Workshop ‘Towards European Coordination of Plant Genomics’
Amsterdam, December 2002
In December 2002 an international workshop ‘Towards European Coordination of Plant Genomics’ was held in the Netherlands. More than forty researchers and policymakers from nineteen EU Member and Candidate-Member States were present to discuss and explore the possibilities of coordination and cooperation in the field of Plant Genomics. The workshop was organized by the Netherlands Genomics Initiative, in close cooperation with Belgium.
Objective of the workshop
Principal objective of this workshop was to meet other people in the specific field of plant genomics and to exchange information. By doing so the participants could get a good sense of the state-of-the-art in Plant Genomics and the expectations for the future. On the basis of all this, it should be considered whether the national programmes involved should be opened up and how.
In 2000, EU Commissioner Busquin launched the idea of setting up a European Research Area (ERA). The goal of the ERA concept was to encourage the coordination of national research policies and activities in terms of objectives, expertise and resources. The European Commission has since formalised this intention by including resources to support such coordination in its proposal for the 6th Framework Programme for Research (FP6). The ‘ERA-NET scheme’ will be the principal means to support the coordination and cooperation of research activities at national and regional levels.
In 2002 the EU Member States, represented by their research ministers at an informal meeting in Gerona, agreed to pursue a range of initiatives focusing on the progressive mutual opening of national RTD programmes . CREST, the EU Committee for Science and Technology, was assigned to implement this agreement and decided to promote pilot projects in five different areas of study, one of which was Plant Genomics.
A kick-off has been given by
The Netherlands and Belgium, who joined forces in organising an
international meeting, especially dedicated to ERA-NET and Plant
Genomics: : the Workshop ‘Towards European Coordination of Plant
Genomics’, held 12-13 December in Amsterdam.
Results and follow-up
The outcome of the first workshop was very positive: the participants presented their national activities in the field of Plant Genomics, and enthusiastically discussed the desirability and feasibility of and the possible first steps in the direction of coordination. There appeared to be a solid base for exploring the possibilities of European coordination and cooperation further. All participants committed themselves to the agreements that were made, and left the meeting with homework to prepare for the second workshop.
This next workshop will be held in Belgium 12-13 March. It will focus on defining the actual content of a European coordination initiative for Plant Genomics, in such a manner that it can also serve as a basis on which a proposal for an ERA-NET initiative can be formulated.
If you are interested in further information, scroll down for the workshop proceedings.
Or contact Mr. W. Spek of the
Netherlands Genomics Initiative: