Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS



Project ID: 17367
Funded under: FP6-INCO
Country: Bulgaria

Defending Europe's borders against invading pests

Sitting on the eastern edge of the EU, Bulgaria must help safeguard Europe's crops against new pests and plant diseases from the east. To do this, Bulgaria needs both the know-how and the means to effectively manage these threats.
Defending Europe's borders against invading pests
Many of Bulgaria's finest plant scientists are gathered at the Plant Protection Institute (PPI) in Bulgaria's capital, Sofia. The EU-funded project 'Center of excellence for research and knowledge-transfer in plant protection' (PlantProCentre) aimed to upgrade the PPI's facilities and enhance human and material resources through increased international exposure.

More than 20 leading researchers throughout the EU were invited to deliver targeted training programmes to PPI personnel. A range of topics was covered, including pest identification, biological controls and organic farming techniques.

In addition to gaining new knowledge, PPI scientists also gained many new contacts. These will be of particular value as the PPI looks to increase its participation in joint research projects supported by the EU's Framework Programmes. This was further encouraged by sending PPI scientists to visit corresponding plant research institutes in various Member States.

In order to make sure the PPI staff could apply the new techniques learned during the project, a significant portion of the funding was dedicated to outfitting its laboratories with new equipment. Training on how to use the new instrumentation was provided while a stock of consumables aimed to ensure proper operation in the years to come.

PlantProCentre activities have strengthened the PPI's position considerably. Well over 100 papers as well as two books and other printed materials have been published. Participation in international workshops and conferences has also increased, including a meeting in Bulgaria itself.

The seeds for effective plant protection in Bulgaria have been planted and are quickly taking root.

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