Posted 28 November 2013
Researchers from across Europe came together to form new collaborations at the official launch of the Harper Adams Centre for Integrated Pest Management (CIPM), in Brussels yesterday.
The networking event was held at Club of the University Foundation, and aimed to develop new working relationships in anticipation of Horizon 2020 – the European Union’s framework programme for research and Innovation.
It also proved an ideal opportunity to launch the CIPM, which strives to address UK and global issues in agricultural, forestry and horticultural crop protection. Research interests of the centre include entomology, chemical ecology, pest monitoring, application technology, nematology, pesticide science, plant pathology and weed science.
Delegates from Malta, Italy, The Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Northern Ireland, France, Greece, Finland and Eastern Europe, joined 14 experts from the university in Shropshire.
Anthea McIntyre, MEP West Midlands UK, Member of European Parliament Agriculture Committee, addressed the audience. She said: "I am delighted to welcome you and Harper Adams University to Brussels.
"I am so pleased that Harper Adams is launching the CIPM at a time when Europe is concentrating on this subject.
"It is so important that we recognise that we have a vast range of tools available for crop protection. We also need to base what we do on hard scientific evidence, of which Harper Adams is in the lead."
Professor Peter Kettlewell, Harper Adams Research Coordinator, attended the event. He said: “The event was organised to launch the CIPM and whilst doing so, share the most up-to-date information on progress and future developments within the field of sustainable pesticide use.
“We decided to host the launch in Brussels to attract those from across Europe, as the city is of particular importance to agriculture in terms of EU policy decision making.
“Welcoming researchers from a wider field has also enabled delegates to form new collaborations, which we hope will assist with future funding bids ahead of Horizon 2020.
“Harper Adams is delighted to have hosted the event as now being home to the CIPM, we believe we are positioned to address the issues associated with effective, sustainable crop protection.”
The CIPM aims to work with practitioners, policymakers and the research community to undertake research in all areas of crop protection; provide advice and training; provide information to crop protection resources; and liaise with other centres and organisations.
As part of the formal proceedings of the launch, a series of guest speakers gave their thoughts on the sustainable use of pesticides in the EU. This included Professor Simon Leather from Harper Adams and Per Kudsk from Aarhus University.
This was followed by a more informal session, welcoming contribution from delegates on their interests in relation to Horizon 2020.
Horizon 2020 is the EU’s funding programme for research and innovation for 2014 through 2020. It aims to secure the EU’s global position in research, innovation and technology and is designed to create new growth and jobs in Europe.