SPI attends GeneBEcon Consortium Meeting and Science-Policy Symposium on October 4th-6th in Limassol, Cyprus
As a GeneBEcon consortium member, SPI participated in the GeneBEcon Consortium Meeting from October 4th to 5th, 2023 and was part of the organising team for the Science-Policy Symposium, which took place on 6th October, 2023.
GeneBEcon is a project funded by the European Union within the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme, with 18 partners from 11 European countries. The GeneBEcon project is coordinated by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). During this year’s Consortium Meeting, the partners discussed the activities developed in the project, the New Genomic Technique (NGT) proposal by the European Commission, and the importance of adequate actions for efficient exploitation of results.
The Science-Policy Symposium, titled “What do NGTs mean for agriculture, aquaculture, food security and the bioeconomy“, discussed New Genomic Techniques (NGTs) in plants and microalgae. The Symposium was organised by GeneBEcon partners, including SPI and the Cyprus University of Technology, under the auspices of the Cyprus’ Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment. Distinguished attendees of the Symposium include:
- Petros Xenofontos, Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment of Cyprus;
- Jessica Polfjärd, Member of the European Parliament, Sweden. Member of the Committee for Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, rapporteur for New Genomic Techniques for the European Parliament;
- Xenia Theodotou Schneider, Owner and principal consultant of XPRO Consulting Limited, Cyprus; Project Manager of the GeneBEcon EU project;
- Andreas Katsiotis, Prof. Dean of Faculty of Geotechnical Sciences and Environmental Management, Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus;
- Dennis Eriksson, Prof. at the Department of Plant Breeding, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Coordinator of the GeneBEcon EU project, Sweden;
- Evelyne Delezie; Research Group Leader of small livestock husbandry, Animal Sciences Unit, Flanders Research Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries and Food, Belgium;
- Alexandre Huchelmann, Policy Officer, Unit E3 Biotechnology, European Commission, DG Health, and Food Safety;
- Petra Jorasch, Manager Plant Breeding and Innovation Advocacy, Euroseeds, Belgium;
- Andreas Pallides, Agricultural Research Officer A’, Genetics, Breeding and Biotechnology Plant improvement Section, Agricultural Research Institute, Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, Cyprus;
- Johan Robbens, Leader Unit Blue Biotech and Food Integrity, Flanders Research Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries and Food, Belgium;
- Justus Wesseler, Prof. and Chair Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy Group, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands;
- Mariette Andersson, CEO of SolEdits and Assoc. Prof. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Sweden;
- Michalis Koutinas, Assoc. Prof. and Department Chair, Dept of Chemical Engineering, Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus;
- Kai Purnhagen, Prof. Faculty of Life Sciences and the Law Faculty and Director of the Institute for German and European Food Law, University of Bayreuth, Germany.
The Science-Policy Symposium delved into:
- Illustrating how NGTs can contribute to food security and safety, the EU Green Deal, the Farm to Fork Strategy, and the Circular Bioeconomy goals.
- How to inform policymakers, researchers, students, and agri-food stakeholders about the potential of NGT-derived plants to support pressing agriculture and aquaculture issues.
- Demonstrating regulatory options and their respective socio-economic impacts and illustrating how NGTs can enable Europe to achieve its goals.
- Highlighting key developments in NGTs and their applications in improving plant disease resistance and plant product quality to eliminate chemical industrial processing.
- Showcasing GeneBEcon research that is directly relevant to the potato and poultry sector in Cyprus.
- Virus-resistant potato with a more desirable starch profile reduces pesticide use in potato production and chemical-free extraction for the food industry.
- Microalgae is used to produce high-value compounds and poultry feed additives to improve gut health.