latvia, Sweden, USA, as well as Great Britain’s Forestry Commission). This is greatly facilitated now by EPPO through their regional (European and Mediterranean) and international status.
• The Network will also continue to maintain the established relationships between EUPHRESCO and wider European bodies, such as EPPO, EFSA and The Commission’s DG-SANCO (who were all advisers on the EUPHRESCO Project). These linkages relate both to collaboration and coordination but also to strengthening wider knowledge exchange activities. EPPO, as the new EUPHRESCO Coordinator, will especially play an important role in dissemination of research outputs, including to its EPPO Panels, National Plant Protection Organisation’s (NPPO) Inspectorates (via its regular workshops) and to EFSA and DG-SANCO groups that deal with policy and risk evaluation (e.g. especially groups dealing with risk analysis and relating to standards).
• EUPHRESCO will continue to liaise with other ERA-Nets and share experiences and practices, principally but not exclusively through the PLATFORM ERA-Net.
• EUPHRESCO will also seek to exploit synergies with Joint Programming Initiatives (e.g. FACCE-JPI on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change), EU COST Actions, Networks of Excellence and, as appropriate, Technology Platforms. More widely than plant-health, EUPHRESCO and EPPO will also consider how it can exploit wider links to environment and biodiversity areas, e.g. including invasive plant species.
• Overall, EUPHRESCO has provided a solid foundation for further future exploration and refinements of its aims, goals, and desired impacts. As such, EUPHRESCO, with assistance now from EPPO’s Coordination and Secretariat functions, should explore its future ambitions, scope and opportunities as a long-term, self-sustainable Network for Plant Health that is not constrained by being an EU Coordination Action. For this it can draw on the outcomes of the interviews, questionnaires and workshops from the EUPHRESCO Impact Analysis, which collected views from both Partners and a range of external actors, end-users and beneficiaries. In particular, it should note recommendations about improved engagement with end-users, broadening the scope, widening the disciplines involved (more interdisciplinary research), being a key player in raising European phytosanitary capability and capacity and becoming a more-proactive and effective knowledge hub with help from EPPO.
4.3.2. Transnational Research Activities
• A major, but often over-looked, outcome of ERA-Nets is the establishment of a network where trust and confidence has been built between funders in different countries. This is essential to on-going and effective collaboration. These relationships will be maintained and exploited further by ensuring a balance between networking/coordination activities and transnational research funding.
• Coordination and funding mechanisms, processes and tools for transnational research have been developed, tested, refined and implemented; they will be kept under review and developed further where necessary.
• Areas for further development and exploitation should include: use of the website as a platform for knowledge exchange at all stages of research, e.g. from mapping national programmes (retrospectively and future planning), identifying and prioritising research topics, to final dissemination of outputs from completed project; wider use and acceptance of the real common pot; mixed funding mechanisms; new approaches and types of projects (e.g. enhancing Fellowship Schemes); refinement of tools and processes, especially for more flexible and responsive commissioning for emergencies and to better ensure quality and impact. Improvements to processes can be drawn from the evaluation of EUPHRESCO.
• The Common Strategic Research Agenda will continue to form the under-pinning basis for informing identification and prioritisation of topics for EUPHRESCO and for the wider EU Research Programme (now Horizon 2020). However, it should be reviewed in the next 2 years as part of a re-assessment of scope in relation to future research and capability/capacity needs over the next 10 years. Areas that might particularly be considered might include: improving the use of inter-disciplinary research through access to a wider pool of disciplines and as part of relevant societal challenges; alignment with European and international policy issues, e.g. support for the new EU Plant Health Regime and for international activities under the FAO’s International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), links to FACCE-JPI’s research agendas; improved links to crop protection and environmental sciences, i.e. seeing Plant Health as part of a wider continuum; future capability, capacity and evidence needs; broadening of scope (e.g. to invasive species); appropriate innovation.
• EUPHRESCO will continue to be identified as an ERA-Net and will provide coordination at the European level across national and European-level programmes. It is expected to maintain its mandate from the EU Council Working Party of Chief Officers of Plant Health Services (COPHS) to advise on Plant Health topics and priorities for the EU Research Programme.

Pictures in annexes

List of Websites:

Dr Alan Inman
Scientific Adviser
Defra (Plant Health Evidence and Analysis)
Tel: 0044 (0)1904 406653
Fax: 0044(0) 1904 462111

New Project Website Address: (archive at