This project will bring together experts in diverse fields such as biotechnology (UGLA, UB, CRAG, CIRAD, UMIL, INDEAR and ICS-CAAS), plant physiology (UB, UGLA, IRTA and CRA), farming and agriculture development (IRTA, CAMARA, CFR and CRA), electrophysiology and cell signalling (UGLA) and salinity monitoring systems (IRIS), thereby fostering new opportunities for training and additional collaborative research.




UB (PI Salvador Nogués) has participated in the COST project SIBAE ‘Stable isotopes in biosphere-atmosphere-earth system research (ES0806, 2009-2012, 22 partners). UB, INDEAR and HZAU are participating in the FP7-KBBE-2011-5 project OPTIMA ‘Optimization of perennial grasses for biomass production in the Mediterranean environment (2011-2015, 21 partners), which is an international interdisciplinary project involving physiology, biotechnology, agronomy, socio-economical and environmental analysis focused on important species of perennial grasses.



CRAG (PI Blanca San Segundo) is a public consortium that comprises research groups from the Spanish Research Council (CSIC), the Institute for Food and Agricultural Research and Technology (IRTA), the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and the University of Barcelona (UB). Areas of research at CRAG focus on the study of characters of interest in plants and farm animal species. The Centre combines basic and applied research focusing on the molecular basis of genetic traits of interest and the application of molecular and genetic approaches for plant breeding and food production. CRAG coordinated the ERA-Plant Genomics Project “Trilateral Initiative for Enhancing Salt Tolerance in Rice” (TRIESTER, ref. ERAPGFP/06.018B, 2007-2010) in which 9 partners from Spain, France and Germany participated. Currently, CIRAD coordinates the FACCE-JPI project on Climate Smart Agriculture ERA Net+ “Sustainable and Environmental friendly rice cultivation systems in Europe” GreenRice; 2014-2017; 7 partners). CRAG and CRA are partners in the GreenRice project. CRAG was also Partner in the EURICE project (European Rice: transgenes for crop protection against fungal diseases (QLK5-1999-01484; 2000-2003), and together with IRTA, in the ERRI project (Engineering Rice for Insect Resistance; FAIR CT 97-3761.




CIRAD (PI Brigitte Courtois) and CRA were partners in the EU funded projects RESGEN (1999-2002) and EURIGEN (2007-2010) that contributed to a better characterization of the European rice genetic resources, notably in terms of salinity tolerance and the development of an associated database (




CREA (PI Giampiero Valè) coordinated two national research projects: RESPAT, a project dedicated to genomics of plant pathogens interactions funded by the Italian Agriculture Research Council and the Italian Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MiPAF) (2009-2011; 10 partners); RISINNOVA, a project dedicated to genetic and genomics research of rice adaptation to abiotic and biotic stresses, funded by AGER foundation (2011-2014; 12 partners). CREA recently participated in several national and international projects: Project POLORISO, scientific research on genetics and technology of rice, funded by MiPAF (2011-2013; 10 partners), Project GS-RUSE, Genomic selection for resources use efficiency in rice, funded by Cariplo and Agripolis Foundations (2012-2016; 7 partners), FACCE-JPI project on Climate Smart Agriculture ERA Net+ “Sustainable and Environmental friendly rice cultivation systems in Europe” GreenRice (2014-2017; 7 partners).


UMIL (PI Gianni Sacchi) has coordinated or participated in national and international research projects: 2011-2014 Lombardy Region research program “BIOGESTECA: Platform of green biotechnologies and management techniques for an agricultural system with high environmental sustainability”; 2011-2014 UE – FP7 – MC-ITN “BIONUT: Biochemical and genetic dissection of control of plant nutrition”, and has participated in projects about rice breeding strategies: 2011-2014 AGER foundation research program “RISINNOVA: Integrated genetic and genomic approaches for new Italian rice breeding strategies”; 2012-2013 MiPAF research program POLORISO scientific research on genetics and technology of Italian rice. UMIL is leader in performing single ionomic and metabolomic maps (produced adopting ICP-MS, GC-MS, LC-ESI-MS/MS, and NMR techniques) and their informatics-based overlap.


UGLA (PI Michael Blatt) has contributed to EU (FPV) and HFSP programs since the 1990’s. It leads a bi-national (UK/USA) program (US $4.5M), initiated in 2011, that aims to develop synthetic approaches to improving photosynthetic capacity in crop species (MAGIC). UGLA also leads a multi-institutional program between Glasgow, Cambridge and Essex universities (£0.8M) to develop the next-generation OnGuard platform for modelling photosynthesis, gas exchange and water use by plants, and it holds some £1.5M in additional funding centred on stomatal physiology, synthetic membrane biology and alkali cation transport.


IRTA (PI Maria del Mar Català) is a research institution owned by the Autonomous Government of Catalonia and has managed the rice genetic resources in the European projects UE – PL95 – RG3, and participated in Biology integrated control of Red Rice UE – FAIR 3 PL96-1450, Quality a competitiveness of European rice UE – AIR 3 PL93-2518, Engineering rice for resistance to insects UE – PL97-3761, European rice UE-QLRT – CT99-1484 and Deciphering the genetic basis of field resistance to blast in European rice varieties GEN 2006-27764-C4-3-E, Sustainable and environmental friendly rice cultivation systems in Europe. GreenRice; 2014-2017. IRTA has been designated as expert of the rice varieties national evaluation committee (Spain). IRTA has a wide experience on rice field trials. IRTA also has a close relationship with rice farmers in Spain which is the key to transfer the innovation to the rice sector by open field days, seminars and technical papers.


Institute of Crop Science (ICS) (PI Jiankang Wang) is the largest professional crop science institute affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS). ICS has four departments on Genetic Resources, Molecular Biology, Crop Breeding and Crop Physiology. There are 40 research groups in the four departments to work on wheat, maize, rice, soybean, and many other small crops. ICS is the national centre of China for scientific innovations, international collaborations, and advanced educations. Currently, ICS has more than 300 staffs, among which there are 83 professors. The Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) is a national agricultural research institution undertaking China’s agricultural research and development in both basic and applied sciences as well as new and advanced application technology. Mission of CAAS is to solve the fundamental and strategic technological issues in agriculture and rural economic development, training of advanced researchers, integration of agriculture with science and technology, and development of agricultural science and technology exchanges and cooperation. CAAS achieves this mission through its various research institutes, graduate school, agricultural publisher, key laboratories, testing centres, crop improvement centres, technology centres, crop germplasm banks, databases and Internet resources.


INDEAR (PI Mercedes Rivero) participates in different national and international Consortiums that include projects related to complex plant genomes sequencing, metagenomic environmental samples processing, the addressing of transcriptomic studies and health-related projects and the development of new technologies and traits in different crop species such as soybean, maize, wheat alfalfa and rice. INDEAR participates in the OPTIMA consortium as Biotechnology leader; SOILGeNe, following a metagenomic strategy using second generation sequencing technology. PasArg, Pasturas Argentinas (Argentinean pastures) which is a support network of the National Agency for the Scientific and Technology Promotion (ANPCyT) – Argentine Sector Fund (FONARSEC) leading the development of molecular markers for alfalfa genotyping and characterization.



CAMARA (PI Xavier Serrat) is a rice farmer cooperative that has developed two LIFE European projects (LIFE 97 ENV/E/000259 and LIFE02 ENV/E/000255) and two Research Executive Agency (REA) projects (Smart Paddy and RiceGuard) among others. CAMARA has also developed national projects in cooperation with UB and has recently published high quality scientific articles.


IRIS (PI Pau Puigdollers) participated in the FP7 project Water-Bee DA (283638) “Water-Bee Smart Irrigation Systems Demonstration Action”; where they developed the Wireless Sensor Network and Decision Support System for irrigation management. IRIS coordinated the FP7 project Smart-Paddy (285861) “Smart on-line salinity measurement network to manage and protect rice fields”; where they developed a Wireless Sensor Network for real time salinity measurements in rice paddies. IRIS is coordinating the FP7 project Rice-Guard (606583) “In-field wireless sensor network to predict rice blast” where they are developing a wireless sensor network for weather monitoring inside rice-paddies and a user interface and decision support system based on a disease appearance model.


CFR (PI Arnaud Boisnard) has participated in many national and international projects aiming to improve rice growing practices and has registered more than 20 new rice varieties through its joint rice breeding program with CIRAD. CFR is also a partner in the GreenRice project.

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SIS (PI Stefano Ravaglia) has participated in many national and international projects (CEREALAB, SITEIA, GranaioItaliano, SIGRAD, WHEALBI) in collaboration with public institutions (e.g. CRA, MiiPAAF) and private companies(e.g. De Cecco, JFC, MARS) aiming to improve wheat and rice growing practices and new variety release.