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Coordinating Action in Plant Sciences – call will boost molecular plant sciences

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20 November 2012

The European Research Area Network for Coordinating Action in Plant Sciences (ERA-CAPS) has launched its first joint call for proposals. The call, entitled "Expanding the European Research Area in Molecular Plant Sciences", will fund high quality collaborative transnational research in fundamental molecular plant science to meet the European demand for innovation in the area.

The call welcomes applications from collaborative research consortia in any area of molecular plant science. Four themes have been highlighted as areas of particular interest: Food Security, Non-Food Crops, Adaptation to a Changing Climate, and Biotic/Abiotic Stress. Applications outside of these themes are also welcomed.

Plants are essential to human life, providing the majority of the food we consume, feed for our livestock, and valuable non-food products. Plant sciences therefore face important challenges at the European and global scale due to the increasing demands from a burgeoning world population.

To guarantee food security, the world requires new ways to produce adequate and stable food supplies in an environmentally sustainable manner. The challenge for plant sciences is to further improve current knowledge of plant biology and agronomy, to increase crop yields and enhance the access to a far greater diversity of safe and nutritious food on a global scale.

Fifteen countries are contributing funds to the joint call:

  • Austria (FWF)
  • Belgium (F.R.S.- FNRS)
  • Denmark (DASTI)
  • France (INRA)
  • Germany (DFG)
  • Ireland (DAFM/Teagasc)
  • Israel (MOARD)
  • Latvia (LZA)
  • The Netherlands (NWO)
  • New Zealand (MBIE)
  • Norway (RCN)
  • Poland (NCBiR)
  • Portugal (FCT)
  • Serbia (MPNTR)
  • United Kingdom (BBSRC)

The NSF in the USA is running a parallel call through their Plant Genome Research Program that will allow US researchers to join consortia.

The call has a one-stage application process, and consortia must comprise research groups from a minimum of three different countries (at least two from the above list; however, partners from other countries must be able to fund themselves). The closing date for applications is February 15 2013, and the total budget is around €20M.

Details of the application process are available at on the ERA-CAPS website (, along with contact details for National Call Coordinators.


Notes to editors

Contact Paul Wiley for further details at:

Details on the call are available at:

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