[REPONSE] Parlement européen, Question écrite E-002991/2022 de Jan Huitema (Renew) du 7 septembre 2022 - Encourager l’innovation : optimiser la photosynthèse au moyen de stratégies de sélection végétale

Niveau juridique : Union européenne

Texte de la question :

« Photosynthesis is a key process used by plants to convert light into energy. Recent research, including that relating to the CropBooster-P project, reveals that this process can be optimised by means of plant breeding strategies. In this way, plants can be made more resilient to heat, drought and salinisation, thereby helping to make food production more sustainable and efficient. However, this is still a work in progress.

1. Is the Commission familiar with the CropBooster-P and other ongoing research projects into the use of plant breeding strategies to step up the efficiency of photosynthesis ?

2. Does the Commission also consider that this innovative development has great potential to help achieve the goals of the Green Deal and global food security ?

3. Is the Commission therefore considering an immediate-term European partnership with the relevant stakeholders under Horizon Europe to expedite research in this field ? »

Réponse donnée par Ms Gabriel au nom de la Commission européenne le 7 novembre 2022

«  1. The Commission is aware of the Horizon 2020 [1] project ‘CropBooster-P’ (2018-2022)[2], funded under societal challenge ‘Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine, maritime and inland water research, and the bioeconomy’, as well as the projects ‘CAPITALIZE’ (2020-2024),[3] ‘GAIN4CROPS’ (2020-2025)[4] and ‘PhotoBoost’ (2020-2025)[5] funded under the ‘Industrial Leadership’ pillar; all of which aim to improve crop plant photosynthesis.

2. Insights and solutions stemming from EU-funded research and innovation projects on plant breeding strategies may contribute to the goals of the European Green Deal, in particular in ensuring that our agri-food systems can become more sustainable and resilient[6]. More than 37 projects were funded under Horizon 2020 with an investment of over EUR 209 million promoting breeding and developing resilient and suitable crops[7]. Horizon Europe[8] support to new collaborative research projects on plant breeding strategies can also be envisaged.

3. In Horizon Europe Cluster 6 ‘food, bioeconomy, natural resources, agriculture and environment’, the Commission proposes four new partnerships for 2023-2024[9]. The ‘European Partnership on agroecology living labs and research infrastructures’ will coordinate and promote research and innovation actions on agroecology. This will include the development of breeding and management approaches that help farming to become more resilient to expected biotic and abiotic stresses. The partnership has been developed in close cooperation with Member States and associated countries, following a thorough process. The first call for proposals is expected to be open by the end of 2022. No further partnerships of relevance to this issue are planned in the near future. »

[1] research-and-innovation.ec.europa.eu/funding/funding-opportunities/funding-programmes-and-open-calls/horizon-2020_en

[2] cordis.europa.eu/project/id/817690

[3] cordis.europa.eu/project/id/862201

[4] cordis.europa.eu/project/id/862087

[5] cordis.europa.eu/project/id/862127

[6] research-and-innovation.ec.europa.eu/research-area/agriculture-forestry-and-rural-areas/genetic-resources-and-breeding_en

[7] research-and-innovation.ec.europa.eu/document/3bda8512-89b0-4e29-ad07-8bbdb014c2eb_en

[8] research-and-innovation.ec.europa.eu/funding/funding-opportunities/funding-programmes-and-open-calls/horizon-europe_en

[9] ‘European Partnership on agroecology living labs and research infrastructures,’ ‘European Partnership for Animal Health and Welfare’, ‘European Partnership for Agriculture of Data’ and ‘European Partnership for Safe and Sustainable Food Systems’. More information: research-and-innovation.ec.europa.eu/funding/funding-opportunities/funding-programmes-and-open-calls/horizon-europe/european-partnerships-horizon-europe/food-bioeconomy-natural-resources-agriculture-and-environment_en

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