Next generation variety testing for improved cropping on European farmland


InnoVar will develop next generation plant variety testing by building tools and models that augment current practices capitalising on advances in genomics, phenomics, imaging technologies and machine learning. The InnoVar database, populated with historical and de novo genotypic, phenotypic and environmental data will facilitate model development and evaluation for revision of DUS and VCU processes. Innovative ways to measure DUS characters will be evaluated. VCU evaluation procedures will be revised and shaped to comprehensively address variability in growing conditions, stresses and management approaches. Processes for identifying optimally-adapted varieties and delivering information to farmers, endusers and stakeholders will be put in place. This will include the creation of the High Performance Low Risk (HPLR) varieties as a concept and a brand potentially leading to harmonisation of VCU testing across the EU. InnoVar will focus on wheat initially, and apply the InnoVar approach to other major crops. Developments and advances achieved will also influence breeding processes. This project will take variety information to the next level in four ways: (i) providing information on new DUS and VCU characters and identifying synergies; (ii) developing varieties with proven suitability for the various growing scenarios; (iii) making this information available to farmers throughout the EU, and (iv) disseminating the information in readily accessible and easily updated digital formats. Cutting-edge science will be integrated with tried and tested DUS and VCU processes to deliver an invigorated EU variety evaluation system capable of delivering increasingly productive and more sustainable cropping to meet the challenges arising from population growth, food security and climate change.

Project details

Unibo Team Leader: Marco Maccaferri

Unibo involved Department/s:
Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Agro-Alimentari

Agrifood And Biosciences Institute - Afbi(United Kingdom)

Other Participants:
Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior De Investigaciones Cientificas (Csic) (Spain)
University College Dublin, National University Of Ireland (Ireland)
The Agriculture And Horticulture Development Board (United Kingdom)
ISRIC - World Soil Information (Netherlands)
Rsk Adas Limited (United Kingdom)
Lesprojekt Sluzby Sro (Czech Republic)
Tystoftefonden (Denmark)
Consulai, Consultoria Agro Industriatrial Lda (Portugal)
Apha Animal & Plant Health Agency (United Kingdom)
International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) (Egypt)
Università  degli Studi della Tuscia (Italy)
Horta Srl (Italy)
National University Of Ireland, Maynooth (Ireland)
Origin Enterprises Public Limited Company (Ireland)
Department Of Agriculture, Food And The Marine (Ireland)
ALMA MATER STUDIORUM - Università di Bologna (Italy)
Upm Universidad Politecnica De Madrid (Spain)
IP Pragmatics Limited (United Kingdom)
Centro Di Ricerca Per Gli Alimenti E La Nutrizione (Italy)
University Of Debrecen (Hungary)

Total Eu Contribution: Euro (EUR) 7.999.540,00
Project Duration in months: 54
Start Date: 01/10/2019
End Date: 31/03/2024

Cordis webpage

Zero hunger This project contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

UE flag This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 818144