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Preparation for EMPHASIS: European Infrastructure for multi-scale Plant Phenomics and Simulation for food security in a changing climate

Project description

A closer look at the phenotyping to unlock crop potential

Sustainable food security and increased plant biomass availability pose a critical challenge in the coming decades. However, the analysis of crop performance, known as ‘phenotyping’, remains the primary bottleneck hindering the exploitation of crop genetic diversity and advancements in plant breeding. To address this issue, the European Strategic Forum for Research Infrastructure (ESFRI) has identified plant phenotyping as a top priority. In this context, the EU-funded EMPHASIS-PREP, an infrastructure project listed on the ESFRI ROADMAP, aims to establish a sustainable and innovative pan-European plant phenotyping infrastructure. By fostering collaboration with the European plant phenotyping community and stakeholders, EMPHASIS-PREP will map existing infrastructure, identify gaps, develop strategies, and create a comprehensive business plan.


Sustainable food security and increasing availability of plant biomass for human nutrition and bioindustries is the key challenge for the coming decades. The analysis of crop performance with respect to structure, function, quality and interaction with the environment (“phenotyping”) remains the bottleneck for the exploitation of crop genetic diversity required for the enhancement of plant productivity and progress in plant breeding. This requires substantial and concerted action to develop and to increase the availability of phenotyping infrastructures. The European Strategic Forum for Research Infrastructure (ESFRI) has identified “Plant Phenotyping” as a priority for the European research area and EMPHASIS has been listed on the ESFRI ROADMAP as an infrastructure project to develop and implement a pan-European plant phenotyping infrastructure.
The project EMPHASIS-PREP will provide the basis for the establishment the legal framework, the business plan and preparation of an information system for a sustainable and innovative pan-European infrastructure for plant phenotyping within the framework of EMPHASIS. EMPHASIS-PREP will establish a transparent, open and inclusive process, the project partners will foster efficient work in the project in close cooperation with the European plant phenotyping community and all stakeholders. EMPHASIS-PREP includes four major steps: i) mapping (infrastructure, funders, access procedure and models, stakeholder community, e-infrastructure, imaging approaches, legal and governance scenarios); ii) gapping - analysing the gaps and limitations based on the mapping activities; iii) developing strategies to address the gaps; iv) combining the strategies in a business plan for future operation of EPMPHASIS within a corresponding legal framework.

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Net EU contribution
€ 1 647 737,50
52428 Julich

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Nordrhein-Westfalen Köln Düren
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 1 647 737,50

Participants (7)