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Boosting Crop Growth using Natural Product and Synthesis Enabled Solar Harvesting

Objective

Cold and freezing stress are important constraints for crops and for horticulture. BoostCrop seeks to reduce such stress by an invention called 'molecular heaters'. These are nature-inspired molecules that absorb solar radiation and convert it to heat energy. The invention would reduce yield losses due to cold stress, extend growth seasons and the geographical locations suitable for agriculture, increase crop yield at high crop density and, concomitantly, reduce greenhouse energy costs. BoostCrop strives to increase food production to feed a continuously growing population, thus tackling a major European and Global Challenge in Food Security. The multidisciplinary research programme outlined in BoostCrop will demonstrate how intrinsic molecular processes that underlie energy transfer, and which occur on timescales of tens of trillionths of a second, can be manipulated such that macroscopic properties are impacted. The targets of the research programme include: (1) applying state-of-the-art experiments and theory to track and understand, in unprecedented detail, energy flow in targeted, nature-inspired molecules; (2) manipulating this energy flow through chemical modification; and (3) developing a suite of molecules to suit the needs of crop growth in the field and under protected (greenhouse) conditions. These molecules will then be applied to crops through an aqueous foliar spray. The proposed research programme offers a transdisciplinary and synergistic approach to developing, and understanding the properties of novel photon-to-molecule heaters. The combined expertise of 6 universities (and staff spanning Chemistry, Physics and Biology), one government institute and an SME with an outstanding track record for developing sustainable agro-technologies will ensure that the longterm vision of BoostCrop, to develop molecular heaters for use in a foliar spray, are met, thereby contributing significantly to Europe’s future technological and Food Security.

Field of science

  • /agricultural sciences/agriculture, forestry, and fisheries
  • /agricultural sciences/agriculture, forestry, and fisheries/agriculture
  • /engineering and technology/other engineering and technologies/food and beverages/food safety
  • /agricultural sciences/agriculture, forestry, and fisheries/agriculture/plant breeding/crops
  • /natural sciences/earth and related environmental sciences/atmospheric sciences/meteorology/solar radiation
  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/waste management/energy efficiency
  • /agricultural sciences/agriculture, forestry, and fisheries/agriculture/horticulture

Call for proposal

H2020-FETOPEN-2018-2019-2020-01
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

RIA - Research and Innovation action

Coordinator

THE UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK
Address
Kirby Corner Road - University House
CV4 8UW Coventry
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 769 352,50

Participants (7)

UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 892 695
Address
Beacon House Queens Road
BS8 1QU Bristol
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITEIT VAN AMSTERDAM
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 844 805
Address
Spui 21
1012WX Amsterdam
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
STICHTING KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 355 418,75
Address
Geert Grooteplein Noord 9
6525 EZ Nijmegen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
INSTITUT DES SCIENCES ET INDUSTRIES DU VIVANT ET DE L'ENVIRONNEMENT - AGRO PARIS TECH
France
EU contribution
€ 820 710
Address
Rue Claude Bernard 16
75005 Paris
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITE D'AIX MARSEILLE
France
EU contribution
€ 368 876,25
Address
Boulevard Charles Livon 58
13284 Marseille
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
BUNDESINSTITUT FUER RISIKOBEWERTUNG
Germany
EU contribution
€ 483 296,25
Address
Max Dohrn Strasse 8-10
10589 Berlin
Activity type
Research Organisations
PLANTRESPONSE BIOTECH SL
Spain
EU contribution
€ 405 250
Address
Calle Ciruelos Sn Edificio Centro D Campus Upm Montegancedo
28223 Pozuelo De Alarcon
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)