Effective Management of Pests and Harmful Alien Species: Integrated Solutions (EMPHASIS)

Effective Management of Pests and Harmful Alien Species: Integrated Solutions (EMPHASIS)

Source of funding

European Commission

Name of client/donor

Agroinnova, University of Turin

Consortium members

22 partners including research institutes and small and medium-sized companies from 10 countries

Overall project value

EUR 6,636,039

Date

March 2015 – February 2019

Beneficiary countries

EU28

Number of staff

26

Plant health is of global importance for sustainable and competitive agriculture and forestry, and for the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems. Organisms that are harmful to plants therefore have complex economic, ecological, environmental, social and health impacts, including negative impacts on global food security. Protecting plants against losses along the entire farm to fork chain is therefore critical.

As EU policies restrict the use of conventional pesticides and promote integrated pest management to respond to native and alien pest threats, EMPHASIS offers practical solutions using a cross-cutting approach to participatory research and technology transfer.

The specific project objectives are to:

  • Predict, prioritise and plan: Pest management challenges and opportunities will be evaluated according to stakeholder-focused criteria and through pathway analysis.
  • Prevent: Practical solutions for surveillance in different pathways to enhance preparedness will be provided to end users, and tools for monitoring following outbreaks and eradication will be developed.
  • Protect: Practical solutions for managing native and alien pests in agriculture, horticulture and forestry will be developed; their technical and economic feasibility will be demonstrated; and their market uptake will be enhanced.
  • Promote: A mutual learning process with end users will be developed, and the solutions identified by the project will be promoted through training and dissemination.

The project is implemented by a consorium of 22 partners, including research institutes, associations, and small and medium-sized companies from 10 countries. The plant/pest ecosystems dealt with are treated using a multi-method approach to design an integrated pest management methodology that will be developed for key systems with transferability to other similar systems, thus achieving maximum impact.

The effectiveness of the solutions developed by the project will be assessed and validated, and the solutions will be transferred through co-innovative research and demonstrations (e.g. large-scale field trials and workshops for inspection services for the uptake of diagnostic tools), ensuring that they are in line with the needs and capacities of end users.

To achieve the project’s overall goal, work has been structured into the following work package (WP) activities:

  • Evaluation of pest management challenges and opportunities (WP1)
  • Provision of practical solutions for surveillance and monitoring tools (WP2)
  • Development of improved practical solutions and innovative integrated response measures for the effective control and containment of native and alien pest threats (WP3)
  • Assessment and demonstration of the technical and economic feasibility of the practical solutions developed by the project (in response to multi-level end users’ needs) (WP4)
  • Active dissemination of the practical solutions developed by the project among the scientific community, final end users and the main stakeholders and policy makers (WP5)
  • Review and assessment of the work carried out and of the outcome of project activities against a set of pre-determined indicators (WP6)

 

With a budget share of EUR 400,000, the REC is leading WP5 on dissemination and training. Multiple communication channels are used to share the project research findings and to stimulate new networks.

Training activities serve as an important forum for communication and for the identification of new research opportunities, as well as mechanisms for expanding and replicating pilot activities at both national and international levels.

Services provided by the REC to the project include:

  • Training
  • Information dissemination