Plant ETP is involved in EU-funded research projects addressing specific topics in the plant sector strategic to Plant ETP’s core activities related education, research and innovation

Ongoing projects


Project FIELDS Management



Erasmus+ FIELDSAddressing the current and Future skill needs for sustainability, digitalisation, and the Bioeconomy in agriculture: European skills agenda and strategy

There are new challenges and opportunities for agriculture today, driven by climate change, the greening of products and processes, the reuse of side-stream products, the raised complexity of the chains and the increased availability of information. To successfully address and react to these drivers, agriculture and forestry need new business models and skills. The identification of existing and emerging skills needs in bioeconomy, sustainability and for the use of digital technology, is of paramount importance in order to develop a strategic approach to keep the European agricultural sector competitive and sustainable in the long term.

The multi-stakeholder approach in the FIELDS project, with 30 partners from 12 countries (HEI, VET providers, agricultural and forestry sector representatives and agri-food industry) tackle the complexity of the issues EU agriculture faces today.

The FIELDS approach, starting from the current and future trends and skills needed, will lead to a sustainable European strategy to address these skill gaps. Since agricultural issues and opportunities differ from country to country, the EU strategy will be customised with a country strategy for seven countries. It will address country-specific actions, occupational profiles and training material to reflect the country needs, while meeting EU quality standards (ESCO, EQAVET, ECVET) to concretely address the mobility of learners throughout Europe.

An Agriculture Sector Skills Alliance will be established during the project to build upon the regulatory frameworks and opportunities at EU and country level, while proposing concrete and practical initiatives to address skills challenges, in particular through offering modular training inside the project while guaranteeing mobility of workers within the agriculture, forestry and agri-food industry.

Fields Mechanism


Genebecon Logo

GeneBEconCapturing the potential of Gene editing for a sustainable BioEconomy


GeneBEcon is an ambitious Horizon Europe-funded project that will examine the innovation potential of gene editing in enabling a sustainable bioeconomy in Europe. Through the application of this technology in potato and microalgae, GeneBEcon intends to promote energy-efficient, low-input, and zero-pollution agricultural production and clean industrial processing.

New Genomic Techniques (NGTs) are expected to represent a powerful toolbox (complementary to traditional breeding techniques) addressing current pressing challenges, including pollution and climate change. However, these techniques do not yet reach their full potential in Europe. GeneBEcon will advance research and innovation, acting on two fronts: through new gene editing developments at the technological level, as well as considering social, economic, and regulatory dimensions.

Among NGTs, gene editing holds the greatest potential for contributing to the ambitious objectives of the European Green Deal, the 2030 Climate Target Plan, and the Circular Economy Action Plan. However, risks and benefits must be fully understood to ensure that innovations with gene editing are developed in a responsible, inclusive, and transparent way. GeneBEcon aims to address these issues and propel Europe towards a cleaner, more sustainable and zero-pollution agricultural and industrial production.

GeneBEcon will construct a toolbox for gene editing for potato and microalgae, which will provide case studies to assess regulatory options, analyse the economic impact and assess societal perceptions. They would enable reduced use of pesticides in potato cultivation (notably through resistance to viruses, which incidence is expected to increase with global warming), chemical-free potato starch processing, and a resource-efficient and clean production of industrially relevant compounds from microalgae. Modified potato starch alone may save up to 75,000 tonnes of chemicals and 7.5 GWh of energy in the EU every year, and the repurposing of microalgae residual biomass as animal feed will considerably reduce waste production and CO2 emissions.

Completed Projects

CropBooster-P – Designing Plants for our Future

Increasing global crop productivity will be central in meeting some of the greatest challenges facing human kind: How will we sustainably feed 9.7 billion people by 2050, while realising the required transition from a fossil economy towards a bioeconomy, in order to mitigate and possibly reverse the effects of global climate change? Additionally, how can we provide new crop cultivars adapted to the constraints imposed across vast areas by climate change? A doubling of global crop productivity is required to produce enough plant biomass to achieve food and nutritional security, as well as to meet the demands of a future bioeconomy.

Cropbooster Time

Future–proof plants

This increase in crop production must be achieved without any loss of nutritional quality to achieve full food security and to satisfy the nutritional aspects of a healthy diet. In addition, future agriculture will require crops that combine sustainability, efficiently using scarce resources like minerals and water and preserving Earth’s biodiversity, with a high resilience to adverse climate conditions. In order to meet these challenging demands, our current crop plants will have to be re-designed and a “future proof” profiling is urgently needed.


With a multitude of possible crops and genetic changes, combined with multiple environmental changes, policy and societal challenges, progress could be mired by a seemingly impenetrable complexity. CropBooster-P addresses this by identifying priorities and opportunities to adapt and boost productivity to the environmental and societal changes. The objective is to produce a quantitative evaluation of the most promising practical approaches to be enacted from 2021 to achieve a sustainable food supply into the future, while considering societal expectations and concerns.

BECOTEPS – Bioeconomy Technology Platforms

Nine European Technology Platforms (ETPs) focusing on the Knowledge-Based Bio-Economy (KBBE) joined forces in the support action ‘BECOTEPS’ (1st January 2009 to 31st March 2011).

The main objectives and respective activities were to:

  • Achieve closer and more coordinated collaboration between the KBBE ETPs
  • Develop recommendations for better interaction between KBBE ETP stakeholders along the product chains and the sustainability issue regarding multidisciplinary research, application and policy issues
  • Encourage discussions between European and national, public and private, research and innovation initiatives to foster implementation of the ETPs’ Strategic Research Agendas based on the joint recommendations developed between the ETPs.

BECOTEPS aimed to help to link science and application by addressing synergies and gaps between the Strategic Research Agendas of the ETPs and with respect to the research preparedness of the scientific community by topical workshops on cross-cutting KBBE issues.

The first workshop addressed trust and collaboration in the food and feed chain, the second addressed the integration of the non-food chains, and the third addressed cross-cutting sustainability issues. The workshop recommendations on research and policy were summarised in a White Paper.