Future of successful Plant breeding in Europe takes centre stage at ETP launch of action plans


On March 24 the European Technology Platform ‘Plants for the Future’ (Plant ETP) organised a high-level conference to present its 3 Action Plans in Brussels. Plant breeders, farmers and public researchers work together within the framework of the Plant ETP to develop joint solutions to better respond to specific challenges and work for supportive and clear policies.


The Plant ETP developed an Innovation Action Plan (IAP) to promote a better flow from innovative concepts to marketable product, a Research Action Plan (RAP) based on its Strategic Research Agenda (SRA), defined priorities and instruments for implementation, and an Education Action Plan (EAP) to secure the development of the required human resources, skills and capabilities for the plant agricultural sector and the bioeconomy.


“These Action Plans must be understood as an integrated strategic approach for Europe to address principal challenges such as food security, healthy diets and climate change with the help of its breeding sector.”, Garlich v. Essen, Secretary General of ESA underlined the interaction of the three plans.


Members of the European Parliament, Commission Officials and representatives from the Member States together with the stakeholders of the Plant ETP discussed the possible solutions that research and innovation could provide and how the European plant breeding sector can play a key role in responding to societal challenges. European leaders were called upon to lend more support to the sector and create the appropriate regulatory framework to maintain Europe’s global leadership and to allow plant breeders to put on the market innovative products responding to consumers’ needs.


ESA Vice-President Nigel Moore presented the main challenges related to Innovation and the actions identified in the IAP that need to be taken to maintain and foster a sustainable leadership of Europe’s agri-food chain. “Ensuring successful innovation, increasing innovation predictability and improving innovation coordination are the overarching areas EU decision makers need to take into account when legislating for the sector.”, Moore underlined in his call for action.


In the discussion, participants clearly agreed that policy makers, regulators and stakeholders must work more together to succeed. The Plant ETP stakeholders clearly saw the need for more support on research and innovation in Europe.