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Boosting Crop Growth using Natural Product and Synthesis Enabled Solar Harvesting

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.
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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)

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UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 892 695

UNIVERSITEIT VAN AMSTERDAM

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 844 805

STICHTING KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT

Netherlands

EU Contribution

€ 355 418,75

INSTITUT DES SCIENCES ET INDUSTRIES DU VIVANT ET DE L'ENVIRONNEMENT - AGRO PARIS TECH

France

EU Contribution

€ 820 710

UNIVERSITE D'AIX MARSEILLE

France

EU Contribution

€ 368 876,25

BUNDESINSTITUT FUER RISIKOBEWERTUNG

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 483 296,25

PLANTRESPONSE BIOTECH SL

Spain

EU Contribution

€ 405 250

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 828753

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 January 2019

  • End date

    31 December 2022

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.2.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 4 940 403,75

  • EU contribution

    € 4 940 403,75

Coordinated by:

THE UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK

United Kingdom